If you want to create a hard-working wardrobe, filled only with items you truly love, there are lots of different ways to do it.
The problem is, most of those ways involve spending a lot of time clearing out your closet, sorting through your clothes, and then putting the whole lot back again – minus whichever items you decide not to keep. And let’s face it – no matter how much you love clothes, that’s all time that could be better spent doing something else, isn’t it?
Well, worry not: here’s one easy way to clear out your closet… and it doesn’t involve emptying everything onto the floor first, either! In fact, all you have to do is this:
Make sure all of your hangers are facing in the same direction.
If you’re anything like me, you probably do this already (I can be just a little bit anal about stuff like this!), but if not, quickly go through your closet and make sure they’re all in order. You don’t have to remove or replace anything at this stage, just straighten up the hangers, and then you’re ready to move on to step two, which is to simply go about your life as normal, wearing whatever you’d usually wear. There’s just one small difference, though:
Every time you wear something, turn the hanger to face the other direction when you replace it.
It’s as simple as that. If you do this every time you wear something and return it to your closet, then eventually all of the hangers should be once again facing the same way – which should be the opposite direction to the one they started in. Make sense? (Er, I really hope so: this sounded WAY more straightforward in my head, somehow!) If you set a time limit on this experiment (I’d suggest either 6 months or a year, depending on how seasonal your closet is), you’ll be able to see at a glance which items you’re wearing, and which are just taking up space in the closet.
As for what you DO with the clothes that fall into that latter group, meanwhile, well, that’s up to you. I’m personally not a big fan of the “If you haven’t worn it in X amount of time, you should throw it out!” rule, because not all clothes are designed to be in constant rotation. Occasional and beachwear, for instance, might get limited use, depending on how your year works out, but if you don’t get an opportunity to wear them in a certain amount of time, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll never wear them again, and should immediately get rid of them. If you find you’re not wearing things you WOULD class as “everyday” items, however, I’d definitely take that as a sign to reconsider whether you really need to keep them around, or whether it might be better to pass them on to someone who WOULD get some use out of them.
Of course, this method only works for items which you hang in your closet: for clothes you fold up and store on shelves or drawers, however, a similar solution could be to always replace each item you wear on the BOTTOM of the pile, rather than at the top. One of the reasons I don’t like folding/stacking my clothes is because I always forget what’s at the bottom of the pile, and end up just endlessly wearing whatever’s at the top, washing it, then replacing it. By making sure you always put each item at the bottom of that pile, you’ll remind yourself of what you have, and be more likely to wear the things you’d otherwise forget about. If you really don’t WANT to wear some of the items that surface during this experiment, meanwhile? Well, you know what to do…