Archive for January, 2010


Spring Cleaning: Clothes

The cleaning bug has struck early this year for us. First job on the docket is a wardrobe purge. My basic rules for cleaning out the closets are….

  • CHUCK IT if I haven’t worn it in a year.
  • CHUCK IT if I don’t like the way it fits.
  • CHUCK IT if it is trashed beyond repair.
  • CHUCK IT if I haven’t had time to repair it in the last 90 days.
  • CHUCK IT if I don’t really like it.
  • CHUCK IT if I have nothing to wear it with.

Exceptions to these rules include occasion wear (aka formals, seasonal wear) and one or two really awesome pieces I just haven’t found the right thing to match with it yet but it still fits fine.

We moms have an especially difficult time navigating wardrobe management since our sizes tend to fluctuate with every new child. A good rule of thumb is to only keep the maternity pieces you really love, ditto post partum. An alternative  is to start a lending chain. If you have a lotta mom friends, start putting all your extra maternity/post partum clothes in a bin and pass it around. When one person is done taking from and adding to it, pass it on.  It hurts, but I’ve found it best to just lose the pre-pregnancy clothes if you don’t honestly think you’ll be back in them within the next 3 years. I have yet to find a motivational piece of clothing motivate me. I always just end up feeling like a looser. Pass!

When you choose what to goodwill, give away or sell, make sure you put anything un-wearable (torn, tattered, stained badly) in the garbage. It’s true sometimes one woman’s trash is another’s treasure, but sometimes your treasures might be trash. Be realistic.  Pick out the best of the best of your chucked items and preferably give it to a friend who would like it or consignment shop/ebay it. With the rest of it, use or craigslist and offer it to whoever wants it. You don’t have to use big descriptions. Mine are usually are something like, “Offer: Bag of 12 month old clothes.” If you don’t mind driving a bit, just run the bag down to a goodwill drop off point and be done with it.

Remember it is okay to clean out your children’s closets. It is NOT okay to clean out your husbands! There’s that one time right after you get married, when it’s kind of cute to go through his clothes and veto parts of it. That is your freebie. Don’t do it again without permission.

When you are done, take inventory. Write up a small list of essentials that need replacing.  Socks, underwear, everyday basics.  Put the list on your phone or in your purse and keep it there so when you happen to have the money, you know what you need.

I try to go through my closet every 6 months or so. Obviously, a lot of the kids clothes are in storage until the next one grows into them, so I just re-evaluate when I pack it away and then again when I get back into it.

When you are shopping, hold yourself to a  standard. Don’t buy things you feel ho-hum about. Even the most uninteresting clothing should make you feel comfortable. Btw, these babies made my top 10 essentials list! Don’t buy things that don’t fit right that you can’t fix easily. And for Pete’s sake, don’t go shopping on a skinny day! The best time to go shopping is in the evening on a “fat” day. If you look good and feel good in what you try on then, you will always look/feel good in it.