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Monday, May 21, 2012

How to Declutter Nice Clothing: Help!

I've been cleaning out my little closet (single rod, about 3 or 4 feet) and I've been marveling at how NICE the clothing is that I have. While I would not win a fashion blogger award, most everything I have is of good quality, thanks to the excellent thrift stores here. The kind of things I want provoke little competition. So, along with my attitude of gratitude, I have a perhaps unusual quandary: how to declutter clothing that is all of around the same quality and all nice? I do not aspire to a minimalist closet (too stressful for a spiller like me). I remember that wardrobe expert Janice/Vivienne once said she aspired to 64 items (8 sets of 8?). Does that sound right? And, if so, how many of each item? Advice much appreciated.

15 comments:

Janice said...

Dear heart, if your closet works for you, KEEP the clothes, and wear them until they wear out. I've finally figured out that there is no magic number - what will work marvelously for me might be absolutely horribly constricting for you.
Trust your gut, and your instincts. You're the only person who knows what's right for you!
big hug,
Janice

Frugal Scholar said...

Ahhhh, Janice. It doesn't work, because it's too crammed...that's why I was looking for guidance.

Christina said...

I just cleaned out my closet this weekend and have the same quandary. There are definitely things I have in there that are worn out - but many of the things that I am eliminating still have a life. I could sell them on ebay but am basically to lazy to do all the work required. So far most will be going to the goodwill with a few select pieces given to a specific person who might enjoy them. My body has been changing over the last five years and some of my style "experiments" didn't work.

Kare said...

Can you use frugal son's closet as a temporary holding spot. I might keep two cores of 8 available for summer and experiment with the concept!

SouthrnTiger86 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SouthrnTiger86 said...

Perhaps take your clothes to a consignment shop? What better way to celebrate your thrifty finds than by passing them on others like yourself (and making a little money too!)

They'll adore and recognize the brand names you have and will probably take them even if they're not quite on-trend (and maybe because they're not on-trend). I recently sold to a consignment shop for the first time and took the store credit option because it's a better dollar value than cash.

Perhaps your biggest struggle will be what to get rid of?

Duchesse said...

As Janice says, it has to be right for you. A "trick" i used b/'f moving (massive reduction) is when you wear the item, turn the hanger when you put it back. over the course of a season you will see what you actually wear.

Yes an item is "perfectly good"- but are you the *only* woman in your area who will appreciate it? And what good does it do hanging there? It's called ready to wear, not ready to store. Let it go on to a life with someone else.

I consigned the designer clothes; other wearable items went to charity stores, and I gave a few vintage pieces to my son's GF.

Monkey said...

Your clothes might be all good quality but perhaps they don't all look equally good on you? Perhaps set aside some time and try on every single thing and evaluate. What looks good on the hanger may look different on the body!

Frugal Scholar said...

@Christina--I have a few bags for Goodwill! I think ebay is so much trouble--no fun to sell.

@Kare--I've already invaded his closet a little! But I am trying to stick to my space because i think enforced scarcity is good--for storage space! Also, Frugal Son doesn't have a place of his own yet, so his closet (his room is now a study) is still for him.

@ST--We're taking some to the Buffalo Exchange, some to a great place in Tuscaloosa, and some to Goodwill and the Food Bank. It's just the 3 equally nice black turtlenecks that flummox me...

@Duchesse--I wear everything, pretty much. It's just--as above--the 3 near-identical items. However, Miss Em and I have a solution. See next post.

@Monkey--Yes--my daughter is here to advise, thank heavens!

departmentofcolor said...

I tend toward minimalism, but I also work in a messy environment and have to launder most things after one wearing. So I have more clothes than I might if I didn't have to clean them so often.

I have 7-10 each of things that I wear often (jeans, knit tops) and 2-5 each of things that I don't wear as much or that don't require frequent laundering (dress pants, skirts, camisoles, cardigans, pullover sweaters, layering tees).

I happen to love coats and I have "too many" for the warm climate I live in, but I decided that I wasn't going to limit something that I enjoyed so much. So if you have some type of clothing or accessory that brings you joy, I would say, consider making space for it.

departmentofcolor said...

Oh, and I wanted to add that those numbers apply to what I'm wearing during a season. For example, I have about 10 tees for summer and about 10 long-sleeved tops for winter. I also have a set for wearing around the house/working out. Not a total of 10 tees, period.

What it boils down to is that I have enough clothes for a week, and then a little extra for those weeks when the laundry doesn't get done on time.

Frugal Scholar said...

DC--Thanks for the numbers! i need a boundary. Sooo helpful.

Duchesse said...

Ok, if you have three near-identical, get rid of two. Then get rid of all the near-near identicals such as white with green stripe and green with white stripe tees. Special dispensation for black (washes out) and white (yellows) so you have fresh looking ones.

Shelley said...

How often are you prepared to do laundry or pay for dry cleaning? I still have loads of work to do whittling down my supply of clothes. However, when I travel, I use the idea that I will wash once a week and pack 5 'bottoms' (skirts/trousers) and 7 tops and one or two 'covers' (shirts/sweaters). I make sure I have one dressy outfit for going out to dinner and shoes suitable for walking. I hope to get down to a wardrobe about this size for each season.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse: It's almost all black!

@shelley--What a good idea! I don't mind doing laundry, owing to my low standards. Never dryclean--well, maybe once a year.