15 January 2010

Closet Cleanout / Finding Style

As far as I can tell, everyone on the interwebs has been cleaning out closets, organizing drawers, and vacuuming the darkest corners of their homes since January 1. Something about a new year, I don't know. All I know is that I am not one of those people and last weekend it was starting to stress me out. I decided that in the spirit of blogland unity I would clean out my closet.

Dun Dun Duuuuuuuun.

If you were ever my roommate in college, you may remember that I used to be a strict closet cleaner-outer at the beginning of each season. Anything that had not been worn the previous season was out. I knew that if I hadn't worn it at all that summer I probably wasn't going to wear it next summer either. Pertinent and Non-Pertinent was one of my favorite closet activities. I was ruthless.

Then I got married. Then we got poor. Then I got pregnant. Then I got unable to fit into any of my clothes. Then I got...you get the picture. I found myself hanging onto more of my clothes because I knew I couldn't afford to buy new ones or because I hoped that I would fit into them again someday.

***It is important for me to note here that I don't believe in keeping a "skinny" wardrobe. I think that when clothes don't fit anymore--and I mean really don't fit--that you should let them go. Then when you eventually lose the weight that you know you will, you can reward yourself with some nice new clothes. You know that is what you would want to do anyway. And I still feel that way whether or not I have the means to fund those beliefs. Okay, glad we cleared that up.***

Basically I had a closet full of clothes that I didn't like/was sick of/didn't fit/didn't flatter, with a few decent pieces peppered in between. The last couple of weeks I've been thinking a lot about style and my lack thereof. I'm feeling a change coming on. It is time for me to develop a style. Time to stop shunning shopping and start actually thinking about my clothing purchases. Time for my criteria for an outfit that I'll be wearing that day to be "flattering and cute" instead of "not pajamas." Am scared. Am going to need lots of help.

Step 1: Clean out my closet.


Behold the madness. I used this lovely blogger's guidelines for cleaning out closets. It took the better part of my day mostly because Z-cakes was my assistant and a demanding one at that. She insisted on being given snacks, naps, and on having her diaper changed. On top of that she was basically no help at all.

This picture was taken about halfway through the process. At this point I really wanted to quit. Nausea was starting to set in. I really did not want to be there in that room trying on all of those clothes and having to make decisions regarding their futures. When did I become so weak? Nevertheless I persevered, and in the end, I had this:


As you can see, the piles are labelled according to their fates. "Donate" clothes will be going straight to Goodwill unless any of my friends happen to stop by to rummage through the bin before Saturday. I'm giving myself one week to repair/hem/iron the clothes in the "mend" bin. If I haven't done anything with those clothes after a week, they're gone. The "re-purpose" pile gets to live in my basement until it is turned into clothes/dolls for Z-cakes. The "small" pile--while against my beliefs--gets to stick around for 6 months. If I still don't fit into them after that, they're gone.

(Wow, is this the most boring post ever or what?)

Now that I have my closet cleared out I feel like the easy part is over. And although it is nice to not have to wade through all of those useless clothes everyday, now I actually have to start putting together a wardrobe that looks good. I have to buy clothes that reflect who I am and make me feel good about myself. No small task.

Am currently accepting any and all suggestions. Also, if you'd like to hold my hand through a store and tell me what looks good on me that would be great too. Or just tell me what to buy online. I'm really open here people. And scared. Did I mention that I'm scared?



michelle said...

I love this post!

I am familiar with the nausea that sets in mid-way through a task like that. Oh so familiar.

I thoroughly enjoyed your description of Z-cakes as assistant, so true. And your dedication to blogland unity.

Good luck with the shopping!

Hil said...

i cleaned out my closest a little bit ago, but I don't think I was as brutal as I should have been. mostly because I am in the "between stage" not pregnant but still have the baby weight.

anyway... not important. the important part is that I am also looking for a new style. once again, wish we lived closer. this time so that we could be shopping partners.

Serin said...

I had anxiety reading this post because I need to do the exact same thing! But my fashion style is akin to my decorating style, aka I don't have one. Is it really wrong to have "not pajamas" be a style?

I really should go through my closet, but I'm beginning to feel a little stalker-ish with the way I'm always following in your footsteps. lol

Travelin'Oma said...

You're so organized and disciplined! I'm impressed.

Brock and Kristina said...

Wow. You are an inspiration. That was not a boring post. I was fascinated with your methods, cleanliness, and discipline. (then again, us dental hygienists are a breed of our own) Maybe you'll inspire me.....but maybe not too. :) BUT, definitely good job. You should be proud.

Greeneyes said...

That is a worthy undertaking: terrifying, yet fulfilling. Keep up the posts on defining your style!

While I've spent a lot of time and thought cultivating my own look, I do find that it continues to evolve, and I give myself permission to flex it now and then.

One thing that has really helped me is to keep an "inspiration file" for clothing. It's a file folder with a couple of dividers in it. My tabs include things like:

Awesome Color Combinations
Essential Pieces {e.g. that perfect pair of pressed black slacks, the well-fitting 3/4 sleeve cardigan, or a crisp, white shirt}
Inspiring Outfits
Specific Pieces I Really Love

Whenever I see something in a catalog or magazine that strikes my fancy, I tear out that page and file it for reference. Every 2-3 months, I review that file and cull out the ideas that are no longer appealing, then I begin to hunt down one or two items that fill the style bill. This tactic helps me stay on track and really cuts down on regrettable impulse buys. Have fun!

Kali Jo said...

i just did the same thing. I was tired of having to really push hard to get stuff in the closet. So after 3 garbage bags mine and my husbands closets are oraganised. I really considered having an indoor yard sale at my office just i i felt better about throwing out all the nice clothes that cost money. Long story short, hubby came home and bags disapeared. no indoor yard sale. Dang!

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