Cleaning out clothes - stay or throw-away?

funky83September 12, 2006

I want to clean out my clothes closet and am having the hardest time with parting with clothes. Some of my dresses are years old but I've held onto them because they are comfortable and I 'might' wear them one day. But I'm tired of feeling 'cluttered' and want to purge my closet. I have several big shirts that I wear 'over' sleeveless shirts but recently I've bought smaller, fitted shirts and have gotten great comments. I think I've been wearing clothes too big or baggy and now that I'm wearing smaller, more fitted stuff it makes me look smaller and people have noticed. So now I'm on a mission to de-frump my wardrobe and I want to get rid of all these ugly, outdated, FRUMPY clothes. But I hold onto them in case I feel like not wearing my new, nicer clothes. Why do I do this? I've had people tell me I dress too old for my age - I'm 41. I've always felt 'older'. FYI - I'm a size 10/12 - and have just gotten comfortable with wearing sleeveless shirts and fitted jeans, because I've always felt I'm too big to wear those things. Anyway, when I shop now I try to think outside the box and buy stuff that I don't NORMALLY buy and its working in my favor. So, I need advice - how long is too long to hold onto clothes that you MIGHT wear again, even if you haven't worn it in a year or so and its not really your style anymore or slightly dated?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lazy_gardens

"Not your style" ... get rid of it!

Looks frumpy ... get RID of it!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 8:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
quiltglo

There really isn't a time limit which works well. I have black slacks I may not wear for a couple of years, but I don't want to go out and buy a pair when I need them. Black slacks are black slacks.

You are really at a different point right now. You are purging and setting your own personal style. So as lazygardens said, get the stuff gone. Invite a friend to come over and tell you if items are flattering. My DH would't be trustworthy to do this. Try everything on and if it doesn't get a thumbs up, just let it go. Your goal should be to have everything in your closet be something you will actually reach in, grab and wear.

I think a good goal is to have two weeks worth of flattering, comfortable clothing which is appropriate to the season. I live in Alaska and can wear the same clothing summer and winter. I just add a cardigan in the winter to give me another layer. Maybe you can do something similar. It all depends on your personal needs. Do you have to dress up for work? Then you might need a couple of weeks of work clothing and another set of casual clothing.

Once you get your closet purged, it may seem like you don't have any clothing! That's OK for a bit. You wouldn't have worn many of those things anyway, they just gave you a sense of having a wardrobe. When trying on all of the clothing, have your friend make some notes on what you are keeping. Slimmer lines, certain colors. Note what you have. Pants, how many what colors. Same with shirts, etc. Now, that you have a good list, keep it in your purse and when you go shopping you'll be reminded what characteristics you are looking for and what you already have so that you can get coordinating items.

Now that my clothing is consistantly purged and I actually wear all of my clothing, I don't have to worry about stuff stuck at the back of the closet. I actually wear my clothes out and deserve to get new ones a couple of times a year.

Gloria

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 9:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marie26

Gloria wrote: They just gave you a sense of having a wardrobe.

That is so profound. I have a whole closet of extra clothes that I never wear, obviously not needing anything but my "special occasion" outfits. I now know why I couldn't throw them out. Well, your statement will definitely help me to finally tackle that closet.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 10:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
talley_sue_nyc

I like Gloria's advice, esp. the bit about getting a friend to help you.

That's what I did the last time I did a big clean-out; and the time after that, when it was a smaller clean-out, I "channeled" her, imagining what she would say.

Some of that stuff that's years old is also out of date, in terms of style.

I've been in "spare" mode, in terms of clothes--no skirts, only khaki's and turtlenecks or plain T-shirts. But summer came so I wore the skirts, weskits, etc., that I have.

It gave me a taste for nicer clothes, and it also made it clear to me that the older, straight, gathered skirts make me feel frumpy and out of date; the cloth is heavy against my legs when I talk! I want shorter (i.e., knee length or an inch below, not midcalf) A-line skirts w/ smooth waists; they make me feel younger, and happier, and up to date.

If you think you still need to prove it to yourself, put all that stuff you're dithering about in a box and shove it onto the back porch or wherever; in 4 weeks, take it to the Goodwill.

Also, I found that I have a very small need for "knock-around" clothes. Because I work late a lot, and bcs I don't particularly dress up, I find that I seldom change when I get home from work (esp. since the littles are big enough not to drool on me or grab my shirt w/ sticky hands). So I only need a very few "comfortable" outfits, and only 2 sets of true grubbies.

I treat that category the same way I treat stuff like twist ties and soy sauce packets: 5 is the limit! (well, 2 for grubbies). More is overkill.

You could also try the technique I gave my DD. (imposed upon her, really). She wouldn't agree to give away clothes she wouldn't wear. She liked how they LOOKED, but they were itchy, or scratchy, or bunched funny. So I told her, for a month I would pick her clothes every day. If she refused to wear the outfit I picked, out it went. She got to object ONLY on the grounds of it not being warm/cool enough, or not suited to her day's activities (no skirts on gym day, e.g.)

You could put all those things ont he end of your closet and put the newer clothes next to them and say each morning: Which would I rather wear? Every time you decide against one of the old, frumpy clothes, out it goes.

Good luck--maybe I should use you as my inspiration and get some more skirts and hipper pants (though I hate how most hip pants fit; maybe just some new, nice looking ones).

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 11:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jenathegreat

I don't think my friends would want to hang out for a day and watch me try on clothes ;) but I love the idea.

What I do is pretend this is the last thing in my closet (everything else is in the laundry)... Would I be happy wearing it to work? to the store? around the house? would it fit? Would it make me look good? Would I be unhappy that I had to wear it?

If I wouldn't be happy to wear it to work, if I'd be slightly embarrassed to run into a friend at the grocery store while wearing it, if it made me feel *frumpy* - it's gone!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 3:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
postum

Funky -
I just had the same experience! DH took a bunch of photos on our vacation and I realized how AWFUL I looked in all my baggy clothes, and how much better in the more fitted ones. I have a really small closet and have been regularly weeding, but now I'm going through it again and trying on everything and if it isn't flattering, it goes. (except of course for a few grubbies for painting and cleaning.)

Do you have a digital camera? If you can set it up so you can take pictures of yourself (or get someone to take pics) it will tell you a lot more than the mirror.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 6:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bluesbarby

I got this idea from one of the chat rooms but it works for me. Once a year I go thru my hanging clothes. What I keep gets hung with the open end of the hanger facing towards me. As I wear the item I hang it up with the hanger in the normal position. Then next time I go thru my clothes I get rid of everything that has a hanger facing towards me, reverse the rest of the hangers until the next year.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 2:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Julie_MI_Z5

Here's an idea that convinced me to get rid of everything that wasn't "perfect for me".

Imagine you're going out of town for a week. You have to call your best friend and say, "Please go over to my house and pack my suitcase."

Would you be happy with whatever outfits your friend picked out?

I was horrified at the possibilities! LOL

P.S. I am much happier without much excess in my closet, and knowing that everything I have (even though it is less) is something I can and do enjoy wearing.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 7:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
harriethomeowner

I really, really need to do this, too. I have too many grubbies and not enough nice clothes, but I don't want to get new things until I get rid of some of these old ones. You all have inspired me to get on this this weekend!! I'll have to channel an imaginary friend to help me ...

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 9:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
quiltglo

I finally pitched all of the grubbies about three years ago. I guess I always had these big plans that I was going to get a bunch of grubby projects done, but in reality I wear my usual clothing out in the garden and just slip on my clogs and go. I did do some painting this summer and found it irritating to wear the same T-shirt and jeans for a few days. I had to do some mental reminding that I only paint once in a blue moon and I'm not giving up a drawer for several shirts and jeans I can't wear for other purposes. I am also constantly creating new grubbies anyway. I looked down at my T-shirt this evening and it has a whole bunch of grease stains. Time to make it my new grubby and get rid of the old one.

Gloria

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 2:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
harriethomeowner

Well, I made a first pass at the hanging clothes. I pulled a whole bag of clothes that I just can't see myself wearing anymore -- either they are pilled and stretched out or are not flattering. It's hard, because everything I have fits pretty well and I COULD wear it.

I like the idea of getting rid of an old thing for each new thing you buy. Wish I had the courage to do this, but I always worry that the new thing isn't going to work out and I'll run out of clothes (if you could see my closet, you'd know that's not out of the question; a clothes horse I'm not).

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 1:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
liz_h

One idea helps me to get rid of clothes that I'm tempted to hold onto a bit longer. Instead of hanging unworn in my closet forever, I should give them away when someone might actually want to wear them!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 9:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
quiltglo

The other benefit that I have found by really having the clothing purged is that keeping up with the laundry is just plain easier. I never put it off anymore since I don't have these mountains of clothing. You would think having less clothing would mean more washing, but you end up doing small loads more frequently.

Gloria

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 1:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Julie_MI_Z5

Harriet,

Remember, just because you COULD wear it, doesn't mean you WILL.

If you were able to purge a whole bag's worh, YOU DID GOOD!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 5:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
harriethomeowner

Some of these things, I HAVE NOT been wearing, and when I put them on and look in the mirror, I feel depressed. So out they go! The more of these items I put in the give-away pile, the better I felt.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 12:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bonelady

Do you change closets/dresser with the season? I have found that is the best way to begin. I have about a million tops, 1/2 of which have stains or do not fit anymore. I tend to put them away with the season change and bring out the other seasons worth, which are in the same shape.

For the past couple of weeks I have been looking at 1 drawer or shelf at a time and throwing out those tops. I should be finished by next week and will do the same when I start bringing out fall and winter.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 12:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marge727

Gloria and Tallysue have such sensible creative advice, you can't go wrong if you take it. I think that the styles are beginning to change and shift from casual, comfortable to a more dressy mood, and skirts seem to be coming back, short short ones for teens and longer for the more mature of us. Personally I hate long skirts.
I was shopping for my trip to Peru and noticed the change.
I am back now and decided to update the wardrobe. I close my eyes and pick an outfit for work. If I wouldn't be caught dead in it--out it goes. Same for underwear. When I come home its easy to throw something out if I felt homely in it. Sometimes a color is stylish but it makes you look like Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies. I have three baskets, laundry, dry cleaning, and Salvation Army.
Also do the math. Count the tops or sweaters, or whatever, will you really be able to wear all of those in the season?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 2:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
talley_sue_nyc

(oh, I meant to say, one reason I didn't feel bad about asking my friend to help is that she was 1 or 2 sizes smaller than me, which was my OLD size, and she was a parochial schoolteacher, which means very little $, and she got her pick of any too-small clothes. She was really picky--set me a good example--and she STILL went home w 2 huge shopping bags of free clothes. I kept wanting to take them back, but they wouldn't have fit me. It turned out to be fun--and I also offered an entire day of my undivided help when she was packing, so she got a payoff)

I need to get rid of the weskits and a few other things--I liked them once, but lately they just make me feel dumpy.

I also need to face reality and toss the neat striped sweater that has faint gray blothes on the front that won't come out. And the turtlenecks that got somethign on them in the laundry. It seems like all the shirts I *liked* got trashed somehow this year, and I need to stop trying to deny it, thinking I could pre-treat them out or something.

and ooh, I just really registerd julie's advice, about the "someone else packing for you"! That's fun, and effective.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 9:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
harriethomeowner

Oh, man, it was chilly this morning for the first time, and I had to try on three different tops before I hit on something decent to wear. Looks like I need to do a second pass on those clothes and then go shopping.

Talley Sue, I'm with you on the things you like that somehow got stains on them. That happens to me all the time.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 11:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
quiltglo

So, I have to wonder why we still see clothing as long-term vs short-term consumables. When I was a kid, clothing was better constructed and was handed down among kids. That really isn't the case anymore, especially for women's clothing. We aren't in the habit of protecting our clothing. Some might change from professional clothing into easy stuff, but it's for comfort for the most part. I have tried to get myself in the habit of wearing a bib apron while cooking so that I don't get grease spots all over my shirts. Slow going on my part. It doesn't take long for the shirts I like the best to become stained and gubby looking.

This is so much more of a difficult issue for women. When the DH buys a suit, it is already pretty much custom made. He doesn't even leave the store unless every little detail is just like he wants. He has his dress shirts made. He wants one arm a tiny bit longer than the other, the neck just so and he sits and actually acts like he's at a desks bending and reaching before he will bring them home. We women mostly buy stuff off the rack and it's never tailored to our bodies. Of course, I haven't spent nearly the money on my clothing that we spend on those suits, but realistically if our clothing fit like that we wouldn't continually be buying stuff. I'll bet women who really have stuff made for them don't go through this.

Gloria

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 3:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
talley_sue_nyc

it takes a whiel to update our perceptions and habits, Gloria. Plus, SOME clothes are still long-term.

And, the shirts that got ruined aren't short-term--they were last year's!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 4:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marie26

I'm attacking this from a different angle. I know that most of the clothes in my closet should go. But I can't just dump them or give them away without having decent replacements. Yesterday, I purchased 5 new tops and am determined to find 5 more plus a few sweaters. These aren't work-type clothes unless work is very casual but they will take the place of what I have now. Also, I'm going on vacation soon so I have an excuse. I didn't pay a lot for these tops because they were on sale. But they also aren't the best quality.

Once I have the replacements, it will be time to get rid of all the other clothes I have which include 4 white blouses that I've hardly ever worn. I figure I can buy a new one should I need it.

The question I have is about sweaters. I have 4 that are still in somewhat decent shape (and do keep me warm) but I now only wear them in the house or to run around in. Also, I wouldn't wear them for going out to a restaurant for a casual dinner. I don't know if I should replace these, especially since I'm not working right now and can wear them in around the house.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 2:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
quiltglo

I think if you are wearing something and it has a purpose (rather than there is just nothing else which will fit), then it's a keeper. I have two sweatshirt type lightweight jackets which I wear in the house/yard. They have paint on them and are missing a few buttons. They are also the first thing I grab if it is a bit cool in the house, like today. I could replace them, but these are the perfect weight. Anything new would just look grubby again pretty fast.

I live where clothing is very relaxed. I always get dressed in clothing which is comfortable and I have no problem running out to eat or go to the store. I think it would drive me nuts to feel like I had to have several types of casual clothing. I am also willing to replace my t-shirts a couple of times a year. I wear the same brand of jeans day in and day out and just automatically order five pair every summer. When I had to wear slacks I did the same thing. Five pair, same style, dark color.

I've really just accepted that I have a uniform and a specific style. And it hasn't changed it 20 years. The fit of the jeans or slacks may change. The size of the t-shirts definately changes, but I've always been most comfortable is some type of dark pants/slacks and a bright or pastel solid top. The colors will changed depending upon what's currently available or in style. I've always matched my socks to the shirts and had earring which matched. My friends tease me about my socks. Who couldn't love lime green socks with big red ladybugs when you are wearing a lime green shirt? I also only wear wool clogs or leather mocs in the winter and bright white tennis shoes in the summer. I love these slip-on type tennis shoes.

After all these years, there are just things I know I shouldn't buy, no matter if they catch my eye. I'll just end up shoving them to the side. I end up not liking patterned tops, long sleeves, rayon, wool (although I wear wool socks all winter), anything which is a certain weight, turtlenecks, anything which is up around my neck, has parts which need ironing on a regular basis, sweaters made from anything but cotton. Just a waste of money for me. I'm make an exception for silk shirts. They do turn me into fashion mush.

I just don't think you can beat clothing which fits, is comfortable, and is appropriate to the activity. I have quit fighting myself.

Gloria

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 4:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carlisa

Just found this topic and I had to laugh. In the past two weeks I've taken 12 bags of clothes to Goodwill. Four bags came out of my own closet and I'm not finished yet (the rest were in the basement from prior purges).

I'm particularly proud to say I got rid of a maternity suit I wore to work when I was pregnant with my older daughter. She's....drum roll....21 now, so it was definitely time for that outfit to go!

I've lived in this house for 18 years. Before that I moved much more often, and didn't accumulate quite so much stuff. As someone said, the new mantra is simplify. If I don't love the item, if it doesn't look good on me, if it's dated, if I haven't worn it in a year, if the ex-bf gave it to me, or it doesn't have major sentimental value, it's already gone or is going to Goodwill! :)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 8:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
taximomed_yahoo_com

This topic is so completely pertinent to me now. I just e-mailed 8 of my friends for a clothing swap late next month. I know it is the only way I will deal with this properly.

I have been single for the last 4 years and have unfortunately really expanded my wardrobe, which was already over the top, to a place where I have taken over almost every closet in my house, and build two additional ones too boot, and have several big rubbermaid bins downstairs.

It is a major archeological dig to find what I want some days. I have a dear friend who committed to helping me sort through the items I have trouble parting with. I will do a pre-sort by myself. I do dress for work, and need casual for weekends, and occassionally have evening events, but I certainly don't need this much stuff.

I also have a tough time just giving it to goodwill, I like it when my kids hand-me downs go to neighbors and friends. For some reason it works for me when it finds a good home. I also just found out there is a gal in a town near where I work that is organizing clothing for women who have gone through gastric bypass surgery and can not afford to buy all new clothes every month when they drop another size or two.

I'll let you know how I do. I am nervous. There is some sort of comfort it gives me to know I have every wordrobe option in my possession (I'm 41, so have had a few years of "collecting") at the various sizes I have been (sometimes a 10, now a 16).

Thanks for posting on this subject. I am glad I am not the only one, even if I have a bit more of an issue than some.

I am also dating a wonderful man who is very interested in moving forward with me, who made the comment of "I don't know if I would fit in your house, is there any room for me?" Obviously I have some motivation here. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 10:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
postum

Hi Liz - I went to a clothing swap a few moths back. I brought several bags of clothes and left with a couple of shirts. I definitely feel I got the best of the bargain!

I don't feel bad about giving clothes to charity - I can deduct the retail amount from my taxes, and that adds up. And, they're going to a good cause. I suppose it's easier for me because I almost always get my clothes from thrift stores or garage sales in the first place - I'm just sending them back home :-)
Another reason not to pay retail!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2006 at 5:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
quiltglo

postum, when you say you can deduct the retail amount, you're talking about the retail amount at the thrift shop, correct? Just want to make sure everyone realizes they can only take the resale value of something, not for what the price is at a place like Sears.

Gloria

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 12:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marge727

We live in SoCal and some of the workers on our house (we are up to tile and paint at this point) have relatives in Mexico or new arrivals here. I give them wearable clothing and its the only way my husband will part with any of his stuff. If its not presentable enough to give to them I certainly have no business saving it for any purpose. Fortunately for them I am not the movie star anorexic type.
I used to put the clothing downstairs first in case I decided I needed it or I had accidentally put a lottery ticket in one of the pockets. I don't worry anymore and just give it directly while it is unwrinkled and wearable.
Once you get busy purging its habit forming; I cleaned out all the old telephone books at work and dusted everything.
I think I will go clean all the partially eaten ice cream containers out of the freezer, and get rid of the whip cream also. That stuff just takes space.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 12:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
quiltglo

Hahahaha, marge. No wonder DH and I've gotten so chubby during all of this decluttering!

Gloria

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 3:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bud_wi

I was able to purge a lot of stuff from my closets by going through every item and asking myself, "Would I wear this to a *job interview*?"

If the answer was, "No way!", out it went.

I felt that if I wouldn't be caught dead wearing the outfit for an interview, I was probably making a bad impression by wearing it to work.

It's easy to fall into a rut of wearing comfortable old stand-bys to work everyday, and one does not begin to notice that the cuffs are now frayed on a favorite shirt or things now fit too tight or no one else is still wearing pants with puffy pleated fronts.

I HATE consumerism, and the idea that one should throw out perfectly usable items just because the current styles have changed.

But, I work in the hotel/restaurant/hospitality industry and looking fashionable and "current" is a must for employment. It is sometimes (often times!) a deciding factor for a promotion. I've seen relativly incompetant people get promoted to maitre 'd or sommelier based more on their dapper appearance and snazzy attire than on their organizational skills and product knowledge.

Looking "current" can help keep an oldster from being pushed out and replaced by trendy looking newcomers on a job. A lot of high end restaurants and hotels want to maitain an *image*.

Of course I realize that this is probably not a factor if one works at a bank or a hospital where job skills are the sole deciding factor.

But if you work in sales, or or any type of creative field, a periodic purging of the clothes in your closet is a must.

I've also trained my self to not *put things back in my closet* if I try them on and they don't look right or fit right. If an item is too worn out looking or doesn't fit, it is not going to look or fit any better next week or next month. Out it goes.

It was hard to do at first but the way I looked at it was that it is probably not ever going to get worn again and will eventually be tossed out years from now anyway, so why have it hang around?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 5:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
liz_from_nh

Hi bud wi, what a concept, not putting it back in your closet if it doesn't look right. I tried on about 7 things last night to get to an outfit for work today. Several items just don't fit, period. And another few just don't look right to me. Of course I spent a good amount of money on them at one point, so I felt obligated to put them back in there, with the hope that someday they may fit or look right. Probably not going to happen. I am going to try that tip.

I have two huge rubber maid bins ready for the clothing swap. I just have to remember, I am only contributing and not receiving.

Thanks for this line of discussion. It is good to know I am not the only one who struggles with this seemingly ridiculous problem.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 9:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marie26

I made a decision last night. And by writing it here, I'm determined to do it. I will wear at home all of the comfy clothes that I have that have holes in them or spots that will never come out ONE more time and then throw it out or put it in the rag bag. By wearing them once more, it will cut down on my laundry. Besides, no one will really see me except DH but this will change soon enough when all these clothes are gone.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 11:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kec01

I'll start by saying I'm 51 and I've worked for the last 30 yrs in jobs where I had to always wear skirts initially, then pant suits, and now business casual every day. I also hate shopping for clothes. I've been pretty close to the same size all these year - fortunately.

When I've shopped, I always tried to buy so that I could have at least 2 types of places to wear an outfit - work and out to nice dinner or grocery shopping and to a friend's house. I've never bought the trendiest of trendy clothes but I think I'm always fairly current in styles (I wore flared leg slacks when I was 18 and I'm wearing them again now!).

All this said, I have 2 seasons of clothes due to our climate. I change out the contents of the closet in mid-April and mid-October. When it's season change time (like this weekend), I get out the black plastic bag. If I know I haven't worn something in 2 yrs, it goes in the bag. And the bag, right away, goes to the charity drop off place and I get a receipt for the contribution that we deduct on our taxes.

Styles definitely change but I don't think they change in a big way as quickly as every 2 yrs. That's why I chose that as my cutoff.

For a few years, my 2 sisters were the same size as me. So before the charity drop happened, we each had a chance to dig through the other's black bag stuff so it was a good way to add a couple of items to the wardrobe. Alas, that doesn't work any more.

In general, though, this plan works pretty well for me.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 8:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Julie_MI_Z5

Liz,

Start by getting rid of EVERYTHING that doesn't fit, without any exceptions that it might fit "some day". Make it your goal to know that you can pull out any item of clothing and not have to put it back because it's the wrong size. I am familiar with that "finding a good home" idea and I kept things way longer than I should have because of it. Send your clothes to the thrift store and just picture in your mind someone finding your outfit and exclaiming, "This is PERFECT!".

About 2 years ago I discovered the joy of thrift store shopping. LOL It takes time to go through the racks, but I like the thrill of the hunt. Never again will I pay $100 for a wool blazer (bought a like-new one yesterday for $1.60) or $50 for a pair of my favorite jeans (bought 2 pairs yesterday for $2.40 each that looked brand new) etc. I ended up with a new blazer, 2 pairs of jeans, one wool sweater with tags from the Gap, 3 long sleeved tops nice enough to wear to work, a half-dozen scented Yankee votive candles, a brand new big heavy weight fleece blanket to take to my sons football games (for $1.40!), 7 paperback books, and a pair of mens snow pants, all for about $23.

Now I find it MUCH easier to get rid of clothes that aren't "me" because now I know that someone out there will find them and be happy. All the clothes in my closet are the right size except one turtleneck I pulled out yesterday that is a size too big. It went directly in a bag to be given away later.

Bud--funny story: We work in a conservative midwestern office where we often get those "trendy" dressing, young, transfers from California coming in. They call it "trendy" but we call it "inappropriate". LOL

Julie

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 6:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
liz_from_nh

Thanks Julie, I have actually made a personal decision not to purchase any clothing for 6 months (I could probably clothe a small country currently!). I am up to 6 very large bins to go to the clothing swap. I am in the process of removing the summer clothing from my current stuff, and then will be weeding through what to keep from my current fall winter items. I have started to remove items that "don't work" as I determine they don't work (harder than it sounds as apparently I am emotionall attached to things). It is much more difficult than it ought to be, but I am looking forward to being freed from so much stuff that I can't see what I have. Unfortunately a friend remarked how great it would be to have only 8 black blazers. I really don't think I could ever survive with only 8 black blazers. I just gave away 18 very nice, expensive blazers to a good friend (they all fit, I just didn't like the beige and summery colors, and I didn't wear them), and I really didn't dent my blazer "collection." One step at a time. Ha ha.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 9:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
harriethomeowner

That's a lot of blazers, Liz. I don't think I've had 18 of them in my entire life (and I'm no spring chicken). :-)

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 3:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
emmy_2006

Anyone else have problems with fluctuating weight/size? I know the best solution would be to stay at a healthy weight, but, realistically, this has been a pattern for years. As a result, my closet is crammed with too small, too big, and just right clothes at any given time. Obviously, this makes for an interesting challenge some days when I keep grabbing things that "suddenly" don't fit.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 10:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bud_wi

One solution would be to maintain two different closets. Keep your current size in the handy closet and the things that you know you will wear another again in another closet. That may not be feasable of course if you don't have an empty hallway closet or extra guest room closet of course.

Another solution would be to use different colored plastic hangers to indicate the relative size of the item. That way you know that the *green* hangers are for the larger stuff and the *yellow* hangers are for the smaller stuff and the *purple* hangers are for the 'tween sizes.

If you want to be really organized, buy those little plastic rings that stores use, that slide over the hook of the hanger that have the exact size written on it. Besides having the size written on them they are color coded so you don't have to squint to read the size, you get to know what color is what size. You can also get them in just S-M-L to help you sort sizes.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 4:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marie26

I plan to finally tackle the closet within the next few weeks. Other spots in the house need my attention first. I did purchase new tops so I'll be getting rid of those that I should have dumped many years ago. Since I have gained a size or two recently (but plan to lose it, hopefully!) I will put all the smaller pants into a soft sided plastic clothes "container". That way, my closet will be emptied of anything I can't wear but at least I won't have to rebuy any pants that are in good condition.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 8:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
liz_from_nh

Thanks Harriet and Emmy for your remarks. It is a really hard process getting rid of things you hang on to for reasons not necessarily understood by your conscious mind.

I did have my clothing swap party and it was a hoot! At the end, I asked my really industrious friends to help me bag up everything that wasn't chosen (I purchased huge industrial size garbage bags), load the bags in the truck, and my friend drove them to the gastric bypass donation program that happily accepted all 15 bags! My friends all did very well, and I didn't take anything (except 2 skirts for my 15 year old daughter).

I did have a comment on the multiple size question. I too range from a size 12 to a 16 (sometimes from 10 to 18, but generally 12 - 16). One of my friends came to help me sort through the stuff I don't need. When I would hem and haw about having to re-purchase the same items when I lose 20 lbs. she said, OK, identify a few "classic" peices that you know you will wear when you lose weight (1 pair black pants, 1 black blazer, 1 black sweater, 1 blouse, 1 pair jeans, 1 pair khaki's, etc), so you have a basic set of classics when the weight comes off in each size. Other than that, ditch it all. Put it in a nice, labeled bin or box in your guest room so you have it. When you lose weight like that you will want new things anyhow, and the styles do alter just enough, so much of what you have saved will not be "in style," by then. So that is what I did. Very difficult process, but I feel great that so much that I had been hanging on to is gone and out of my hair. Of course I still have more to do, but I am getting there.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 10:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
harriethomeowner

Liz, that sounds like you made a lot of progress. I'm sorry if my comment came across as rude, BTW. I'm notorious in my family for being the world's worst shopper. My clothes practically turn into rags before I pitch them because I hate shopping so much. Somewhere there is a happy medium ...

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 6:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kittiemom

I've gotten rid of a lot of clothes over the past year. I'd made a pretty good start anyway; but moving in June really helped the process. I'm dieting & exercising & have lost some weight. So, one of our moving boxes is labeled "Clothes that don't fit." I weeded out the frumpy things. But I have several things that I really like & that look good on me, so I kept them. They're classic pieces that won't look out of style. It'll be like having new clothes once I lose weight - without spending any money.

I'm also trying to dress better at home. I decided that even though it was just me & DH; there was no reason for me to dress in faded t-shirts & baggy sweats or shorts all the time. I got rid of almost all of my printed t-shirts. I never bought any; somehow anyone in the family who received one that was too small passed it to me. I kept several to exercise in. I bought some yoga pants which fit me better than the baggy sweats & some plain microfiber tops to wear with them.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 2:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Julie_MI_Z5

Kittiemom,

GOOD FOR YOU! I upgraded my exercise clothes from my son's outgrown clothes to "real" ladies clothing last year and it does make a difference!

Julie

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 5:44AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
More organizing for my Mom
My Mom's apartment has cheap, inefficient kitchen cabinets....
annkh_nd
I am donating like a madwoman!
In 2006, we put our home on the market, and to get...
talley_sue_nyc
Where do you store reusable bags?
Reusable grocery bags, plastic bags, large paper bags,...
violetwest
Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!
I don't think I've ever seen that happen on this particular...
claire_de_luna
Get rid of cookbooks, and cook more?
About a year ago, I got rid of most of my cookbooks...
quasifish
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™