Household, Organization

OMG- my closet

While Ivan and Asher were away this past weekend, I finally had time to tackle a big, nagging to do item: CLEAN OUT MY CLOSET.

The problem:

I haven’t been feeling super awesome about my wardrobe this past year. Not 100% sure why. I am now suspecting, after doing some closer surveying of the situation, that the main issue is NOT that I don’t have decent clothes, really.

It’s that I don’t always have the right coordinating pieces- the right pants for the sweater, or shoes that work with the pants, etc.

Also, some items are REALLY OLD. In (most) cases, my really old items actually look totally fine and in good condition. Since I’ve started working from home ~6 years ago, I honestly just don’t even wear a lot of my nicer/”real” clothes too often. It just doesn’t make sense to get dressed in a nice top, jeans and boots, if I want to go outside for a walk at 3 pm on my break. Or if I’m planning to go the gym later in the day. Etc. And, before I started WFH, I wore scrubs every day! So my clothes didn’t get a lot use then, either.

I sometimes feel bad about this. I like the idea of wearing cute clothes, even when working from home. You know, like the cute working moms you see in pictures in online articles about WFH, smiling from their laptops in their chic home offices, while holding a coffee mug. 😆

But unless I exercise/shower first thing in the morning (which I really don’t want to do- gym is too busy in early a.m.!), I often end up wearing leggings/ exercise clothes for much of the day (or in summer- comfy shorts and a tank top). It just makes way more sense! And allows me to fit in movement breaks at any time.

After I go to the gym (usually midday break), I typically shower and get dressed quick, but by that point it’s often afternoon, and I’m in a hurry to get back to work. So I don’t spend much time picking out a nice outfit then, either. And what’s the point?? The day starts to feel almost over by then! ha.

But some of my old clothes are getting worn out and can use replacing. I know I need to update a few pairs of shoes for sure. I have some hoodies that are pilling/ have seen better days. I’m also just tired of some items. Especially things I often use for travel. How many years in a row can one be in a photo wearing the same shirt on family vacation?? 🤔


So, I decided to do a formal inventory of my closet. First I went through all my shoes. I will spare you the picture of this, because it’s embarrassing. I have like 8,000 pairs of shoes. Yet, I often feel like I don’t have the right shoes??? HOW. WHY? (Apparently I really like flip flops. I have a lot of flip flop style sandals.)

Anyway, I sorted out ones to toss, and made a detailed list of “shoes to replace/ upgrade”. (Like, a pair of black flats that the toe has become worn on. I like the shoe, but it’s looking tattered now, after all these years.) Some I’d just like to slowly upgrade to a nicer quality shoe.

Then I started laying out all of my winter stuff (before packing it away downstairs until fall). I haven’t even started on my summer clothes yet….

I literally got a notebook out and listed each item, along with a rating of its condition. (New, Good, Medium/ Maybe Replace?, etc.). There weren’t too many items that were an automatic “get rid of”, surprisingly. Things were largely in better condition that I thought.

For some reason, whenever I do this, I start to see my clothes in a totally new light. I’ll pull out a shirt/ sweater/ whatever, try it on, and think, “Why do I never wear this?? This is cute!!!” And I’ll sort of “see” it differently than when I’m actually standing in my room, trying to get dressed, and keep passing over it.

This makes me uneasy….I am not sure I trust my judgement! I do think that when I go to get dressed, I’m often in such a rush. I tend to have like, 5 minutes to get ready. So I’ll just grab the first thing I see- which tends to be the same things over and over. I don’t really have time to stand and mix and match different tops with pants and accessories, etc. But when I really look, I think I do have some decent potential in there… (Then again, maybe I’m being delusional. Maybe if I haven’t been wearing it, it’s because I just don’t really like it??? I don’t know.)

I do know I just have way too many clothes. This is a perpetual problem for me- not because I am a shop-a-holic, but because I struggle to get rid of things. Especially because, as I said, I don’t even wear my clothes a lot! So getting rid of a perfectly good item feels…bad. It fits, it’s in good condition, it could come in handy…. why would I get rid of it??

(Besides the fact that my closet is bursting, and it’s super annoying to have an overstuffed closet.) Also, I keep feeling like I just want some new clothes- which absolutely necessitates getting rid of some things, or it will never fit in my disappointingly NOT walk-in closet.

Besides my inventory list, I also photographed everything! Grouped into “categories”, the best I could. I’m debating trying to come up with some kind of challenge, where I use the photos to plan my outfits- making sure to ACTUALLY WEAR everything I own. Then after wearing it for a day, I can decide if I actually do like it, or should get rid of it.

Here’s a sampling:

I started small:

“pullover sweatshirty things with drawstrings”

Then I realized, only 2 items per pic? Ain’t gonna work. I don’t have eternity to do this. So I started trying to squeeze more in.

Here we have the “pull over FLEECE” sweatshirt variety, with a partial zip. 😉

Next up we have the nicer, neutral sweaters.

At least 2 items in this picture are ~15 years old. Others were purchased in the past year. Can you even tell a difference? Ha.

Then we have the “I need a fuzzy sweater, it’s a cold Wisconsin day” options…..

Followed by the, “it’s chilly, but not freezing out, I need a lighter sweater” options. (I wore a lot of these in Ireland!)

Then moving on to the “3/4 length sleeve light sweaters”. These are nice in fall and spring….OR on a cooler summer evening, with shorts! I take some of these when we travel, even to a beach.

Next up….the motherlode….. The zip up hoodies. I HAVE SO MANY HOODIES it is insane. I practically live in these, honestly, though. I wear them almost every day, with my leggings, to the gym, for walks, whatever.

This is not even an exhaustive list!!! I have even more. OMG.

I think I’ll stop here- you get the idea. I have a lot of stuff. (Again, though, some things I’m not sure that I LOVE love….so it’s a dilemma. And this isn’t even counting workout clothes, t-shirts, long sleeved shirts, tank tops, shorts, cardigans, some other longer sweaters I hang in the closet…oh, and PANTS. Or dressy work tops. Or dresses. Or jackets! oh lord. 😬😳)

Anyway, the closet project ended up getting halted because I became exhausted and bored and just needed to stop, after several hours of work. But I made some good progress. To be continued…

*Since Ivan/Asher was gone, and Ethan was at a friend’s house, I actually sat down on the couch and turned on an episode of Marie Kondo’s Netflix show!! I’d never seen it before, but was feeling inspired to be inspired…thinking maybe I could get some decluttering tips!

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for cardinals and blue jays in my yard. I love birds!

10 thoughts on “OMG- my closet”

  1. There is a service called my color guru and I had her do the analysis on my most flattering colors. It really has helped me get rid of clothes and also be more selective when I am looking for a new outfit/shirt/etc. It could help you make some decisions with what to keep 🙂 She has a pretty active instagram account.


  2. I absolutely hate dealing with my closet/clothing. I commend you for taking this on! I am ruthless with getting rid of clothes though, and do probably go a little too far getting rid of stuff I could/would wear – but I’m donating it to others so I figure it’s fine. I did go on kind of a spree this year with getting new clothing post-covid – I’m a bigger size now, and I don’t see that changing so I needed to just let that go! And I feel like ‘professional attire’ has morphed – I DO go into the office 2/3 days a week, but I work at a university so it’s not like I need to be super dressy. I kept maybe 2-3 nicer outfits if I DO have to be EXTRA professional, but for the most part – nah. I also find myself buying nicer clothes, and then wearing the stuff I get from Target/Costco/Old Navy more than anything else, so I need to just embrace that about myself too 🙂

    We’re replacing the carpet in our lower level, which necessitated going through my children’s clothes because we had to empty out their rooms – and NOTHING is worse. I had avoided it for basically years and wow. It was horrible.


    1. I hear you! I also feel like I should “always” invest in nicer pieces, and I do think this can be worthwhile in many cases. But honestly, sometimes the cheap options are just as good (if not even better, in some ways).

      For example- I have these layering tank tops from Target that I got YEARS ago- literally, must be over 10 years- in black, tan, blue, etc, all the same style. I wear them all. the. time, multiple times per week. I layer them under stuff, or even wear as a PJ top, etc. They literally look identical to when I first bought them. And they were $5 each. Talk about an amazing deal! I love them, too. They fit me perfectly.

      I also got 2 pairs of suede loafer type shoes from Target, also at least…7-8 years ago?? I think maybe $20. They also still look brand new (granted, I don’t wear them THAT often- more of a fall/spring slip on shoe). But I see other ones that look identical for sale for >$100, and I always think…should I upgrade mine?? But then, why? Mine look literally the same, are still perfect, and cost $20. Hahaha.


  3. I live in Wisconsin, but only own four or five sweaters total. I have really learned the hard way that I need to keep my wardrobe relatively small or I end up with decision paralysis every morning. I have one fleece, two pairs of jeans, and only four or five dress slacks. However, if you ask me how many scarves I have, it’s an embarrassing number…


    1. Well, you put me to shame!! I am very impressed. I can appreciate the decision paralysis, totally. I think in my case, my indecision is worst about getting rid of stuff. I feel like….if I get rid of it, I can’t get it back!! So I end up storing clothes in other closets, under my bed, in boxes in the basement, etc…”just in case” I want it…. It’s a little ridiculous, honestly. I love the idea of having a really small, but beautiful, nicely curated wardrobe. That sounds dreamy. I’m not sure I ever see myself really getting to that point though! Just TOO indecisive….


  4. I had to do something similar this spring after I stopped breast feeding Will. I pulled out a couple of bins of clothes and tried on everything! Our closet isn’t huge, but I am able to fit all seasons of clothes in there, so I went through everything and ended up setting a lot aside to bring to a consignment shop or donate. I don’t have trouble getting rid of things that I don’t use/don’t ever feel like wearing/don’t fit. A lot of what I got rid of is because of fit, though. My body changed after having kids and I would have to really make sacrifices to reliably fit some of the clothes I wore pre-kids and it’s just not worth it for me. I still haven’t brought those clothes to a consignment shop, though. I need to do that!

    I want to hire a wardrobe consultant to come in and look at my clothes and help me fill the gaps. I decided to wait until this fall to do that, though, so I can get a sense for what I am wearing. I am only in the office 2-3 days/week, so I need fewer clothes than I did when I came in 5 days/week. I think by this fall, I’ll know what is missing from my wardrobe and can get rid of more clothes. I know that if I never feel drawn to wear something, it needs to go and I don’t feel guilt getting rid of it since it’s a sunk cost (we talked a lot about sunk cost in grad school and you need to realize you can’t get the money back so don’t let the cost trick you into making poor choices – the grad school discussion was around bad business decisions, but the logic applies to so many areas of life!).

    You do have a lot of hooded sweatshirts! I have 3! I think I could use more since I wear them for a good 8 months of the year, though!


  5. sounds like a big project for one day. I am the opposite in that sense, I am so good of getting rid of things, for everyone in the family. hahaha… they hate me for throwing/giving away things without their consent. living in tropical country for the last 5 years made my closet situation really easy as I have a set of work clothes combos that I rotate, some dressy clothings for when I feel fancy or need to attend something that requires that, and a lot of casual clothes (jean shorts 2 pairs, jean skirt 2, and bunch of basic tees of good quality), and athletic clothes.
    I hear you for not changing while working from home. that’s what I did during the pandemic. Now that I go to office most of the days, I feel better changing to real clothes 🙂


  6. I WANT TO COME DOWN AND CLEAN OUT THIS CLOSET WITH YOU. Almost nothing makes me happier than to go through clothes. Crazy/weird, I know. But I find it so therapeutic. If I’m in a bad mood, I sometimes tell myself that I need to go clean out a drawer. I instantly feel better.
    I love the colours of your clothes; it looks like such a great palette.
    I don’t own a single zip-up sweater. I have two puffer coats that zip up, and one long cardigan, but nary a zip-up sweater in sight.


  7. OMG, girl, did you pull this post out of my own head? I could have written this…. and I am so frustrated and intimidated by the thought of even attempting to organize/get rid off stuff. I am not a hoarder by any means, but my thinking is exactly like this “So getting rid of a perfectly good item feels…bad. It fits, it’s in good condition, it could come in handy…. why would I get rid of it??” So I hang on to things and the bad news is, I actually have rediscovered a few items at times where I was glad that I didn’t toss them out… OH, but that really makes it all even more difficult.

    All this to say, I really, really need to clean out my closet! I also would like a personal stylist who helps me but a decent wardrobe together and makes me not reach for shorts and tanks all the time. Sigh


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