Monday, September 21, 2009

It pays to purge your clothing closet! (Literally)

The closet was getting a little unmanageable. We'd been painting in the bathroom and "things" were piling up in the closet. I knew it was time for a purge...

Purging my closet is a never-ending activity. Well, I shouldn't say's more like an evolving activity. Every six months or so I tell myself I am going to reduce my clothing by half. That's a little extreme, but it's what I go in with. And if I wasn't ready to let go of something six months before, I usually am ready now. Saying good-bye sometimes takes time.

And every six months or so I manage to purge just enough to get all my clothes on hangers and back up IN the closet or folded into a drawer.

I did it again over the weekend. I did use up every last one of my hangers, but I did empty my "seasonal" box and have nothing in it now! (We hardly have seasons here, anyway. It's cold enough most summer afternoons here that I need a jacket, and never so cold in the winter that I can't wear my tank tops under a shirt or jacket. There's very little in my closet that can't be worn all year.

Why do I own three pairs of brown cords? (Because I forgot I already owned two and bought one more.) When they are hanging up next to each other, then I can see how many I own of each type or color. That helps me to remember what I've got when I am out shopping.

Do I really need four pairs of jeans? Well, I decided I needed three. One pair of "grubbies" one pair of "OK to run to the store in" and one pair of "dress" jeans that I need to hem because they must assume all women wear 5-inch heels when they wear dress jeans. (I'm not even short! I'm quite average at 5'5"!) Now it's a little dangerous for me to keep clothing I think I need to alter, since I rarely do it. But these jeans are nice, and I'll give myself a time boundary around how long I keep them if I haven't hemmed them. (By the way, duct tape works in a pinch!)

My happiest moment in the closet this weekend? When I found a $20 bill in a pocket of a pair of pants. Whoo-hoo! Now, I'm thrilled with a $1 bill, ecstatic with a $5 or $10, and "through the roof silly" with a $20. DH was out of town, so Mom and I went to a movie (Julie and Julia) and I happily paid $5 for a bag of popcorn!

Now, aren't you ready to go see how much money is lurking in your closet?

(By the way, I bundled up four bags of clothing and two bags of shoes. I jotted down each item and its condition on a piece of paper that I will staple to the receipt I get at the thrift store. I'll be able to get the most value from my donation at tax time with an itemization like this. "It's Deductible" will help you keep track of it all year and can be imported right into TurboTax.)

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