Simplify Your Wardrobe: Part III of III

In our last two challenges we began conquering wardrobe clutter by creating three piles and working through the first. Now it is time to finish up what is left!

Now we have to look at these other piles that you have made. If you find that you easily have enough comfortable outfits to last several launderings, then it is time to think about seriously trimming your wardrobe. Why keep anything in pile 2 or 3? If you have plenty of matching combos in pile 1, why settle for something that makes you feel less than wonderful?

If you find you are lacking in pile 1 combos, grab the yellow pages and look up a consignment shop. Take items from piles 2 and 3 and place them on consignment or hold a garage sale. Use that money to finance more 1-combos. (Make sure to try everything on before purchasing!!!!)

After you have put your combos back into your closet, check to see what you have in the odds-and-ends favorite grouping. Make a list and tuck it in your wallet of items that need matches. Decide if is worth the time and money and the maximum you are willing to spend on the item. Keep this with you as you go about your errands and consult it before adding new clothes to your wardrobe. Then you are buying-on-purpose, instead of on impulse. People have asked me what I think a good number of ‘combos’ is to have at-the-ready. I personally think 10 is perfect for each life area… 10 home combos, 10 work combos, and then 4 church combos. If you live in a seasonal area like I do, then you would have 10 for summer work, summer home, etc. and 10 for winter.

Return any of the higher-maintenance combos to your closet as well. Store these items in a different area of the closet and remember when you pull from this section, the time investment is greater. Make sure you have a plan for getting the item to the dry cleaner or ironed, so it doesn’t pile up and become clothing clutter.

There are many great options for purchasing wonderful clothing without breaking the bank. However when clothes shopping, it is very important to be in the right mindset. You want to go on a day where you are not pressed for time and plan on trying everything on (even t-shirts)! Everything fits everyone differently. If you prefer to catalog shop, that is fine, just make sure the stores makes returns easy. I like Newport News as they have good clothes in all sizes and the return process is very easy and the last time I ordered, there was not a time limit on the return.

What about piles 2 and 3? Good question! After you have completed the above assignments, I want you to stand and look at the nice combos you put together and how think about how they make you feel. Then look at your other two piles. Do you really want or need to keep them? Do you want the clutter? Personally, when I did this, I took it all to a women’s shelter. It was 18 bags of clothes, shoes and miscellaneous. Honest. (I told you I wasn’t born simple!) I was a little paranoid and nervous as I did it and thought my husband would have a fit but I did it anyway. When I walked into my closet that next morning it felt great. No crammed stuff everywhere. No searching. No debating. No trying something on and then throwing it into a pile. I loved everything there.

If you aren’t ready to stomach the big give-away, then please do this. Package it all up in bags and boxes and either store it out of the way or stack it in the closet. Live with your simple wardrobe for the next 30 days. Then come back and see if you are ready for the big giveaway.

Once you have completed this process with your day-to-day wardrobe, consider applying the principles to your special-occasion clothing as well. Since special occasion clothing is worn infrequently keep only your ‘pile 1 combos.’

Then consider applying these principles to simplify young children’s wardrobes as well.


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