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.
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:
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.
Next up we have the nicer, neutral sweaters.
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!
I am grateful for cardinals and blue jays in my yard. I love birds!