Thursday, January 9, 2014

How to Edit/Purge Your Closet Part III

This is the last and final phase of Editing/Purging your closet. See Part I here and Part II here!

Once you've lived in your recently purged closet for a while, a second and more-in-depth review will really be beneficial. You'll have a new perspective and a fresh eye when going through everything.

Do an In-Depth Review (2nd Edit)

1. Make sure you've prepared first!

2. Pick a category again and pile all that stuff in front of you.

3. Look at each item individually. Rate it on the following:

*Fit (does it fit well, without pulling buttons or constricting you, without bunching or loose gaping? This requires trying on things you have not worn!)

*Color (do you like the color, is the color flattering to your body and skin tone?)

*Form (does the style of this item please you, is it suited to your personality or your style, does it flatter your body shape?)

*Appropriate (is it appropriate for your lifestyle, your age or place in life?)

*Use (is it useful in your life, does it get worn often enough to keep it?)

*Emotion ( do you feel amazing wearing this, do you have sentimental value for this item, do you enjoy it?)

Notice I don't mention price! What you spent on something means NOTHING- be it $1 or $1000, the money was spent and there is nothing you can do to change it. Price should never justify the space an item takes up both mentally and physically. If a top was only $10 and you wore it once, how does it compare to the $100 top you wore 20 times? That's right, it was more expensive because you paid $10 to wear it once versus $5 a wear for the top (cost per wear). But what if now you rediscover that $10 top and wear it 10 times? Cost-per-wear is a great concept when shopping for new items but doesn't really work for purging. The money's already gone. Use value is far more important- if you'll wear something and enjoy it in the future, that is value. Looking at a $150 coat on the hanger that you don't wear only makes you feel guilty about wasting $150. Get rid of it- you'll feel better and someone else will get a chance to enjoy it. The best part is when you're out shopping and see a coat you love and will wear often, you'll get it instead of being held back by the one sitting on the hanger at home.

Once you've decided what to keep for sure, put it back in the closet. The 'maybe' or undecided items should be put away for a length of time and put on probation- if you don't reach for it (say, a month or 3 months) then get rid of it. Remember there always will be pretty clothes for sale! I used to keep things because I was afraid that I wouldn't have 'enough'. How funny that seems now! Enough is such a vague term. The average person can get by stylishly with only 33 or less garments and still look different every day! And slowly replacing sub-par items with well thought out ones is still an option!

4. Go get that purgatory bag from the first edit. Most of these things can be let go, since you have not reached for them. Sort through it using step #3 above.

5. Re-inventory your things. Having an understanding of what you have is vital! I talked a bit about wear opportunity, and I'd like to suggest you targeting how many items in each category is optimal for yourself. Once you get to that number you can practice the one-in, one-out philosophy (buy a top, let one go). I'm still figuring out that number for myself. If I wear a top 12 times a year, I need approximately 26 tops all inclusive (6 opportunities a week). Obviously that doesn't account for seasonality or occasion, but it's a starting point for certain!

Review and On-going Purging

Reflect on what you've let go and why. What led you to making mistakes when buying? Try to identify patterns. I was influenced heavily by the bloggers I read. I mistakenly thought buying things I liked on other people, and that a big selection/wide variety of things was how to get good style. Wrong! Great style is far EASIER to achieve with a smaller wardrobe and less choice. Use the list of things you need to replace/wardrobe holes to shop with instead of the I-see I-buy I-want monster of the past. And remember that just because ONE TIME you wanted grey booties for a particular outfit, it is NOT a wardrobe hole. A wardrobe hole is something you'd wear several times a month and NOT skip over something similar you already have in favor of the new item.

Continue to let go of things as you go so that your closet never becomes overstocked again. You'll be refining your style and you'll find (if you're like me) that your fit standards get more rigorous and your eye for buying great, versatile items more keen. I'm in this phase right now myself. You may find you don't need to buy much if anything.

I've personally taken the extra step of looking at my storage, figured out what comfortably fits and what I approximately NEED, and am paring things down so that I can store everything in a way that makes it all fit well, not be overstuffed, and so that I can easily SEE everything I have. I'm tired of clutter, and I know that if I can't SEE something I won't use it. I've applied these principals to my lounge wear, underclothing, and even other parts of my house like the bathroom medicine cabinet! I'm on a real roll when it comes to reducing the clutter/stress. I'm looking at what I have with a new perspective-what do we need, what can we use, and not with the aimless 'want' monster of the past.

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