You know that awful feeling when you walk in your closet and it’s jam-packed with clothes, but you still feel like you have nothing to wear? Welcome to my pre-married, single-girl life. Before Daniel, I didn’t really know how to shop for quality pieces yet. The amount of money I wasted on cheap clothes is cringe-worthy. My only “guidelines” for buying something were: (1) I kind of liked it at least a little bit, and (2) it was cheap or on sale. Those were ter-ri-ble guidelines. Higher standards would have prevented me from filling my wardrobe with things I only half-liked that either fell apart, shrunk, or faded within the first few washes.
Within the first year after Daniel and I got married, I learned a lot about his buying habits, and I started to adopt a few myself. One of the best things he has taught me is picking items of good quality – be it furniture, a type of steak, or a pair of shoes – at a cost that doesn’t break your budget in half. If you’ve spent any time around him, I think you’ll understand what I mean when I say that the guy has a genuine gift for finding insanely nice stuff for ridiculously low prices. Thanks to Daniel, I have learned that it’s okay to spend a little extra on something well-made, because it will last longer and stay in better shape.
The problem was, even after I started adding nice things to my wardrobe, I still didn’t feel happy with my closet. It finally dawned on me that the reason I felt like I had nothing to wear was because my closet was full of things I never wore! Right around that same time, a friend of mine had a virtual closet sale on Facebook and had great success with it, and I thought, “I can do that.” And thus began a new tradition in the Hendrickson household! A few times a year, I pull everything out of my closet and sort through it using the following questions:
- When was the last time I wore it, and how likely am I to wear it again?
- If I went shopping today and saw it, would I buy it?
- Do I feel good about myself when I wear it?
- Does it actually fit me? Is it too big or too small?
- Is it still in good condition? Is it worn, torn, faded, or stained?
- Is it a ‘special occasion’ item, like a cocktail dress or costume?
These questions have already helped me quickly purge my closet at least 5 or 6 times in the last few years. And before you start to think of me as a soul-less machine, believe me – I totally understand the whole “develop a sentimental attachment to every piece of clothing you try to get rid of” thing. I’ve told myself every excuse in the book. But the reality is that if I haven’t worn something in six months (not including a costume or formal dress), if it’s not in good condition anymore, if I don’t like how I look in it, and if I wouldn’t buy it again right now, it doesn’t belong in my closet. The best part is that after I weed out all the stuff I don’t wear, I actually feel like I have more options in my closet, because I’m only seeing stuff I genuinely love!
When was the last time you went through your closet? Is it easy for you to get rid of stuff, or do you get sentimental?