Before moving to NYC I knew I had to downsize and my personal notorious area was my wardrobe. In middle school my mother introduced me to an allowance and taking me to a local goodwill once a week. I would buy random items that I thought were cool at the time. When I finally had my own car my junior year of high school, I tended to find my way to other department stores weekly. Though I thought I was acquiring a huge wardrobe for very little I really was not.
Most items were trendy, stained, poor quality or did not fit me well. The amount of items I had was also atrocious. I used to feel guilty about getting “rid” of perfectly good clothes, but my new approach of simplification actually makes life easier. I took some hints from 7 Tips for Cleaning Out Your Wardrobe, The Wardrobe Clear Out and Wardrobe Investment Pieces and once again cleaned out my closet in preparation for my future plan of seasonal capsule wardrobes.
- Pull everything out- This allows you to clean your physical closet, but also allows you to see the total amount of clothes you have. This includes all accessories and shoes.
- Try on every piece- If there are holes, stains, or it is ill fitting you do not want it no matter how sentimental it is (exceptions only for wedding gowns).
- Organize your clothes by season- I utilized color palettes and textures to organize my seasonal wardrobe, but do what works best for you.
- Store your out of season clothes- Figure out the best method that works for you in your home. Some people use plastic bins, others might wants to get under-the-bed clothes storage containers. I store all my out of season clothes rolled in our luggage.
- Store your specialty clothes (gowns, formal attire, etc) – Do not store your specialty items long term in plastic containers, instead utilize Preservation boxes and Acid Free Tissue Paper or Breathable Garment bags. Make sure they are not stored in an attic or basement. The best things to do is store them in their hanging state in a lesser used closet.
- Donate, Sell, or Throw Away Items that don’t work- I knew I wanted everything (that is why I had it in the first place) but I had to be aware of what was realistic. I planned to eBay my higher end brands, sell outright to Buffalo Exchange my trendy pieces, and then donate the remainder that was in good condition to a women’s shelter/local clothing drive/university theatre costume department.