Monday, April 16, 2012

Wardrobe Detox

Are you ready to clean out your closet?  And anywhere else that you happen to be hiding clothes, shoes, and accessories?  Well.  Put on your best fitting bra and undies.  It's time to play dress-up.  {the guys can feel free to skip the bra.}  I'll try to keep this one short and sweet. {yeah, right!}
from here.
The first rule when it comes to cleaning out your closets is, you must be in the mood to get rid of stuff.  If you are feeling all sappy and clingy you will not succeed in cleaning out anything.  But if you're ready to cleanse yourself of unwanted clothing and accessories, then, by all means, please proceed.

I say to put on your best bra and undies for a reason.  I know it isn't the most fun in the world, trying on clothes that you already own, but it is a necessary evil.  If you haven't worn it in the last month, you have to try it on.  No ifs ands or buts about it.  And be really honest with yourself.  Just because you love a certain item, doesn't mean that you will wear it.  Keep these things in mind:

*Be brutally honest.  If anything is ill fitting or unflattering, toss it. That sweater with the weird twisty sleeve?  You know what I mean.
*No false hope, people.  A pair of jeans that you have been hoping to fit back into for five years?  Get rid of them.  You are dressing the body you have right now!  
*The old "one year" rule applies to the majority of your wardrobe.  If you haven't worn it in the past year, you aren't going to.
*There are, of course, a few exceptions.  A classy evening dress or tux, for instance.  But, it's even more important that you try those items on, being that you don't wear them on a regular basis.
*Totally fell for last season's fad and hate it now?  Don't feel bad about it.  Just move it out and move on with your life. 

from here.
Don't stop at the clothes hanging in your closet.  I'm guessing you have more of them in your dresser drawers and maybe even in storage boxes.  A true wardrobe detox includes flushing all systems, including lingerie, accessories, outerwear, and shoes.  Once again, I'm telling you.....try everything on!  Every pair of knickers.  Every slip.  Every belt.  Every tie.  Every scarf.  Every piece of jewelry.  Every pair of socks.  And every. single. pair. of. shoes.  And if you try it all on at once, please send me a picture.

Now that you know what you are keeping and what you are flushing from your wardrobe, it's time to do a little maintenance.  It's always nice to start fresh, and what better time than now to catch up on all the little chores that you tend to put off til the last minute?
*Anything that you would want dry-cleaned before wearing, do it now.
*Alterations that you keep forgetting about; go ahead and get it done.  Hem those pants.  Fix the unraveling hem on that dress. 
*Clean your jewelry.  Chances are, some of it could really use a good polishing.
*Shoes, too.  Spiffy those babies up now and you won't have to worry about it when you want to wear them. 

This is also the perfect time to replace the things that need replacing. { Like you needed an excuse to shop, right? } Seriously, though.  Take out your notepad and write down the things that you need to look for.  If you are throwing out eight pairs of worn out socks, you probably need to buy a few more to take their place.  Same with undies. 
There should also be nothing in your wardrobe at this point that doesn't have something to go with it.  What good is that pretty blouse if you don't have anything that you would pair it with?  These are things that you need to add to that list.  Give yourself a time limit to make the replacements and find the other items that you need.  Otherwise, you are just going to be dealing with the same thing next year when you do this again.  ;) 

from here.
Now it's time to put it all back together. 
Don't just go at it haphazardly.  Really put some thought into how you want your wardrobe to look.  Do you need to buy new hangers?  Paper liners for your dresser drawers?  Organizational items like baskets, dividers and hooks?  There is a plethora of amazing inspiration out there!  And, in most cases, you don't have to spend a fortune to make your closet look beautiful.  Get innovative.  I use tiny little metal hooks that you can find in the home repair section of just about any grocery store,  to hang jewelry on.  And I have an old bookcase that has been cut in half horizontally, to get more vertical space for my shoes.  {if anyone is interested, I'll share pics.  just ask.}  But the most important thing about how you store your clothing and accessories is that it serves your needs properly. 

Sit for just a minute and think about how you put together an outfit.  Seriously.  Do you choose a certain item first and then build off of that?  Do you go straight for whatever color is tickling your fancy that day?  Do you build your look around accessories or shoes?  Do you work around certain styles? 

How you build your outfits should dictate how you house your wardrobe.  For instance: I tend to choose the pants I want to wear before I choose anything else.  Therefore, my jeans and slacks are front and center in my closet.  Shirts and jackets go to the left of my pants.  Dresses go to the right.  Work clothes are folded on the shelf.  (remember.  I don't wear suits to work.  I wear worn out jeans and tees.)  Earrings are the most worn jewelry items in my collection.  So the hook earrings are displayed on a votive cup on my dresser, studs in a shallow dish on my bathroom counter.  Get where I'm going with this?  If you are a color fanatic, organize your clothing by color family.  If you are different character every day, organize by style.  Working girl, sporty spice, trippie hippie, glamazon.  Get it?  Got it.  Good.

Now.  Last but not least.  Let me say this.
I know that many of us have emotional connections to our clothes.  There are memories tied up in those threads.  And lots of us have clothing that has been passed down from family members that we treasure deeply.  Don't feel like you have to part with every piece of clothing that you don't wear.  But give your treasured items their own special treatment.   If you don't store them away in a safe place, consider displaying them in your home.  My mom and her siblings had a shadow box made for my grandmother that has their baby clothes displayed along with some other trinkets.  It is absolutely beautiful.  The same grandmother has several quilts that are cut from family member's clothes.  {and she can tell you exactly what each piece came from.} Who says that your favorite clothing or jewelry can't serve as art? 

I know I get quite lengthy on these cleaning posts.  And if you actually make it to the end of one, I will be thrilled.  But I hope that maybe you found something useful in all of my rambling.  And if you have any tips of your own, please share them in the comments.  I always like to hear how others clean and organize their homes.  As always, thanks so much for stopping by.  And thanks even more if you take the time to comment. 
Hugs and Sunshine and clean closets for everyone!



Dawn said...

I made it to the end!!.;D
great ideas!!!!!
I just finished my closet last week...and you should see the Before and After shots.
Although....after reading this....i feel i may have skipped a few very important steps.

Daniella said...

I love doing this! I'll be doing it again soon since i'll be moving. It's a great way to get rid of all the stuff you don't wear that's taking up space. Great tips!