It’s spring ~ time for cleaning out the flower beds for planting. Time for cleaning out the gutters. Time for cleaning the windows ~ inside and out. Time for taking up winter rugs and bedspreads and pillows and sprucing up with spring colors and lighter weight fabrics. And, for me, it was time to finally clean out my closet and de~clutter and make hard decisions about what could stay and what would absolutely, positively have to go. Are you putting off decluttering? Let me show you how to declutter your closet and that you can do it, too.
A few months ago, when I read the Madame Chic trilogy by Jennifer Scott, I knew this day would come. I tackled a couple of drawers and the counters in our butler’s pantry and kitchen island . These are places where things get dropped off, never to be picked up again or my “office” area seems to grow piles of paper and magazines. I felt so good about the neat spaces and the improved organization.
My closet was another matter. ( O.K., it’s also Sweet Shark’s closet, but I’m talking about my side only.) Since it’s time to switch out the winter clothes for the spring/summer clothes, now is the perfect time to do the big clothes purge ~ and since it was raining all day Sunday, I had no excuse. Madame Chic was whispering in my ear: “do it, do it”. So I did.
According to Madame Chic, you really only need ten ~ 10 ~ items in your seasonal wardrobe. Thankfully, that does not include coats, jackets or athletic wear (not that Madame Chic has athletic wear ~ would she tsk~tsk that I probably have 10 tennis skirts and tops in my drawer?). Now, I am not naive enough to think I could pare down my closet to 10 items of pants, skirts, and tops. Hey, world, this is Dallas, and we love our clothes. In spite of what people in other parts of the country may think, we actually have 6 seasons in Texas: damn cold, chilly, cool, warm, hot and hotter. We have to have clothes to fit the seasons.
I also knew that I had clothes I had not worn in years, clothes that didn’t fit anymore (but we won’t talk about that), clothes I had forgotten I had, clothes I wore, but really never liked, clothes that I wore just because, but never liked how they fit, clothes that had a little stain here, and little rip there ~ you get the picture.
How to Declutter Your Closet ~ Madame Chic Strikes Again
Our closet isn’t large in square footage, but it has 2 levels, which means all our clothes are in 1 closet, but twice a year we have to get a ladder, yes, I said ladder, to switch out our seasonal clothes. (Wait, I lied: Sweet Shark keeps all his golf clothes upstairs in one of the guest room closets ~ that lucky guy.)
I decided to clean out my winter clothes first. They were on the bottom 2 racks, jackets and sweaters on the middle rack and pants and skirts on the bottom rack.
Gather as many large bags as you have for your discards
Pull every piece of clothing off the rack
Ask yourself: do I love it, does it fit right, is it reasonably in season? If the answers are yes, you can keep it. Also ask: does it have strains or rips? Have I worn it in the past (fill in the blank) 3 or 5 years? Is it woefully out of style? Depending on the answer, it goes in the give away pile.
If you are not sure about an item, try it on.
Be honest with yourself. I got rid of more jeans than anything else ~ I don’t even wear jeans very often. I had to face the fact that I will never be a size 4 ever again. Size 6 is questionable. Size 8 is a sure thing.
My chef’s jackets were stuffed in with the winter clothes. 6 jackets from over 6 years ago. Haven’t worn since the week before graduation. I’m going to call the school and see if any students can use them.
Shoes that were out of style and I haven’t worn in years. Pointy boots
More pointy shoes and squared~toes boots and granny~looking shoes. What was I thinking? At least your shoe size doesn’t change. Still a 6 there!
And purses. I’m not much of a purse person, so I don’t know why I had these.
After I finished with the winter clothes, I could tell that I had really culled out a bunch of stuff. I was getting the hang of this. Then I switched what was left with the spring/summer clothes and asked myself the same questions about each item. My piles got bigger and bigger. I ended with these blouses, spring sweaters, and tank tops. Around here, we have to have lots of white ~ blouses, t-shirts, tank tops, jeans, and slacks.
This is all I had left for skirts and slacks after the great purge. I got rid of more skirts than anything else.
At the end of the day, I filled 14 bags with stuff to go to Goodwill. The last 2 weeks of April, The Container Store is having Goodwill pick-ups at their stores. There is still time, ladies.
Hangers, anyone? These are all the hangers I had after taking the clothes off them. I’ll be selling hangers soon.
I gained several shoe boxes and now all my spring and summer shoes are in shoe boxes and organized nice and neat.
Gosh, do I feel good!
Was it hard to let go of some items? Yes, it was: I had 2 Ralph Lauren sundresses I loved, but they really never looked good on me.
Warning: dresses will always look better on the mannequin than on you.
I had a few beautiful suits from my suit~wearing days, but that’s no more. I think in a few days, I won’t remember what I discarded.
Did I get down to 10 items? No, not close. But I’m really going to try to do with what I have for awhile. I’m really going to try.
By the way, Sweet Shark contributed one long-sleeve shirt to the discard pile. He says he’ll think about cleaning out his side of the closet. Bets, anyone?