Cleaning out and re-styling my closet is going to be a big focus for me in 2017. I get that might sound strange to some people to take so much time but here's the deal - I currently live in a small condo, I have a ton of clothes and I hate doing laundry; so what does this mean? It means my clothes have literally taken over the entire house! The bedroom closet is packed - there a large pile next to it of things to donate that never got taken in or things that got rejected while getting dressed and tossed on top , in the bathroom there's a big laundry pile on the floor and in the living room the loveseat is covered in clean laundry - so yeah, it's everywhere. So the first step is to simply get it all cleaned and hung up or donated so it can properly be sorted through. In the past I had too many items for them to all fit in the closet at once but I've already gone through one round of purge in October so I have the space and hangers now for it to be possible. The October purge was actually a very sobering reality - many items with tags still on went into the giant suitcase shipping box I used and I estimated when the box was full it held clothing that I had spend around $2,000 on, yikes!
As I'm going through this massive sort I'm trying to purge as much as possible but I'm still trying to be cautious. I don't want to be that girl that gets overzealous in my purge and then realized oh no, I literally have nothing to wear. As I'm doing laundry I'm purging items I don't even want to hang in the closet and I'm trying to evaluate everything that does get hung up. My evaluation process is simple - would I consider wearing this item this week? If it's a seasonal item not appropriate for the weather it get a pass to be evaluated in the next few months and obviously if it's not ocassionally appropriate it gets a pass as well - no, I'm not going to wear the sequin dress from New Year's Eve to work this week. Otherwise, unless there's a really good reason the garmet isn't wearable right now it gets purged - if I just don't feel like wearing it this week chances are I won't feel like it next week, or the week after and so on.
Since my last blog post of this project got a lot of positive feedback I decided to take part of the decision project public and for each outfit I have deemed wearable I'm putting to vote - should I keep it, re-style it or purge? Shaun was convinced that people were going to be too nice and not tell me to purge anything but people's commentary has actually been really helpful. It has been great to get a variety of input from people with different styles and lifestyles. I'm not listing brands, cost or purchase history because I don't want anyone thinking well she just bought this so even though it's not the best she should keep it or well that's expensive so she should keep it. I do hope though everyone will judge each outfit or piece independently - I'll do another round of purging after everything is evaluated; right now I own four tulle skirts and yes, I get that I should not keep all four.
To spend up the process I'm probably going to do some collage posts on the weekends - for example trying on four cocktail dresses and posting at once to get an opinion on which one, if any, I should keep. While purging will continue to be an ongoing process as will looking for the key pieces I determined I'm lacking there's a general goal schedule I have for this project:
January - all clothes cleaned and hung in closet, no more piles!
February - hang and steam clothes that have consignment potential, donate those not accepted
March - determine closet count that is realistic for me and purge duplicate items
April - store winter items that made the cut and create outfits from all-season and spring garmets
From May moving forward my goal would be to evaluate my closet four times of year with the season changes:
What from this past season should go?
What do I feel was lacking this past season?
What investment piece am I looking for next season?
What trend pieces do I want to add for this season?
Ongoing the trend pieces makes me the most nervous. Memphis falls a little behind in fashion so it's always risky latching onto a trend early on - for example based on the red carpet at The Golden Globes yellow is going to be in this year - but it could take months for Yellow to become cool in Memphis so if I said oh, I'm going to buy a yellow dress as my spring trend piece I could just wind up looking like big bird instead of a stylish Memphian.
Already my attitude towards my closet had changed and I've only purchased one item this year - and yes I know it's only the 9th but usually I'd be all over these after Christmas sales. Process may be slow but it's still progress.