Friday, February 20, 2009

Clean out your closet!

I like to go through my closet about 4-5 times a year and get rid of things I don't wear anymore. I personally believe it is better to donate your unused items rather than hold onto something you may wear someday (which really means you will never wear it again). Donating clothing to Salvation Army, Goodwill, DI or other charities is a great way for many to reuse good items of clothing you no longer need or use. Another fun option I did as a teenager was have a clothing exchange with several friends. We all brought piles of clothing and could pick "new clothes" from our friends piles. Any clothing that wasn't picked was donated to Goodwill. This obviously works best if you have friends that wear the same size clothes as you.
The first thing to do when cleaning your closet is to pull out all the items that are torn, worn out, stained, etc. These almost always can be thrown away or donated. Limit yourself to 1 or 2 shirts for "painting" or "camping" and only 1 or 2 pants for "yard work" or "cleaning the bathrooms." You don't need more shirts or pants for these chores! You also probably can limit the number of exercise clothes you have. You don't need 20 t-shirts for exercising. Realistically, you may only need 5. The same goes with your exercise bottoms.
Click on the flow chart (above) for a list of questions to ask yourself when you are cleaning out the closet. If after going through this list and you still want to keep something after answering no to all the questions consider asking the following:
Why do I really want to keep this item of clothing?
1. Is it for sentimental reasons? Other than your wedding dress, we don't really need to keep pieces of clothing to remember some important event in life. I've never taken out an old pair of jeans from the closet and admired them like I would a photo album or scrapbook. If it means that much to you it should be out somewhere it can be admired instead of getting dusty in the back of the closet. For example, my neighbor's husband had a huge t-shirt collection which he didn't want to part with. She cut off all the old t-shirts logos or sayings and pieced them into a quilt. Another idea is to take a great photo of the piece of clothing and put the photo in a scrapbook along with a piece of the fabric. Be creative.
2. It may fit someday?! This is a tough one for a lot of us. It may take some tough love but think of the following: by the time I do lose (fill in the blank) pounds would this item still be in fashion? The answer is probably NOT. Buy clothing that you look good in and feel good wearing now. Buy clothing that fits your body well now and accentuates your positive features. Live in the present, not the past. (Thanks Stacy and Clinton, love you on What Not to Wear)
The only exception to the above would be maternity clothing. However, don't let this take up room in your closet. Put them away in a storage bin (only if you plan on having more children, if not give them away, duh!)
3. Other (i.e. someone may be able to use my disco pants for a Halloween costume) Why is it in your closet? If you really will use it for Halloween, put it in storage in a box labelled clearly Halloween.


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  2. I hate that Greg keeps like 20 hooded sweatshirts..."just in case." He says someday he'll use them for camping. Well since we really don't go camping more than once a year that's not an excuse! I will sneek them out of the house when he goes to work! Ha ha!

  3. Gina, I love your blog. You have great tips already that I can use! Keep them coming.