In Lifestyle, Minimalism, Organization, Style, Style, Wardrobe Help, Women

10 ways to keep your closet and wardrobe organized

With a little smart pruning of your wardrobe to weed out the unworn/barely worn items, you’ll never scream: I HAVE NOTHING DECENT TO WEAR! on Mondays as you are digging frantically through your wardrobe to find something decent.

Ask yourself this checklist of 10 questions:

  1. Do I want to keep it?
  2. Do I wear it regularly?
  3. Why am I holding on to it?
  4. Does it fit perfectly?
  5. Can I tailor it instead, and what’s the cost versus a new item?
  6. Is it worth anything?
  7. What kind of shape is it in?
  8. Can I afford to replace it, and do I need to?
  9. Do I want to replace it with an updated version?
  10. Are there other substitutes in my wardrobe that I could reach for?

Do I want to keep it?

You will know if you want to keep something or not. If you pull it out and you think: “meh” instead of “yes!”, then it should be put into the Maybe-It-Should-Go pile.

Do I wear it regularly?

If you have a lot of choices like me (especially in dresses), regularly means at least once every 2-3 weeks, not daily.

If you DO reach for it (or don’t) depending on what the other alternatives are, you will know immediately if you wear it or not.

I will admit that lately, I’ve noticed I’m a fabric snob.

I now avoid Polyester, I tend to go for Rayon, Cotton, or Silk (even the blends), and that has started to make a huge impact on my wardrobe in terms of not buying items  that will just sit in my wardrobe, rarely worn because of its fabric.

Why I am holding on to it?

If it’s for sentimental reasons, or because someone gave it to you, let it go.

Does it fit perfectly?

This is where I struggle. I waffle between 2-4-6 sizes, and when something becomes WAY too loose, I have to consider getting rid of it.

If something becomes way too tight, then I have to think if this is just a temporary situation or if I’ll stay this size.


Either way, I have to think about what can fit all those sizes.

Can I tailor it instead, and what’s the cost versus a new item?

If it’s from H&M and you rarely wear it, don’t bother spending money on tailoring it.

If it’s a really expensive, amazing suit (like my Jacob 3-piece suit), then I am more inclined to keep it and tailor it because I really love the fabric.

Is it worth anything?

Good mid-range brands & designer labels can be consigned, and you can make SOME money back out of it.

Labels from Target, Wal-Mart, H&M or Forever 21 are less likely to sell but higher end items from places like Holt Renfrew (a high-end retailer in Canada a lot like Saks Fifth Avenue or Bergdorf Goodman), have a better chance of going.

Photograph-Toronto-Canada-Holt-Renfrew-Shopping-Clothes-Wardrobe-Display

What kind of shape is it in?

I have a shirt that I wore to DEATH, and it started to pill and look really unattractive. I had to get rid of it, and buy a new one.

Can I afford to replace it, and do I need to?

If it’s a party dress, and you don’t really need it urgently, then don’t spend the money replacing it.

Do I want to replace it with an updated version?

Maybe it’s perfectly fine, but it just isn’t in the right fabric or colours for you any more.

I used to own items that were too green-yellow for me, rather than buttercup yellow and it just wasn’t flattering on me any longer.

Are there any other substitutes in my wardrobe that I could reach for?

If you don’t wear it because you always reach for another one instead, then let it go.

If it’s just a plain white T-shirt but you reach for it only because you have nothing left to sleep in, let it go.

SUMMARY

You should now only have good items that you want to wear and keep in your wardrobe.

You will also have made a list as you were going through to figure out the “Essential Basics” you’re missing. Maybe it’s a tweed jacket that you just wear over a white T-shirt with jeans, or a leather jacket.

Either way, you should know what you need to pull your wardrobe together, because you keep thinking: I need black pants to wear with this!

 


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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16 Comments

  1. Kierra

    This is a great idea. What I do is for every new garment of clothing I get I get rid of an old piece of clothing. That way im not hording stuff I dont even wear. Works great!
    XO
    http://aprettythought.org/

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      That’s a good idea. One-in, one-out rule.

      Reply
  2. T
    Tunisia

    Perfect list of questions. Some of these hadn’t even come to thought when I was going through my wardrobe a few months ago. Guess it’s time to do another round of closet clean-out. Thanks for the tips.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      You’re welcome!

      Reply
  3. Tarah

    Good ideas! Def taking note. I’m in need for some good closet cleaning!!!
    http://adornedinarmor.com

    Reply
  4. Tania

    Perfect post! For me, I’d also add do I have to many pieces just like this. I tend to buy the same things over and over. Sales and goo”d deals seem to prompt this type of “multiples” accumulation. Another exercise is does this piece fit who I really am or does it reflect the aspirational me”.

    You also have to go through this process periodically. When I divorced and moved from Honolulu (urban) to Maui (rural/granola crunchy) and gained weight, I literally ended up with separate wardrobes (the former me and the current me). Sometimes it is very difficult to part with items you love that no longer fit your lifestyle.

    The size thing is probably my biggest struggle and reason I’ve spent too much money my entire adult life on apparel. I’ve accumulated and purged clothes from size zero to ten way more times than I’d like to admit. If all that effort shopping was instead spent on food prep, veggie growing and exercise, I could probably have been a 2/4 my whole life.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Tania: Ah, the “aspirational me”, that’s a good topic for future posts.

      I have gone from perhaps size 00 (?) I think I’m really a 2… up to size 8, and back down again, but now I think I’ve settled into 2 (this is coming from someone who said she had settled into a size 4, previously..)

      Reply
  5. SarahN

    I was bemoaning the lack of clothes last night. I think my problem is in winter I dress to a formula: singlet, long sleeved t. Then a jacket or cardigan (or both!) but most items are block colours so it’s not that inspiring. I’m just not sure what I’d buy to jazz up my wardrobe cause there’s no point in something I’ll be cold in or its sleeves too short that something woolen over will itch. Suggestiond?

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @SarahN: In the winter I have a capsule wardrobe too, read: Seasonal Minimalist Wardrobe.

      To jazz up items, I always turn to accessories or a really great coat and boots (it’s all people see when you’re outside anyway) for the winter/autumn. A great necklace could do wonders (I hate earrings in winter, gets caught in my hat).

      Reply
  6. Tammy R

    These questions get right to the point. Now I want to head upstairs and throw out that turquoise t-shirt that is too big. I have similar one that fits nicely. Really, it’s time for that baby to GO! Someone else will look very nice in it.

    I have to admit that I do have very few clothes though. I’m lucky that I can wear what I want to work, and it’s very warm or hot here much of the year. Winter is jeans with a top season here in Houston.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Tammy R: In Canada, winter means bundling up or else you are stuck, freezing…

      Reply
  7. E
    ElleX

    This post came at the right time. I just went through one of my closets yesterday. Anything I couldn’t wear AND didn’t love moved out of the closet. Now, lets just see if they stay out of the closet and whether they make their way to Craigslist or Goodwill.

    Thanks for this post!!!

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @ElleX: You are welcome! Hope I made space.

      Reply
  8. femmefrugality

    When the seasons changed I upended my closet and got rid of soooo much stuff. I found that what had me holding onto a lot of stuff was that last one; the clothes I never wore were in amazingly good shape, but I kept holding onto them for some reason. I always grab my favorites and I started realizing that I just needed to recognize that I didn’t need to keep all the extra crap.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @femmefrugality: When you reach for only your favourites and the rest linger, it’s time to sell or donate them. I play by that rule now.

      Reply

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