If you follow my Instagram stories, then you know I’ve been doing another closet overhaul. According to the blog it’s been 2.5 years since my last one. And so much of my thinking from that post remains true. So I leave you this post again, and the promise of just a few additional thoughts to come soon.
Dear readers, I’ve recently completed a closet overhaul of sorts, and have inadvertently created a capsule wardrobe. All the grey sweaters!
Here are my thoughts on cleaning out my closet (can anyone say that without thinking of this?)
(and here is a closet that is amazing, and for some reason, blurry)
You will have clothes to give away:
My husband marvels at the amount of items I can scrounge up for donation EVERY TIME I clean out my closet. This has always been my number one red flag that I have way too many clothes. There are always pieces I can part with easily. Lately, I’ve been picking up each piece with my own two hands and asking, “Does it spark joy?” No doubt you think I’m crazy, unless you’ve read Marie Kondo’s book. Regardless, the answer, more often than not, is no, and so into the giveaway pile go the things you only wear when everything else is in the wash.
You will give away clothes you have never worn:
These can hurt the most when you’re paring down. The tags are a physical reminder of not just the energy, but the MONEY you invested in your closet. But guess what? You haven’t worn them in three months/six months/one year. So, goodbye, random things from Stitch Fix I thought I would love. Guess what? I don’t love you at all.
You will give away clothes that don’t fit anymore:
Ugh, and this can be a heartbreaker. Those corduroys you bought while you were at your skinniest right before you got married are a symbol that it can be done. You can be that thin. But you are not right now, and so, alas, those too must go. Cleaning out your closet is not about sentimentality. It’s about ruthlessness.
You will have (lots of) clothes to try on again:
Bring your patience.
You will have clothes that you know you should get ride of, and yet you can’t get rid of:
Hello, Maryland Basketball Hoodie circa 2001. When I was in high school, as soon as you decided where you were going to college, you bought an aptly designed hoodie and wore it to school what felt like every day, and I hope wasn’t actually every day. Maryland had just won the national title after I decided to go there, so my hoodie said more than “Maryland,” it said “Maryland Basketball.” I love it with all of my heart and all of my soul. It saw me through my senior year, 4 years of college, and the next 8 after. It has a questionable stain. I love it anyway. It is worn thin, and I don’t care. I will keep it forever.
And in the end, when everything is cleaned out, and you’re left with less than you ever thought you could function on…
You will spend two or three weeks wearing your “new” things, and be shocked and amazed that everything everyone ever told you about cleaning out your closet is true. You will wear things you haven’t worn in a long time. You won’t stare at your closet and wonder what to wear, because it’s easier to make choices when you don’t have as many options. And perhaps, most important of all, if you wear something more often than usual, no one besides you will care at all.