This weekend I opened up my closet, and came to the realization that I have nothing to wear. While I have a ton of clothes in my closet, the majority of the clothing in my closet is “unwearable”. The clothes don’t fit me. I don’t like the style anymore. There are stains or rips that I haven’t fixed.
As I started to get a closer look at the clothing, I realized that I am holding on to things that are just taking up space, rather than having actual, wearable clothing in my closet. So I decided to do a massive clean-up of every single piece of clothing I own.
While it is time-consuming, it is incredibly freeing to have only clothing that I actually enjoy wearing. I encourage you to do the same clean-up of your clothing. Just follow these six easy steps to deciding what clothing to keep and what to part with.
Collect All Clothing
Collect every single piece of clothing items you own. Like everything! That shirt hiding in the trunk of your car? Grab it and add it to the pile. Have laundry in the dryer? Grab it and add it to the pile. Have clothing stored under your bed/attic/storage closet? Find them!
I make my clients get every last piece of clothing so they can visually see what they have. Shirts, tops, pants, jammies, work-out clothing, socks, undies, etc. When you actually see your pile of clothing sitting in front of you, you have nothing left to do but confront them.
Any any clothing that is not in this pile when you start to sort will end up directly in the donate/sell pile. End.Of.Story. So make sure you grab everything!
I typically have my clients complete all the laundry prior to starting sorting. The clothing doesn’t have to be folded, or even put away. Leave them in the laundry basket. But by having clean clothing to work with can start the process off on the right foot! Who doesn’t love clean clothes, anyway?!?!
Now that you have your pile of clothing, we are going to start sorting the clothing. Get bags and make labels. (I have created some for you for FREE! Just click here to get them sent to your inbox, along with checklists to get you organized throughout the house!)
Make a bag for donations. Make a bag for selling. And make a space for clothing you are going to keep. I also suggest to figure out where you will be donating clothing and where you will be selling clothing prior to sorting. I suggest this because it allows you to visualize others enjoying your clothing as you have already identified a location the clothing will be going to.
Start With Off-Season Clothing
Your giant pile of clothing is sitting in front of you. Your bags for sorting are set. You have figured out where you will be donating and selling your clothing. Now, we get to start sorting. Start with off-season clothing, as you are not likely as attached to these clothes as you are to the clothing you are currently wearing.
Inspect each item of clothing. Is there a rip or stain that you can’t fix? Are you totally over that style? Have you worn that item in the past year? Why are you still holding onto this piece of clothing?
Remember that the memories you have are not tied to any particular piece of clothing. Most clients feel a connection with items as it reminds them of their life before children. While it is nice to remember those days, as they made you into who you are today, you need to let go of the clothing if it no longer serving a purpose and you are not wearing it.
Try On Clothing If Undecided
If you are still undecided about what to do with an article of clothing, try it on. Look in the mirror. How does that piece of clothing make you feel? That is a huge indicator whether you should keep a piece of clothing, or if you can remove it from your wardrobe.
Be really honest with yourself. There is nothing worse than wearing clothes that you don’t feel pretty in. So why keep something that you don’t love?
Remove Unwanted Clothing
Once every piece of clothing is sorted into piles, remove the donate and sell piles from your space. Put them in your car. Get them out of your sight. I suggest doing this so that you have a clear space to organize the clothing that you are going to keep.
Organize Remaining Clothes By Category
All you are left with is the clothing you are keeping. Now you get to put the remaining clothes away. This is where my clients typically get stuck. How do you put away the clothes I am left with? My suggestion is to start with pants. Specifically jeans.
Hang the jeans together. Then the remaining pants together. Dressers and skirts are next. Followed by jackets, hanging sweaters, blouses, and tops. I always recommend color-coded everything. It just looks pretty, and it totally functional for when you need to find a specific colored item.
The remaining clothing items should be what goes into drawers. Start with tank tops, t-shirts, and long-sleeved tops. Sweaters should be organized next. Then work-out clothing, followed by jammies. Socks, underwear, and undergarments can be organized last.
There are two ways to store items in drawers. One is to fold each item on top of each other, in a color-coded manner by category. For example, tank tops go on the top, from white to red, all the way down to black. Then repeat for t-shirts, and long-sleeved shirts.
Another way is by stacking all the items up, so you can see everything that is in the drawer. This is called the “KonMarie” way to organize. (The book The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up shares how to specifically fold and organize as the author suggests based on the Japanese art of decluttering.)
By following these six easy steps, you can get your clothing organized, and keep it organized! Start by collecting every single piece of clothing you have. Don’t leave anything out. Then, create piles for sorting clothing: keep, donate, and sell. Try to find places to donate and sell before you start sorting. Then sort your clothing into the piles. Try on clothing if you are not sure how you feel about them. Remove the memories the article of clothing gives you, and decide to keep or donate/sell the garment itself. Remove unwanted items before you start to organize. Finally, organize and put away all your clothing.
Still feeling overwhelmed? You can always schedule an e-consultation with me to help get your clothing organized! I’d love to chat and help walk you through these steps. And, you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.