I usually rotate my wardrobe twice a year (winter to spring and summer to autumn). I look forward to this because I am usually tired of most of my clothes by the time a season ends. I used to donate the clothes I knew I didn’t want, put the off-season clothes I was keeping in storage bags, then hang up all the clothes for the current season. This sounds like a good plan, but it led me to have two closets packed with clothes and very little to actually wear. I figured out a new approach that has helped me slim down my wardrobe and more carefully plan my new purchases.
Empty the closet(s)
I prefer to take one day to go through the clearing out / inventory / wardrobe rotation. If you have a large wardrobe or not much time to spare, you can break this chore into chunks as long you make notes to yourself along the way.
First, I take all my clothes out of the closet and storage bags. As I am doing this, I begin to fill a bag with the clothes I definitely do not want. Then, here comes the time-consuming part.
Consider every piece of clothing
Notice how “every” is emphasized. I look at every piece of clothing that I own and ask myself these questions:
- “Do I really want this?”
- “Does this still fit?” (I recently lost weight, but I still have clothes from when I was larger.)
- “Does this make me feel happy?” (This is a new question I ask myself. Anything I wore to my old job or looks drab or sloppy makes me feel sad.)
- “Does this fit who I am now?” (I have changed and grown a great deal, especially over the last two years. I would never wear at least 75% of the clothes I wore then.)
Anything that I answer “no” to goes into the donation bag or if it is new or in great condition, the to-sell bag. If I am undecided about anything, I get a second opinion from my mom or sister.
Make a note of what is needed
As I sort through my clothes, I make a note of what I would need to make complete outfits. For example, I have a ton of shirts, but hardly any skirts or pants. I also have a lot of prints, but not enough basics to mix with them. Nearly all of my lounge wear was either too big or too dingy, so they need to be replaced. It’s easier to think about what I need when I see exactly what I have in front of me.
Put everything away
This is the time to make my closet nice and organized. I sort my clothes into categories to make them easy to find (all the shirts together, all the pants together, etc.). This also makes it easy to see if I have too many of one item. I use velvet hangers because they are slim, and clothes don’t slip off them. I put off season clothes in a storage bag. I only have a small bag of spring/summer clothes because I said, “no” to most of what I owned.
It’s not time to shop yet, next up is the planning phase.