Moving day is quickly approaching, and your closet is out of control. Racks are crowded with years of clothing, shoes litter the floor, sweaters are heaped on shelves, and you realize that you don’t want to transfer the mess from one house to the next. A move is the perfect time to purge your closet. Knowing where to start can be overwhelming, but if you will ask yourself the following questions, and answer them honestly, your closet clean-out will be a success, making your move that much easier.
1. Have I worn this item in the past twelve months?
If you have made it through all four seasons (or as close to seasons as we get in South Louisiana) and you have not worn an item, it is time to remove it from your closet. Of course, there are some exceptions. A formal item sometimes skips a year or two before reappearing at another event. If it is still stylish and still fits you well, keep it. Another exception would be items that were not worn during the year because of pregnancy. Consider keeping these items until the following season. If you still have not worn them, let them go.
2. Is the item still in style?
We are all guilty of hanging on to that jacket with the shoulder pads or the light denim jeans, believing that it’s just a matter of time before it will be in style again. Most likely, it will be, but the style will have been tweaked just enough that your item will look dated. Or, even more likely, you will have seen the light and realized that this look wasn’t that great the first time around. Remove these items, and don’t look back.
3. Has my job situation changed?
Maybe you used to work in a corporate office every day and now you work from a home office. Perhaps you have changed jobs and the new company’s policy is either more or less relaxed than at your previous job. Whatever the case, get rid of the majority of those items that no longer fit your current situation. Don’t forget to hang on to a business suit or two for business meetings, job interviews, etc.
4. Does the item require ironing upon each wear?
If ironing is not a problem for you, or if you send most of your wardrobe to the dry cleaners, this will not be an issue. If, however, you find yourself setting the item aside until you have time to iron it, and you never seem to find that time, remove it from your closet.
5. Does the item need repair work or alterations?
If so, and you are likely to have it repaired in a timely manner, take it to your tailor or seamstress and enjoy it. If not, it’s just taking up space that could be used for items that are actually wearable. Remove it, as well.
6. Do you have another similar item?
Pay specific attention to your shoes and basic clothing items. If two or more items are very similar, keep the one that makes you look and feel the best, and get rid of the others.