Organization Hack: Purging Clothing

I mentioned to you on Monday that I was able to get a jumpstart on my cleaning and purging over this past weekend since we were snowed in.  If you remember from last week, I am doing this in order to simplify our lives, to not be ruled by our possessions, and to prepare for our move to our new house in a couple of months. I decided to start with my daughters’ clothes. Following Marie Kondo’s method, I had them both take every single item of clothing out of their closet.  Instead of doing every article of clothing they owned at once like she recommends, I started with just the clothes in the closet.  My youngest was first up.  I can tell you that she wasn’t very happy about the project to begin with since she would have rather been outside playing in the snow, but I must admit that once we got going, she warmed up to the idea.  She’s my fashionista so talking about clothes is fun for her. I did not have her take everything off the hanger.  I just had her make stacks of the clothes with the hangers still on them. I figured that would make it easier to hang the ones we were keeping right back up.  She has a lot of clothes that were handed down by her sister, and the two of them couldn’t be more opposite when it comes to clothes and style. My oldest is very athletic and really has no interest in style and clothes and prefers to wear more athletic clothes or jeans and a t-shirt.  This becomes problematic when I attempt to save money and pass clothes down.  I would say that my youngest refuses to wear at least 80% of what her sister wears.  The point is that there are tons of clothes in her closet that she will not wear, and they are just taking up space.

Once all of her clothes were out of the closet in a heaping mound, I had her sit on the floor with me as I held up each piece.  I asked her if she would wear it or not.  I pretty much knew what her answer was going to be each time, but I wanted her to be a part of the process.  She would turn up her nose to most things and tell me no.  Those clothes immediately were taken from the hanger and put aside in a separate pile. I did not want to linger on any of it.  I wanted it to be a gut reaction.  If she was wishy-washy on something, I set it in a separate pile to come back to at the end. The items that were a resounding yes, were kept on the hanger and placed into a third pile.  To recap, we had a NO pile, a MAYBE pile, and a YES pile. Once we had been through the entire mound of clothes from the closet, we went back to the MAYBE pile and revisited those pieces.  The majority of those pieces ended up in the NO pile. From the original pile, I would guess that about 70% of it ended up in the NO pile.  I know some of you would freak out about that thinking there wasn’t much left for her to wear, but I know that the clothes that were put in the NO pile are clothes that she would have refused to wear anyway. My thought was that there was no point in holding on to them.  I will also add that we took into account whether or not certain pieces still fit her or were too small and went through a bag of clothes that were sitting in the bottom of her closet that were her size from her sister that had never been gone through. Now that we were done sorting, I sent her out to play and began the process of folding the clothes in the NO pile and putting them in bags to donate.  I then took all of the clothes in the YES pile and hung them back in her closet.  

When hanging clothes in the closet, there are a few rules of thumb that I follow.  I know most people don’t care, but it matters to me.  It makes my kids nuts and I am constantly “fixing” their closets to match my rules.  It’s pretty much a waste of my time, though, since they just mess it up within a week. To me, this makes it so much easier to locate whatever it is that you want to wear. 

  1. All clothes should face the same direction on the hanger.  For example the front of all tops should face the same direction.
  2. Separate clothes by season.
  3. Separate clothes into categories within each season. For example, dresses (also separate long/short dresses), sleeveless tops, t-shirts, shirts with collars, dressier tops, etc. should all be grouped together.
  4. Within each category, group like colors. If you are like me, you would then put them in rainbow order, but I know that is just me being obsessive. I gave up doing this with my kids.  It is just a waste of time because they don’t follow my system.

Once I finished putting away everything from the closet, I called my daughter back into her room and had her pull everything out of her dresser drawers.  We used the same process as before in sorting the things to keep and the things to give away.  Marie Kondo’s method of folding clothes is similar to what I have been using for years without knowing of her at all.  I fold shirts slightly different than she does, but both ways have the same idea for storing clothing in drawers. You can view the video below to see how she folds. Basically, you fold all of the clothes (from socks to shirts to pants) so that they stand up in a rectangular shape. This way you can store them in the drawers vertically which takes up less space and allows you to see each piece of clothing easily. 

I repeated this whole process with my older daughter who was not into it at all and had to be redirected many times.  Clothing just isn’t her thing. We also went through their shoes and got rid of the ones that were too small for my youngest and set them aside for donation. Then we gathered the ones that were too small for my oldest into a box to save for the youngest down the road. Along the same lines, I store all of the clothes that are too small for my oldest and too big for my youngest in vacuum sealed bags in one corner of her closet labeled by size. I can just pull them out whenever she is ready for the next size. I did get smart this time and went through them with my daughter to see if they were things she wanted to keep or get rid of. That way I am not holding on to a bunch of clothes that she is never going to wear in the future.

After going through both girls’ wardrobes, we ended up with a sizable donation pile. Looking at it makes me happy knowing that we will be helping others who are in need and that we are also simplifying our lives. This process took much of the day to complete, but I believe it was well worth the effort.  That is a sizable load of things that don’t have to be moved into our new house! Now I am in full purge mode and ready to get rid of everything! Look out house, here I come!

Anchored and Organized,

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