March 30, 2015

Spring Cleaning: New Year, New Closet

I know I keep saying this over and over, but my life has changed quite a bit in the last couple years. I have moved 4 times in the last 3 years and most of these moves were done in very little time with not much in the way of planning or organization. As a result, it has literally been years since I've sifted through my belongings and, well, the crap is now piled high and ready to explode from my closet at any moment. Every morning is a near death experience as I try and piece together an outfit that looks simultaneously respectable and put together without being buried under a pile of precariously perched sweaters, pants, and Lord knows what else. As of late, I feel like I've been failing at this more than I've been succeeding.

So, as I sit here, hoping that the weather is finally going to warm up (because honestly, the fact that it's almost April and only 36 degrees out has me nearly in tears), I've decided to make some serious changes to my wardrobe. I'm using a recent post by Mackenzie at Design Darling and the general advice of the Closet Queen Ashley (she's written pretty extensively about wardrobe maintenance, but here's her guide to keeping a well groomed closet) to guide my journey.

Here are my rules.
Remember, we must be ruthless!

If I haven't worn it in a year, it goes.
Because let's be honest, if it has been an ENTIRE year since that sweater saw the light of day, the odds that I'll be wearing it come next season are pretty low.

If it's unlikely to fit me in the next month, it goes. 
How long have I been telling myself that I'll get my pre-relationship, pre-full time job body back? Three years, that's how long. It's just not going to happen. I use to be able to spend 3 hours a day working out. Ain't no one got time for that! I also did not live with a 6'4" man who continuously peer pressures me into eating nachos. Do I want to lose 10 pounds? Yes. Am I going to lose 20? No. I'm working on shedding my winter fluff, but if something isn't close to fitting me now, it's time for it to go.

If the fit is not flattering, it goes.
I admit to being guilty of buying stuff on sale simply because it's on sale. What is it that makes it hard to pass up something with a sale price, even when we don't really want or need it? I DON'T KNOW. But I'm no longer giving in. Yesterday I returned a Lilly Pulitzer shift that I got for $50 (!!!) because the cut was not flattering on me. It broke my heart a little bit, but honestly, I'd rather have a broken heart than not look great in my vacation photos.

If I don't love it, it goes. 
I just don't have room for items I don't love. Seriously, why keep something in your life if it's just "okay" and if the only time you're going to wear it is on laundry day?

If it's worn out or faded, it goes.
Because that's just plain sad. If I loved an item so much that I've worn it to threads, it deserves to be retired and replaced.
Do I actually have a place to wear it? If not, it goes.
This is another thing that I'm continuously guilty of. I love party dresses and high heels. Do I have a place to wear party dresses and high heels to on a regular basis to? No. I work on a college campus and have to walk about half a mile to my office. When I'm not at my office, I'm working from home or I'm at the gym. So, it's time to send those once worn dresses on to better lives.

I am allowing myself 1 box of storage items that need to be altered or may fit in the next month or two (come on, #weddingdiet!).

How is it going so far? When I said I had a lot of stuff, what I meant is that I had a mountain of clothing. I've packed up 3 garbage bags of clothing to be donated. I've listed a handful of items on Ebay, whose sales are going towards procuring classic wardrobe additions that will fit my current body shape and that I can take on our honeymoon European Vacation (can't stop thinking of National Lampoon's European Vacation...Look kids, it's Big Ben!). The going has been slow but gratifying.

Do you have any wardrobe taming advice?

(pictures via one, two, three, four)


  1. I love these rules and definitely think we all need to abide by them. I typically clean my closet out twice a year (once in fall and once in spring) and have gotten better about donating items that just don't work for me. I used to feel so guilty tossing things but I can't make things work that don't! Good luck with your purge.

  2. I am soooo bad at cleaning out my closet - I'm such a hoarder when it comes to shoes/clothes. I'm always like "but maybe this will come back into style/will fit me again" I should print this out and bring it into my closet for a Spring Cleaning session!
    xoxo Danielle
    For the Love of Leopard

  3. These are such good tips! Your blog is beautiful!

    Alex | Mrs. Mason Dixon

    1. Thank you, Alex, that is so sweet of you to say!

  4. nice tips
    new post :

  5. Love the tips! Thanks for sharing! :)

  6. I so agree with you, because if you don't do this it becomes unbearable. I just cleaned my closet and it always makes me feel so much better. I throw out, donate and keep. Over the past couple of years, I've really tailored down my wardrobe. I know what works. Great post.

  7. Great Spring Cleaning tips! It's always hard for me to part ways with my clothes, but sometimes we need that extra push.

    Love your blog - just followed you on GFC and Bloglovin!


  8. These are really great (but ruthless!) tips that def. would help clean out a closet and pair things down to the essential loves. Also love the photos of these beautifully super organized closets in this post!

    Rae | love from berlin

  9. I have the same rules as far as if I haven't worn it in a year it goes, and about the fit not being flattering! I do this every season and donate the clothes.

    Lauren Elizabeth
    Petite in Pearls

  10. Great tips! Cleaning out my closet always helps me feel so creative when getting dressed too because I am reminded of things I forgot about!

  11. great :) love your blog :) have a nice day :)

  12. Nice blog you have ;)

    Bisous bisous

  13. Great tips, I really need to start my spring cleaning, need to read your post once again before doing it)


  14. I always try to keep my closet as clean as possible, but it always seems to be stuffed to the brim!
    Little Miss Haute Couture

  15. I just discovered your blog and have really been enjoying it so far. Thanks for sharing this post. I love the tips that you gave for cleaning through your closet. About once a year I go through my clothes. I like the tips that you gave. Thanks :)

    Diary of Elegance

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