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Closet Clean-Out 2015

Glimpse into part of my Closet - January 31, 2015

Glimpse into part of my Closet – January 31, 2015

For anyone who has been following my minimalism project, you know I just got rid of 2 boxes of clothes during my “packing party,” which was inspired by Ryan Nicodemus of The Minimalists. Even so, it’s a new year and every garment is potentially on the chopping block again.

For me, minimalism is about getting rid of the things that don’t add value to my life. It is a constant process. Just because an item added value to my life last year, it doesn’t guarantee that it adds value to my life today. And if that’s the case, and that item should find a new home where it will be useful again.

On January 1st, I went into my closet and flipped every hanger so instead of curling towards the wall, each hanger was curled toward the center of the room. When I wear a garment and it returns to the closet, the hanger will be flipped back to the traditional position. I also took each pair of my shoes and flipped them so the toes were pointing towards the room rather than towards the wall. When I where a pair of shoes for the first time, I flipped them around when I put them away. It takes only a few minutes to flip everything around, and by using the system, I can see at a glance what garments and shoes I have and haven’t worn this year.

Historically, when I’ve done an annual wardrobe clean-out, it also included a checklist for garments that are folded like sweaters, workout gear, and T-shirts. I decided not to do that this year but instead will keep I mental checklist of what I have worn. The items that I don’t wear often will end up at the bottom of the piles and back of the drawers and I’ll decide by the end of the year if anything would be better off being donated to charity.

I got rid of a lot of clothes during my “packing party.” As a result, I seem to enjoy the clothes I have that much more and it appears I’ve flipped a lot more hangers to date then I did last year. It’s a very rare that I find myself rediscovering a garment in my wardrobe because I forgot that I owned it. It definitely makes me happier knowing that the things that I have actually help me be more comfortable and add value to my life.

I’ve considered trying the capsule wardrobe – creating a 3-month wardrobe based on mixing and matchng 24-33 garments. That might be something fun to try when I get back from all my spring travels.


  1. marty says:

    It has been years since I cleaned my closet thanks for inspiring me

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      I’m glad I could inspire you! Good luck with your own clean-out!

  2. Toni says:

    I was thinking today about a hanger color coding system for my husband’s wardrobe. All items get a bright colored hanger, until they’ve been warn. Then I’d put them on a white hanger. Anything with a colored hanger after a set amount of time would need to go.

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      That would be an interesting way to do it! I’m not sure I’d want two sets of hangers but I could see that as helpful when assisting someone else with cleaning out their wardrobe.

  3. Lisa says:

    I can’t do the 1-year rule because there are some pieces that I used to have and regret getting rid of because sometimes my style and tastes change…and then change back. So instead I cull through my clothes on a more frequent basis and get rid of any spontaneous purchases that I never really settled into wearing. Most of the times these are the ones that didn’t really fit my style to begin with but I wanted to try it just in case. In all cases these spontaneous purchases were thrift finds and/or below $10 so I never feel too bad about it.

    I’ve moved towards a more basic wardrobe though so that everything works well together. This makes the pieces I do keep for a long time really flexible and useful.

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      Your plan sounds like it works well for you. Like you, I’m definitely moving towards a more basic wardrobe. I’m also more particular about getting pieces I’m likely going to love for the long-term. Clothes are an investment.