You want to pare down the amount of clothes in your closet but don’t know where to start?
Here’s my method to set up your closet so that you can easily figure out what you don’t wear. This requires a little bit of setup and won’t give you the answer overnight, but as the weeks and months goes by you will develop a clear picture of what you really wear and what you can get rid of. Here is how my closet is set up.
Starting in the middle of the closet rod are a few empty hangers. If there’s a lot of empty hangers, it’s probably time to do laundry. All of my empty hangers are right there together, not scattered throughout the closet. These serve as both a divider and also to reduce the weight on the middle of the closet rod. To the left of the empty hangers are my shirts and to the right are pants for work, church, etc. To the right of the pants are the few pairs of jeans that I own, followed by workout clothes. Keep going to the right and you’ll see my two suits and then my sport coats.
Now, whenever I put away laundry, I grab an empty hanger from the middle and hang the shirt or pants up so they are next to the empty hangers. That way, the items in the middle are what I have worn most recently. This helps me rotate so I don’t keep wearing the same shirts all of the time to work. I know that if I look farther to the left, those are the shirts I haven’t worn in a while and the same goes for the pants farthest to the right. This also makes it easy when it’s time to purge. Shirts that you don’t wear very often automatically work their way to the far left of the closet and the same goes for the pants. They will be to the right, next to the jeans.
Another thing I did was to hang a divider on the closet rod last fall. You can buy clothing rack dividers like these clothing rack dividers fairly cheaply if you want to divide your clothes up, but I haven’t had the need. You can easily make one with whatever will hang there. Use some cardboard or plastic like the lid to a butter or cottage cheese container would be perfect. Just make a cut from the edge to the middle and then cut a hole large enough for the closet rod. I’m actually using that weird hanger that came with the garment bag in our luggage set. Whatever works. This makes it a piece of cake if you write a date on it and set a time frame like 3 months, 6 months, a year maybe if you want to hit all of the seasons and just get rid of everything on the other side of that divider. Right now, after about four months, there are just a few short sleeved shirts on the other side of mine. If they are still there after the weather warms up, they’ll be donated.
I believe the best solution is to just have fewer clothes. I’ve been purging my closet frequently lately and plan to continue. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that way off to the right in my closet, past the suits and sport coats, are several old Army uniforms. I’m really not sure what to do with them and haven’t been able to bring myself to part with them yet, but I will.
What do you do if your closet is a complete mess and so jammed with clothes that you have to pry the hangers apart when putting away laundry? In that case, I would just pick a place to start and add in some dividers to create your sections. As you wear something, put it in between the dividers. It’s also pretty likely that things you don’t wear often have already worked their way to the outer ends of your closet so that’s a good place to start purging from. Be brutal. If you really don’t love something get rid of it. If you really like that shirt but don’t have anything to wear it with, you probably should just get rid of it. If you love it that much, leave it out and give yourself a week or a month to go buy something that matches it that you also love. If you don’t get around to it, then you don’t love it as much as you thought you did. Get rid of it.
Copyright Dave Lubke and www.davelubke.com, 2018
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