Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Good Steward: Clothes {Part 2}

Yesterday I talked about how I have being challenged lately to be a better steward of the things I own. So today I am going to offer some of my best ideas on how to manage one's wardrobe. During the month of August, I wore the same 21 articles of clothing for 31 days. It was a good lesson for me to be creative with what I already own and to realize how many amazing articles of clothing I have in my own closet. Basically, I had 31 days to think about how to stretch my wardrobe to the max, so here are the first four tips I'd like to share with you...

1 :: Organize your closet by style, color or both and ROTATE!
I once heard a stat that most people only wear 10-20% of all the clothes they own. This means that even though we have a lot of clothes we wear the same outfits over and over again. This is my solution to that problem. Organize your closet either by style (long sleeved shirts together, short sleeve, tanks, skirts, dresses, etc.) or by color (all yellow tops together, green tops, etc. regardless of sleeve length) and stick to this organization very carefully. Then you rotate through each section. This means if you keep all your yellow shirts together and you wear one, you move that one to the back of the section and wear ALL your other yellow tops before that one reaches the front again. Or if you simply organize by style, you might have all your skirts together. If you wear a skirt, it goes to the back of the skirt section and you can't wear it again until all your other skirts have been worn. Eventually every item gets pushed to the front of the section and that's when it's time to re-wear that item. For me, I have my shirts divided into sections: long sleeved and short sleeved/sleeveless. Since I live in the hot, hot desert I pretty much haven't touched the long sleeved section in six months, except to grab a cardigan for chilly restaurants and movie theaters. But I sort all my short sleeve shirts and tanks together by color and try to wear each shirt from each color section before I will repeat an item. I have been doing this for years and I feel like I wear at least 90% of my wardrobe. You just have to decide which way your closet rotates (from L to R or R to L) and stick with the plan.

Here is my long sleeved section organized by color. I haven't worn these clothes in soooo long and I miss them!
Do you think I might have a slight obsession with gray?
2 :: Purge your closet consistently.
I have an obsession with cleaning out closets. Before there were shows like Hoarders and all the other home organization programs out there, my friends and I joked around that I should start a TLC show about closet cleaning. I seriously love it. And I love cleaning out mine the most. I officially clean out my closet at least every other month, and I always have an ongoing purge happening. The nice thing about the rotation system above is that if you run into something you absolutely don't want to wear in your rotation, it probably means it doesn't need to be in your closet anymore. And if you wear something and discover that it fits awkwardly or uncomfortably, you can get rid of it as soon as you get home that day. Hopefully the awkward is not caused by unknown holes, gaps, or see-through discoveries made when you are out in public.

During my 30 for 30 challenge, I wore these shoes that I haven't worn in forever. They hurt my feet so badly I wanted to cry. They went into the get-rid-of pile the second I got home. Purge, baby, purge.

3 :: Sell your clothing.
Did you know that if you clean out your closet often, you can actually sell your clothes for cash? Most people only clean out their closet every year or two {or longer - ew!}, and by the time they fill those big garbage bags with unwanted items, the clothes are so old, worn, or outdated that nobody wants them. Sometimes their status is so bad, you feel guilty about giving them to the thrift store. If you stay on top of your wardrobe and get rid of things as soon as they become unwanted, your clothes will often still be trendy and in good enough condition to sell at stores like Plato's Closet, Buffalo Exchange, etc. Many towns often have other independent secondhand stores as well that give cash for gently used clothes {and most stores take men's clothes too, so feel free to clean out the husband's side of the closet!}. I usually save up my closet purgings for a few months and then take a couple bags to both Plato's Closet and a Phoenix store called My Sister's Closet. Whatever does not get bought by these two stores goes to the Goodwill. If you are looking for other donation ideas, your city might have local women's shelters that take clothing donations for their residents.

4 :: Keep accessories accessible.
One of the best and easiest ways to spice up an outfit is with fun accessories. However, I know I am guilty of often forgetting about the accessories I own. During my 30 for 30 challenge, I was desperate to make my 21 items of clothing look different each time I wore them, so I delved deep into my headband pile, found belts I had long forgotten about, and wore more necklaces in one month than I had worn all year. Accessories are great, but we often forget we have them. Necklaces get tangled, belts get pushed to the back of the closet, handbags get thrown under the bed, and hair accessories get smashed under hairbrushes in drawers {I just described my own woes with accessories!} So put your accessories out where you can see them. Untangle, unsmush, organize and WEAR!

I found this cute neutral belt in my closet during the challenge. I bought it last spring at TJ Maxx
and had since forgotten about it. It still had the tags on when I added it to this outfit!
Also, notice I doubled up my necklaces!
{My face on the left represents my insecurity about wearing a romper for the first time ever.}

***Here is a great necklace holder I bought from Aunt Dede's Basement last month. It is an adorable way to organize jewelry and Dede is offering all my reader's 20% off this month. Just enter BlogAnniversary at checkout! You can even customize your rack by choosing your own knobs!

Shop Aunt Dede's Basement!
I hope these ideas help you wear your clothes wisely! I will be back tomorrow with four more tips. Hope to see you then. And please feel free to share any other tips, ideas, or fashion challenges below!!!

Linking up with Gussy Sews!


Jessi said...

I really need to start rotating my clothes more! I saw on the Nate show an idea to hang your hangers backward. When you wear something, turn the hanger the right way when you hang it back up. After so many months go through and get rid of the clothes that are still on bakward hangers. Those are the things you never wear. It's such a good idea to purge regularly (and it makes room for new clothes.. which I know I don't need :)

Great tips!!

Amber said...

Well done friend! You are DARLING! And are becoming quite the blogger! :) I'm finally getting caught up on all your posts. And I wished I had entered that giveaway. Such a cute jewelry organizer. :) You should do another giveaway soon! Haha!! Hope you are surviving the Arizona heat! :)

Ashley said...

haha no no, i didnt actually wear it out, its one of the outfits in my shop :) its not even my size...dont worry! I would have passed out in this heat!

No Model Lady said...

I love that romper so much!! Perfect!

Hannah said...

Great ideas! I definitely have a hard time getting cloths to the donation pile, even when I don't like them.

And I think you pull off the romper quite well! (And I usually don't like them at all!)

Kassie said...

These are great tips! My closet is such a mess and I know I don't every piece of clothing I know!

Stopping by from Gussy!