If you’re a fan of this little blog, you might be wondering why I disappeared for half a year. The truth is both of our children were diagnosed with a rare medical condition and I have been trying to adjust to a new and hard reality for the past several months. But that is a story for another time. We’re trying to get back to normal a little bit, so I’ve decided to pick up blogging again. Yay!
This month I’ve decided to tackle a recurring problem area I have… my wardrobe. My wardrobe problems aren’t the usual “I have too many clothes”. It’s actually kind of the opposite, since I generally avoid clothes shopping and tend to be more frugal than not. I don’t have very many clothes, but none of the ones I have are working for me right now.
I’m usually pretty good about keeping our home clean and mostly decluttered, but every now and then I have to reassess things and do a major reorganize. That’s the situation with my clothes right now. Usually I have dresser and closet space for current clothes, storage tubs for off-season or maternity wear, and regularly declutter my clothes, but right now my clothes are kind of a mess and it’s been frustrating.
Here’s a snapshot of my wardrobe problems- my son was born about five months ago, so I haven’t been at a steady, normal weight for several months. I’m getting back into shape, but in the meantime my closet is a hodgepodge assortment of clothes. My drawers contain a few maternity pieces (which I haven’t put away yet because they are super comfy and work for nursing), a few cheap clothes that are too big (which I bought a month after baby boy was born when I was bigger), my “normal-weight” clothes (most of which are pretty worn and old… some from my college days), and a few “inspirational” clothes that are too small. I don’t have an overflowing closet by any means, but I still find myself stressed when I go to get dressed in the morning. And since my life has enough stress in it already, I decided it was time to tackle my wardrobe woes.
Creating a Wardrobe
My hope with this project is to create a simple, low-maintenance, stress-free wardrobe. I want to look nice as a stay-at-home mom without having to think or worry about what to wear all the time. This is a big project for me, so rather than tackle everything at once, I’ve divided up my “wardrobe makeover” into three parts.
This week I’m decluttering my wardrobe. (That’s the part I’m going to tell you about today!) Next week I plan on giving our closet space a quick makeover to help with lighting and storage problems. For the month of September, I’m going to be brainstorming and planning (and give myself one final month to get in a little better shape!). By the beginning of October, I will attempt to curate a thoughtful, simple wardrobe fit for a stay-at-home mom. 🙂
My Decluttering Process
I’m frustrated with opening my drawers and seeing a collection of clothes that don’t fit, look bad on me, are stained or worn. I’m tired of walking into my closet and having nothing to wear. So, for the first step, I cleaned out my wardrobe and kept only the things that are working for me right now.
- Wash Laundry. I started going through my clothes, then realized that half my stuff was in the laundry and I was making decisions on what to keep and what to toss based only on the handful of clean clothes in front of me.
- Gather everything in one place. I put all my clothes on the bed so that I could see exactly what clothes I have, and so that I have a clean slate (empty drawers) to put my “keep” clothes back into.
- Start sorting. There were some clothes I already knew what to do with. Maternity items that I wanted to keep got put away in storage. Old, holey, stained clothes got donated or tossed.
- Try on clothes. This step was essential for me to decide what to keep and what to donate because it helped me see what wasn’t fitting right (mostly too big or too small), what clothes I was keeping because they were nice but not wearing because they were uncomfortable, and what clothes I just didn’t like.
- Put the keep clothes back. I folded all my “keep” clothes in neat squares and put them back in my dresser or closet.
- Put the “trial” clothes back in the dresser in a separate pile or part of the closet. My “trial” clothes are things that I used to love, but I’m not sure about anymore. I couldn’t decide after trying them on because I thought I liked the way they looked or fit, but hadn’t actually used them in years. So I decided to wear them for a day. It worked. I thought I liked some items, but ended up donating them after one day of wearing them. There were others that I was leaning more towards donating, that I ended up keeping.
- Make a list. Cleaning out my wardrobe helped me see what pieces I was missing. I have a cute white tank top that I haven’t been wearing simply because I don’t have the right undergarments for it. I have a fun skirt that I like, but don’t wear because I don’t have any shirts to match.
- Plan a wardrobe makeover. Eventually I want to have a nice, grown-up-me wardrobe that I love with pieces that all work well together. Right now though, I’m going to take a little time to plan and think so that I’m choosing pieces that work for me. Planning a wardrobe makeover is also great motivation for me to get into a little better shape! So I’ve given myself a deadline. I have until October to get in as good a shape as I want to be in (or can be in) and to plan my fall/winter wardrobe. At that point, we begin the fun part- buying items and putting together a cohesive, intentional wardrobe.
Before and Afters
After decluttering my tshirt drawer, deciding what to wear in the morning is so much easier! I removed everything that was stained or worn or didn’t fit, so everything that’s left works and looks nice. All my everyday tees are on the left, and all my nicer shirts (for doctor’s appointments, going out, etc.) are on the right. All the stacks are in order of darkest on bottom to lightest on top, so I don’t have to dig to look for certain colors.
In my “bottoms” drawer, I took out about four pairs of jeans that didn’t fit, along with a bunch of other stuff. It’s such a relief to open my drawers and know that every piece of clothing works. I don’t have much in there right now, but every piece fits and looks nice. I also put all my workout clothes together in one stack (the middle light blue one) so that I don’t have to search for all the pieces and procrastinate exercising. It’s been really helpful!
Here is my closet before and after decluttering and straightening… It may not look like much has changed, but that’s because I didn’t get the top shelf in the before shot. Oops. Everything is much less cluttered now. I decluttered about a third of my “closet clothes”.
Anyway, that’s where I’m at right now. I’ve wanted to put together a nice wardrobe for a while now (darn pinterest and all it’s cute capsule wardrobes!), and hopefully this will be just the thing I need to get it done!
If you want to follow along with Project Wardrobe Makeover, you can read about my other steps here:
Have you ever created an intentional wardrobe? Did it help relieve stress in your day to day life?