Monday, June 13, 2011

A plan for the closet purge

Yes, this really is my closet...
I have too many clothes.  It's not a terrible fate, but it is something that I intend to change.  So I'm jumping on the "turn your hangers around" bandwagon, with one modification.  After I've worn and cleaned/laundered something, I'll put the garment back in my closet with the hanger turned "backwards". (i.e. the pointy part facing front - see the white cardigan in my closet photo)  (Thanks to for this great idea!)

And I'm also instituting a monitoring policy in my dresser drawers: all garments which are normally stored folded which get worn will be put back into the drawer with the neckline toward the front, rather than toward the back as I normally store things.

AND, I'm going to put all of my lingerie and hosiery into bags, and as I wear something it gets to stay OUT of the bag.

By the end of September, I'm going to have a bunch of "forward" facing hangers, right side up tee shirts and bagged undergarments that are going to have to petition to be allowed to stay chez nous.

Seriously, if I don't wear something in the next 3 1/2 months, do I really need to keep it?  

I'm putting this out there before all of you because (1) you can check up on my progress, and (2) you can measure my accomplishments against Vivienne's impressively well curated wardrobe.

Well-curated.  I'm going to have to expand on that line of thinking...


  1. I'm still in the process of redoing my wardrobe--and thus expanding it--so when I've felt I have "too much," I knew it was because I was hanging onto something that didn't function well. Last night my partner made a run to the charity shop with clothes and he asked if I had anything to throw in--I was so excited to look through my closet and say no.

    Still, I haven't worn a few great shirts in a month or so. This is largely because I'm keeping them for good, but maybe I've taken that too far.

    Good luck with your closet exercise and finding what works and what doesn't. Since that's a picture of your actual closet, I think you've got an excellent, swoon-worthy wardrobe. If I had so much black in so many textures, I wouldn't worry a bit.

  2. A well curated and edited wardrobe is a goal worth meeting. I still have two wardrobes: the sumptuous cashmere and wool neutrals from my life in Seattle, and the hodge-podge, "only on vacation" clothing I've been wearing since moving to Texas. I continue to work on my tear sheets for inspiration, but until I figure out when and what the seasons are here I am not purging anything unless I shrink out of it or it is revoltingly unflattering. The former has been happenning consistently, but I don't want to toss anything that I could repurpose later.

    Oh, excuses!

  3. If you decide to get rid of any hosiery, please do not throw them out! I have been looking for some in any condition to use for crafts. You can contact me by email to annberry91 at

    Thank you

  4. I love the "bagged lingerie" idea and would love to have the courage to do it. However, I have to remember to keep bras that are designed for different necklines and backs that although are not worn on a daily basis will come into use again. The worst thing is to have a new garment that necessitates a certain style of bra only to find that it has been put out to retirment pasture. Quelle domage, especially when this model is no longer being sold in the shops.
    At the moment I am actually sorting out my panites ou-la-la. I am thinking that strings have to disappear out to pasture as the new(ish) style of skimpy shorts/trunks and carefully designed leg elastic will not show the dreaded pantie line and are sooooooo much more comfortable n'est pas? This could be a winner and remain as an undergarment staple which in turn, will help with reclaiming some more drawer space in my wardrobe.
    Bizzzzzzzzzz from Swan
    Looking for followers on Swan-Now living in France - pleeeeeeese follow, follow, follow !!

  5. I have done the "backward facing" hangers ting. Very helpful. Not that I really got rid of the things I didn't wear (I gave myself a year), but I did actually see I didn't wear most of what I had.

  6. Hello Janice. Long time reader of your inspirational site but this is my first time commenting.
    Firstly, I have you to thank for finding J Jill clothes. I clicked on the name on one of your wardrobe pieces......I was instantly hooked and have been slowly replacing my old tops with J Jill ever since.
    In my mid 50s and was suffering an age related clothing dilemma that's when I found your site. One major problem for me is that I wear a uniform for work (emergency services), I wear slop-about clothes around the house where I invariably perform house or garden chores, which left figuring out what to wear just to go grocery shopping......not an event for which I dress up, also our weather is extreme Arctic cold in winter, Burmese jungle humid heat in summer. That only left my annual travel and the occasional (usually rare) evening out. As I retire in 4 years and ditch the uniform I know I will then need my nice clothes.
    I did try the hanger method quite a few years ago but I had too much stuff then and gave up after a while. What I have been doing recently is weeding out the gear that doesn't fit, the items I've never worn and the colours I don't fancy any more.
    My basic colours now are black, navy(including indigo blue jeans), grey and brown. My additional colours are white, mauve/plum, tan/amber, red, blush pink, bright blue and olive. (I have very few garments in the red, olive, blush pink and tan/amber shades).
    Since sorting my colours, it made it easier for me to re-arrange my small walk-in closet and hang my clothes by colour.
    I have a laundry hanger stand outside my closet, whatever I haven't worn goes on it and if I can't modify the garment to make it wearable, it either goes in the charity bag or recycled as a cleaning rag. My closet has one wall with a bar across and shelving on top. the other two walls have these mountable hanger holders.....
    They take 6 hangers, they help me control my clothes and colour schemes. So far so good, they work for me!
    Also thank you for Novica! I have just bought 4 items, 3 necklaces and 1 extremely beautiful bamboo wrap shawl. My clothes now benefit from my accessories, scarves and shawls really pop an outfit and pull it together, especially on vacations.
    You are my guru, I bow to your expertise.
    Many thanks
    Ontario, Canada