I have been intrigued by Jewish Girl’s “Use it or Lose It” challenges recently. The gist of it is you wear items in your closet you haven’t worn in a while or never within 30 days. If forces you to figure out how to wear that pencil skirt or embroidered blouse and let’s you ultimately decide whether or not it’s a keeper.
Her first challenge was skirts and her current challenge is Cardigans/Jackets and Shoes. To keep herself on track with what is in the challenge she added a green mark to those hangers holding those items. It would be interesting to participate but I don’t dress for work like those who work in an actual office so I’d probably “use” 2 of 10 skirts or something like that. It seems like a good way to purge your closet one or two clothing categories at a time. To be honest, any more than that at a time can be too overwhelming and you’ll want to keep everything.
I am blessed to have a closet that allows me to have ALL my clothes out all year round. I store my cashmere and heavier sweaters in boxes during the off season that I keep on the floor or top shelves of my closet. Unlike most ladies, I do not have to switch out Summer to Fall or Winter. Unfortunately, seeing everything at once also causes me to 1) be indecisive on what to wear and 2) think I don’t have anything to wear. To help with that I re-arranged my closet again, moving around the shelves, placing the shoes up front-and-center and, my purging trick, turning all my hangers around, which I probably saw on Clean House or some HGTV show years ago.
Logically, you place all your hangers so you can retrieve them from the front. As you can see, I reversed the hanger so the curve of the top of the hanger is to the back wall. If I wear something I hang it back with the curve to the front. At a glance, this shows me exactly what I’ve worn and what I need to wear. Then, after each season, I can assess what I have not worn and decide if it really is a keeper or if it finally needs to go. The only things I don’t use this for are classic items – the white button-down shirt, LBD, black pencil skirt, wool trousers, etc.
Another idea I looked into was a “Wear-Minder Tag“. You place a tag on a hanger and each time you wear that article of clothing you remove a “petal”. You would have to give yourself a cut-off date so you don’t have clothes in your closet with three petals missing in three years. They also look like they are easy to make, with some scrap-booking paper, a design, and scissors. By making them yourself, you can also add the article of clothing to the center of the flower so you know which hanger it goes back on.
I don’t have a definitive way to purge my shoe portion of the closet yet but right now I am just doing a once-over every few months. I finally purged some shoes that were too cute to let go but that I hadn’t worn in over two years. Because of this, as you can see, I now have a front-and-center shelf for my sweaters. Maybe if I have them out Mother Nature will notice and keep it cool for a while so I can wear them.
Jeans are another issue I have. I don’t hang them so I only get rid of them when they don’t fit.
My question to you is – “How do you purge your closet?” Especially shoes. I’d love to hear your ideas and tricks on what you do to keep your closet from exploding. Do you participate in the “One in, One Out” concept? Are you participating in Jewish Girl’s “Use it or Lose It” challenge, even secretly? Do you purge at the beginning of a season or re-assess what you haven’t worn when you change seasons and purge then?
Go check out Jewish Girl’s blog, if you haven’t already, and read up on her “Use it or Lose It” challenges.