Tuesday, October 8

closet conundrum

I like to tell D I'm a minimalist at heart, which is hilarious when you look at my closet (you're lucky I'm not showing my shoes, or the entire left side of the closet, which holds my dresses, dress pants, and jeans, or the dresser, which holds all sweaters, t-shirts, tanks, and work out gear UGH).


I love to shop, but I also love to find deals, so I tend to balance likability with price. Say I only want a wardrobe of 8's on the 10 point scale of adoration. For me, a 5 can jump up to an 8 if it's deeply discounted. But, once you get it home and forget the great price, it goes back to being a 5 and is continually pushed aside for the few pieces you truly love. You wear only those pieces you love, of which there are too few, which creates the "full closet and nothing to wear" conundrum and sends you back out to the mall. Vicious cycle sustained.

As D and I continue to move (and move, and move), it feel silly to transport all these clothes that I never wear. You know the old 80-20 rule...20% of your time produces 80% of your output, 20% of the firm does 80% of the work, 20% of Meaghan's wardrobe is worn 80% of the time. Time for a change, no?

Here was my excellent idea: every time I wear something, I turn the hanger around. I'm not allowed to re-wear ANYTHING until I go through all my things. I thought this would really expose my wardrobe, build some appreciation, make me be more creative in my combinations, help me feel less guilty about my overflowing shelves. I've been doing great over the past month, building new outfits and working in pieces that haven't been worn in ages. I've actually worn my least favorite, least often utilized clothes first, trying to get them out of the way and "save" my best looks for later.

But...I haven't felt confident or excited about what I've been wearing, since I've been forcing myself to wear things I wish I didn't own. A good idea in theory has turned out to be a poor idea in practice. In retrospect, I think I should have worn all the clothes I love the most first, and when I got to the point where I reallllly wanted to cycle back through, donated or tossed the rest of them. Then I'd be left with clothes I actually want to own, rather than forcing myself to work with looks that don't suite my taste or lifestyle any longer.

I'm so far into my first experiment (and honestly, so proud of my hanger-turning-progress), that I don't want to switch it up just yet, but I'm thinking Closet Pare-Down-Part-II is going to be far more successful at achieving my intended goal.

If you've stuck with my first-world saga this far, it's your turn to share. Do any of you have strategies that have worked for you in the past? Who has successfully edited down a closet of 5's to have a smaller, better quality, well-loved wardrobe of 10's? Any mantras that help you focus on resisting the sales and bringing home only the best? If you exist in the universe, I need your advice.

1 comment:

  1. I really like the hanger idea. I am seeing where it is not productive and would imagine it would be rather tricky any time other than when the seasons are changing (so now, basically).

    I have some advice. Go through your closet and take out every item of clothing that you have not worn within the last year. Every. Single. Item. Within that pile, pick out the 'special occasion' stuff (the dress you wore to a formal wedding June before last, what you wore NYE 2011, your Halloween costume from 2010). Take what is left of the pile and allow yourself to keep ONE more thing. Donate the rest. Don't second guess. Just do it and don't look back.

    Within two weeks you will appreciate having less clutter in your wardrobe so much that you will want to chuck the one thing you kept, and probably some other stuff you won't wear next year, just so you won't have to reach around those 5's to get to the 10's. Also think of it this way, if you chuck something that is a 5 then realize you kind of want it later, what better reason to go out and buy it as a 10 that you will get more use out of and know you want to keep.

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how you like dem apples?