Sort It ~ Professional Organizing for the Toronto Area

Conquer Your Closet – Part Deux

About six months ago, I wrote a blog about clearing out and organizing your closet (Conquer Your Closet). Typically, after I write a post, I pester my husband to see if he’s read it. Well, he showed me. When I got home that night, he had flipped all my hangers around. “Practice what you preach,” he said. You see, in my previous post, I wrote that it is handy to flip your hangers around, then when you wear an item, you turn the hanger the right way around again. In six months you’ll have a very good picture as to what you wear, and what you may want to look at again. So, here I am, and here’s my closet six months ago, and today:

Six Months Ago


So, there you have it. I counted and I have 16 hangers that are still reversed. Now, for the record, I have been letting go of clothing items that aren’t right for me, so I’ve been able to maintain the amount of clothing I have, for the most part. Here are the items that haven’t seen the light of day in the last 6 months:

Yes, there’s a disco shirt there, and yes, there’s a Hawaiian shirt, too, but since my husband and I work with the youth at our church, you need a couple of choice items that only see the light of day once in a while (notice I said “couple”, not “3 or 4 choices per occasion”). I have taken my forlorn items, and grouped them together, at the front of my closet. I see a few of them going in the next little while, and a couple being worn in the near future, as well. I’ve also trimmed down a bit since my last purge, so perhaps these items will fit better than last time.

There are a few benefits to having less:

1. Less laundry – You won’t let it sit around and pile up if you need a pair of underoos.

2. Quicker decision making – Less choices makes getting dressed in the morning much more efficient. Unless you lay out what you wear the night before… but I don’t 🙂

3. Someone else is blessed by your things – My friends regularly pass on their items to me, and I love it! They’re new to me, but they’re tired of them. Give your clothes a new chance to make someone else feel good.

We’ll see the condition of my closet when I get home tonight… I’m weary 😛

How do you decide how much clothing is enough?


Conquer Your Closet

Clothing is a tricky area to tackle. We might have bought it on sale. It holds memories of a past life. It holds hope that we will, one day, squeeze back into it. And more often than not, rather than dealing with it, we simply add to it, and neglect to stick to our self imposed “one in, one out” policy – a fantastic organizing technique, by the way.

So, I decided to bite the bullet. I needed to put my money where my mouth is when it comes to my clothing, and I’ve done just that. I didn’t believe that I had that much clothing. I have half of a walk in closet, and one 3 drawer dresser. How much could I possibly possess? Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words…

Let me preface this whole experience by saying that I fully intended to organize my closet in the new year. I am a Brownie leader (Girl Guides for girls in grade 2 and 3), and I was making a Christmas tree craft with the girls in December, which required 6 wire hangers each. We have 20 Brownies in our unit this year, so that would mean that I needed 6 x 20 = 120 hangers. Someone had generously donated some hangers already, and I figured I was set. However, when I went to count them (the night before my meeting) I realized that I only had 70 hangers. Where in the world was I going to find another 50 hangers in 24 hours? I phoned a friend, but she wasn’t home, so I started going through our closets. “We don’t have wire hangers,” I thought. “We have a couple, but we mostly use plastic hangers.” Lo and behold, I had 50 in no time.

First, for the curious minds out there, here is the craft:

All you need to make this are 6 wire hangers, electrical tape, garland (long and full) and Christmas lights. Just wrap it around, and you’re good to go. A very cute, petite, tree.

Now, back to my closet dilemma. I had removed all of my wire hangers (I highly recommend doing this – wire hangers will stretch your clothes, and can rust), but now I had to put that clothing somewhere. Let me show you what my closet looked like one I had removed most of those hangers:

As you can see, most of my clothing is still here. You will also note that I was using those “handy” space saver hangers. Personally, I found that they took too much time trying to maneuver them, and they allowed you to be able to hang far too much clothing than most closet rods can handle. If you need additional space in your closet, go through your clothes before you purchase these devices. Next, what my closet looked like with no clothes on my hangers:

A little disorganized, no? In order to hang the “space saving hanger” up, you have to shove your clothes to one side, and I found the process too tedious. My next step was to purchase one type of hanger. I opted for the plastic hangers with the notched out top (to hold tank tops, etc.) – $6.99 for 20. I know that the wooden hangers are best, but I find that they take up far too much space. I’ve also read a blog where the person swore by the velvet hangers (they easily hold your clothes up, and are good for your clothing), but I’m not a fan of them aesthetically. But, to each their own. Here is my closet today:

I ended up parting with (donating) 31 items of clothing. I enjoy going into my closet now, as I don’t feel guilty about not wearing items I’m not in love with/don’t look good on me/I’m not sure whether they still fit or not – I tried on anything I wasn’t sure of before it went back in the closet. My pile of donateables:

Another tip is to flip all your hangers around, and when you wear it, turn the hanger back the right way. After 6 months, if the hanger is still reversed, donate it. If you haven’t worn it in 6 months, you probably won’t miss it.

One blogger put it this way: she was holding onto old clothes that “would never fit and if they did, I shouldn’t be wearing them” – readytochangenow

I was amazed at how good it felt to let go of clothing that was holding me back. If it doesn’t fit, you don’t love it, or you “shouldn’t be wearing it”, then let it go. Even if you did squeeze back into that high school outfit, would you really be proud to wear it in public again?

Closet Wars

We all have clothes. Some more than others. Some older than others. Some more eclectic than others. But in the end, we all have clothes.

My husband had a rude awakening when we got married. When I brought my belongings over, he was shocked by the number of pairs of shoes I owned (probably about 14, at the time). Now, to be fair, I firmly believe that this is far under the national average for women, and most of my shoes are actually flip flops (if they take up less space, then they count as 1/2, don’t you think?). He, on the other hand, owned 3 pairs at the time (running shoes, older running shoes, and work shoes – I “strongly encouraged” him buy a pair of flip flops for our honeymoon to Aruba). But even to this day, it’s a point of tension when he goes to our front closet, only to find that I outnumber him 4:1 (I may have gained a couple of flip flops over the years).

Let’s be honest though. We have plenty of clothing (and shoes) that we really never wear. We hold onto that pair of jeans that is too tight, in hopes that one day we’ll shimmy back into them (I am guilty). We have a couple of old t-shirts for doing work around the house (Do you add one or two each year to this category, too? I’ve probably got about 6 now…). Don’t forget those outfit that were “all the rage” when you bought them, but now you wouldn’t dare go out in it.

Cleaning out your closet can help make your morning routine significantly less stressful. If you have less choices, it will (theoretically) take you less time. I suggest you pare down in a two step process. First, take a box, and put anything in it that you know you will never wear again, you do not like (maybe it’s just not your colour), or has gone so far out of style, you can only wear it at a retro party (if you’d like to keep an outfit for just such an occasion, by all means). Then, take that box, put it by the door, and donate it next time you’re in the area of a drop off location.

Second, take all your hangers, and turn them around. Most people have their hangers with the opening of the hook facing towards the wall, so just flip it so that the opening is facing you. For one year, whenever you wear whatever is hanging on that hanger, flip it back so that the opening is facing the wall. In a year, you’ll know what clothes you’ve worn in the last year. Assess the clothes you haven’t touched. Ask yourself: “Why haven’t I worn that?” If you can’t come up with a decent answer, donate those items as well. If you haven’t worn it in a year, you probably won’t miss it.

You, too, can win the Closet Wars battle!