Is your closet in need of a major purge? Unsure? Well, if you answer yes to ANY of the questions below, then it is time for a Closet Cleanse!
1. Do you break a sweat sifting through the racks because the hangers are so tightly packed?
2. Do you still have a section of BEBE (or Express) brand "college" tops?
3. Do you have a pair of low quality, decade old shoes?
4. Do you have a drawer of bathing suits that makes you laugh (or cry) when you open it?
5. Do you have a size range from 0-10, but consistently reside in a size 6?
Though I am positive that some of you have your Masters in Closet Cleanliness, my gut tells me that there were quite a few YESES to those questions. I performed a massive purge before our move, and with the tips fresh on my brain, I thought it was the perfect time to share with you. (Nothing like the thought of having to unpack something you haven't worn in 5 years to make you finally toss it!)
Before I start with my step-by-step guide, I would like to say to any of you who feel too overwhelmed to get rid of big chunks at a time, there is a less dramatic approach. Start small. Using the guidelines below, force yourself to remove 2 (preferably 3) items for every new item that you add. If you are more of a "go big or go home" kind of gal, then the tips below should get your closet looking like a Container Store Ad in no time! (Okay...that was a ridiculous statement - unless of course you are the one human that only owns 15 garments in beautiful shades of beige with 5 pairs of never worn shoes.)
HOLES, HORRENDOUS SNAGS & STAINS
If it has any of the 3 above - toss it! Even if you absolutely adore it, motherhood is not the time to experiment with "Derelicte" style. Give your white shirts a really close inspection. If there is any yellow in the pits or permanent ring around the collar, then it is time to replace them. Immediately. Oh - and sweaters with ample piling - either buy the shaver and take the time to remove them or get rid of them.
Some of you may call them "mixers" - whatever the name, if you are holding on to a pastel tube top from the late 90's or early 2000's that you wore to a party in your late teens/early 20's, then it is time to say goodbye. Same goes for your college fraternity and sorority t-shirts. Bye bye. Basically, if a "party pic" exists with you wearing the item - then it has to go.
Certain trends come around that make a lasting impression - on you, on society, on the media. They typically make for amazing costumes years later. That said, there is no need for them to take up prime real estate in your closet. Find a big storage box, fill it to the brim with outrageous goodies, label it "Costume Box" and write, "Love, Mom"
We're women. We're moms. Our bodies change...a lot! Still doesn't mean we need a range of every size that we have ever been. Use your current size as a guide. If you have been steady for 6 months at a 6, then you are probably safe to ditch anything above an 8 (or should I say clothes that fit like an 8...size doesn't always mean what it says) and anything below a 4. If you absolutely love something that is too big, too long, or needs to be let out 1/2" - give yourself 5 days to take it to a tailor. If you drop the ball and forget, then it goes to Goodwill. Be cut throat.
Some shoes are worth keeping as they may come around again. Take a single sole, black suede Manolo. The platform took the limelight for a few years, but low and behold, the single sole made a strong comeback. If you invested in a quality version, then you may be able to pull them back out (only if they are still in presentable shape). If you are holding onto a pleather version with scuffed heels, it is time to toss and replace. Manolo not in the cards? No worries. The key is to go with real skins and now they are available from Zara, Nine West, etc.
SWIMSUITS & LINGERIE
If you know for fact that you will never sport a bikini again, then let them go. I don't care how much you paid. They are taking up valuable space and most likely making you feel bad about yourself. Same goes for "Honeymoon Lingerie". If you haven't worn the baby blue lace onesie with the matching feather shoes since your wedding night, then say goodbye. Replace with a few, sexy styles with a bit more coverage that make you feel confident and beautiful. Oh, and if you have anything from Victoria Secret with the word PINK plastered on your bust or butt DUMP it. These styles should be reserved for tweens (if even then).
NO WIRE HANGERS
Not to get all "Mommy Dearest" on you, but hangers are important for clothing care and wire hangers are harsh. Purchasing all new hangers may seem wasteful or overwhelming, but using the velvet space-savers will give you more working space (to stop the sweats) and they are better for the clothes.
Lastly, look into your volume of certain styles. If you have 10 black dresses, then trim the fat. Denim: how many pairs do you actually need? Keep a boyfriend, a skinny or two, a few alternative colors, and a "fat pair" for those days that we all have. This rule applies to all pieces; maxi dresses, pencil skirts, and sweaters.