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February 22, 2010

How I Reduced My Closet 50%

Posted in: How I de-cluttered,Less is More,Organizeit Projects

closetI am a master at impulse shopping for clothes, and then wearing something only once before it sits in my closet for years. Parting with clothes has never been one of my strengths. I know it’s illogical to own something for that long without utilizing it, but I always stump myself with the question, “But… what if someday I do want to wear this?” Come on, I know I’m not the only one who does that!

I just moved into a darling new downtown apartment, with lots of old fashion charm, and very old-fashion closets. Small closets, that is. My previous 6-foot long closet was packed wall to wall, so I had to do some painful – but necessary – purging in order to fit into the new one.

Here are some tips and helpful questions I asked myself while reducing my clothing inventory to half its original size:

  • First of all – work fast! Don’t hold up a garment for more than 2 seconds. If you dwell on how much you loved it when you first saw it, or how much of a bargain it was, you’re living in the past.
  • Get rid of anything you haven’t worn in the last year. You’ll probably wonder whether or not you’ll regret discarding it someday. Sure, you might! But that moment of regret is probably not going to eat away at you, and you’ll get over it fast.
  • I also owned a lot of multiples. Not necessarily identical garments, but similar ones. So I combined the similar shirts or pants into their own piles, then picked one favorite from each pile (whichever fit and flattered me the best with the least wear).
  • I applied these same rules to my shoes, and got a really cute shoe rack that hangs over the door to keep my new closet floors tidy and open.
  • Lastly, I allowed myself a few “what if” items to stay. These are actually shirts that I’ve owned since high school; I LOVE them and I let myself off the hook for keeping them around for nostalgic reasons. And I do actually wear them occasionally. This helped the process feel less overwhelming.
  • Now all I have to do is keep my clothing collection from growing again! I’ve developed a rule that if I buy anything new, something has to go.

    I’d love to hear comments and suggestions from your own adventures closet de-cluttering!

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