I have been dealing with an out of control wardrobe situation for many years now… it has taken over my own bedroom, the spare room and every ounce of spare closet space in the kids rooms too. The truth is I still have articles of clothing from sizes 8 to 22 and everything in between.
I did have a major toss-out around Christmas last year and donate a considerable amount of plus size clothing to the charity bins at that time. Not cheap stuff either. Quality garments I had convinced myself would be investment pieces. I have to admit, that hurt a bit.
Skip forward another 10 months and in that time I went up to a size 16 again (kind of missing some of those clothes then) and down again to a current size 12. My weight has always been up and down like a yo-yo; a big part of my fear of parting with clothes.
I’m not working as much these days due to a few health issues, so I’m keen to make the most of my down time and tackle the closet catastrophe once and for all. The plan is to focus on what fits me now what my current needs are.
First things first:
I tossed out anything which was stained, ripped, tatty or in need of repair. If I hadn’t taken care of it already, I wasn’t likely to ever get to it. Of course, I held onto my favourite bleach-stained ‘housework outfit’.
I bagged up for donating everything I knew right off the bat I really didn’t like or ever thought I would wear – you know, those items which looked great on you in the store but screamed “what the hell were you thinking?” when you tried it on at home.
I’m no longer a gym junkie so I halved (could probably halve again) the amount of workout clothes I own.
This was a great start as I quickly cleared quite a bit just by eliminating those few things. I then started purging and sorting by item type…. actually trying on everything as I went. Yep, this was gonna take some time.
Breaking it into chunks:
The whole task was simply overwhelming so I broke it into clothing type and spread it out over what has become almost a week now (I’m pacing myself. lol)
So when it was time to do skirts, I pulled out every skirt I owned, tossed them on the bed, evaluate them one at a time, tried every one on and made a decision. Does it fit me properly? Is it comfortable? Does it go with anything? Will I wear it for work? Going out? Casual? If I couldn’t imagine wearing it anywhere or with anything I owned, I said goodbye.
I have allowed myself some leeway due to my fluctuating weight. If I really loved something and it almost fit, I set it aside….. if, after six months I am still not able to wear it, then I will face the harsh reality and let it go forever.
Excesses, Gaps and Forgotten Buys:
I quickly discovered my wardrobe is office wear heavy. I could wear a different blouse to work every day for a month without a repeat. I also have a lot of tailored dresses and suit jackets. Work clothes make up the vast majority of my wardrobe. This used to be ideal, only these days I work outside the house just a few hours a week.
I also learned that despite owning several pairs of shorts, none of them actually fit me. This is less than ideal as we head off on a Pacific Island vacation in a few weeks time and I don’t fancy my chances of squeezing back into any of those size 10 short shorts before then.
A bonus of starting to sort through was the chaos was a came across a few purchases I had completely forgotten about! In fact, they were still in the shopping bags I brought them home from the store in… that’s bad, I know (hangs head in shame.)
Sorting it all out:
I’m a long way from done. This is still obviously a work a progress, but I have made a lot of headway and purged over half of my wardrobe already.
I managed to add much-needed hanging space by purchasing a couple of free standing clothing racks from Kmart. I placed these on the barren wall of the walk-in robe. It was a quick and cheap short-term solution.
While I was in Kmart I also picked up half a dozen inexpensive under-bed storage crates. These will serve 2 purposes; 1) to hold onto the items I am very close to fitting into again and 2) to store away some of our winter clothing now the weather is starting to warm up.
Did I mention I also cleared out all of the kids closets too? Mine is the biggest problem, for sure, but they had an awful lot of clothing they had outgrown or otherwise destroyed too. Now all of their cupboards and drawers are in perfect order. That’s a great feeling.