Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Wardrobe Planning - Clothes Closet Organizing

Hangers Turned the Other Way Around
   
One of the things I did over the weekend was turn all the clothes hangers in my closet the other way around!  Not the two winter coats or my saris, because they are items I will continue to keep and wear even if not all that often, but everything else on hangers got turned around.

I had read about this method of wardrobe organizing some time ago, along with all the other helpful closet organizing tips which I am sure we have all read, such as how we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time, that we should have 10-12 hangers per linear foot of closet pole (definitely not there yet with my closet!), and that we are to pull everything out from the closet, make one big pile of our clothes and go through them to decide what stays and what goes (too overwhelming and tiring a task for me!).

The turning the clothes hangers the other way tip is meant to show which items one actually wears and which items tend to hang in the closet, unworn, season after season.

Every time you wear an outfit and return it to the closet after washing it, etc., you put the hanger back the normal way.  Then, at the end of a period of time - 3 months, perhaps, or 6 months - you take a look to see if there are any hangers that are still turned the other way round.  These are the garments you haven't worn in that time period, for what ever reason.

Then you are supposed to ask yourself why you haven't worn them.  Perhaps they are formal wear and the opportunity to wear them hasn't come up, yet?  Or perhaps they don't fit quite right, or don't go with anything you have in the closet.  Then, you ask yourself what you want to do with them.  Do you want to continue to keep them for another 3 months to see if you might wear them?  Or, do you want to give them away?

Although I've read about this tip before, this is, in fact, the first time I have actually done this.  I have decided that I will give myself 6 months, as some of the items in my closet are winter wear (wool skirts and jackets, etc.) that I won't be wearing again until October or November.  Some people switch out wardrobes when the seasons change, but I don't, as I can wear most of my summer outfits with a sweater or a jacket in the winter, as well, since our winters are relatively mild (in any case, my office tends to be as cold in the summer as it is in the winter!).

I am hoping that this will enable me to see which garments I tend to wear all the time and which ones are just hanging in the closet, unworn or rarely worn (some people also have a system to show how often they wear a particular garment, but I haven't got to that point, yet).  I am hoping that this exercise will help me decide what I can give away and what I should keep. 

I am still grappling with the clothes that are now too big for me and the question of what to do with them.  Do I keep them in case I gain the weight back?  (Daughter thinks I should.)  Do I alter them?  Can I alter them?  Are my sewing skills good enough?  Do I have the time?  Do I even want to bother with altering them?  Do I just donate them and build my wardrobe around what I have that can be worn now and buy new clothes as needed?  Just how many outfits to work, etc., do I really need?  I seem to have a lot of clothes, even after giving away a bunch, last year, because I received several bags of clothes from an aunt (whose daughters, my cousins, are trying to clean out her closets!).

One of the first items I pulled out to wear after I turned the hangers the other way is this:

Black&Ivory Outfit
This is a skirt and blouse I sewed for myself with fabric I found in my mother's fabric stash.  She had started to sew herself a pair of coulottes which was half-finished.  I liked the fabric (very soft and silky) and the design, even though it had horizontal stripes and all that.  The colors are black and ivory, with flecks of grey in the ivory areas, although it appears black and white in the picture.  I unpicked the coulottes and turned it into a skirt for myself (with inseam pockets!) and sewed the blouse with the remnants.  Worn together, with the blouse tucked into the skirt, it looks like a dress and that's how I tend to wear it.  But, I could mix and match the pieces with other items I have in my closet.  I have worn it to the office with a sweater or jacket, as well.  It's several years old now, but I still like it, and it fits well enough.  It will be something I will continue to keep and wear.

Yes, that's Dancer in the background, on the bed.  He heard me in the bedroom and came to see what I was doing.  "Whatcha doing, Mummy?  I will keep you company."  In fact, he's sitting right here, on the little table in front of me, as I type this:


Constant Companion

"Are you writing about me, Mummy?"  "Yes, Dancer, I'm telling my friends how you always keep me company".

Have you tried this turning the hangers closet organizing tip?  If so, did you find it useful?  Are there some garments you'll keep even if you don't wear them all that often?

14 comments:

  1. I have done the hanger turn around several times and found it quite useful. It made me realize there was usually a good reason that I wasn't wearing something I thought I liked, and it was time to get rid of it.

    I like the fabric and outfit you are modeling a lot. Definitely a keeper.

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    1. I'm glad someone has tried this method and found it to be useful. I will also put aside items I pick out to wear and find to be too big, etc., as I try them on. I have kept a paper bag, close by, to put items to donate, so it will be easy.

      Thank you, Live and Learn; yes, I like that outfit. :)

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  2. That outfit is lovely! I have gained so much weight that I don't have much of a choice of what still fits. I do hope I can lose some weight and wear some of my favorites again.

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    1. Thank you, Debbie. It's so easy to gain weight and so difficult to lose it, isn't it? Especially when we have medical conditions or are taking medications that cause us to gain weight. Maybe over the summer, when the weather is warmer and you are more likely to want salads, etc., you will lose some of the extra weight you've gained and can wear your favorites again.

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  3. I have never done the hanger turn and probably won't. TheHub is a clothes horse and occupies 3/4 of our large walk in closet so I pack my clothes up seasonally. I purge before I pack them away and then again when I unpack them for the season. I keep my clothing pretty spartan that way, but I am going to make it for that this week. I found several pieces I want to update my existing clothes and there is a big sale beginning this week. (I refuse to feel guilty since nearly everything is my closet is at least 5 years old, but most are much older)

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    1. Anne, it sounds like you are pretty good at weeding out your clothes. Glad you are able to take advantage of a good sale to update your wardrobe! Definitely no need to feel guilty. I think at least 90% of my clothes are over 5 years old!

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  4. What a great idea Bless. I've not heard of that one before. I might give it a try. My wardrobe tidying is on a permanent to do list.
    I think your outfit is really beautiful. X

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    1. Thank you, Jules. Wardrobes need constant tidying and updating, don't they? I think this way of sorting through the closet will be slower than going through everything in one go, of course, but easier for people like me, who find it hard to decide whether to keep or toss clothes. Let me know if you give it a try and how it works for you. :)

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  5. Yes I found the hanger trick useful. I love the black and white outfit. I put "possible keepers" in vacuum storage packs, then review them 6 months later. The bags take up less room in storage!

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    1. Thank you, Angela. Glad to know you found it a useful trick. The vacuum storage packs is a good suggestion!

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  6. I've read loads of wardrobe organising tips but I've never heard about the hangers. I like the idea, it's a simple but effective way of finding out what gets worn and what doesn't. I have stuff in my wardrobe that I wear maybe once or twice a year - sparkles for Christmas, and stuff in their that I've kept for when I lose weight - they've been in there for years and I'm no nearer to fitting into them but I live in hope!

    I LOVE the skirt and blouse, you definitely need to wear that more often, it's really pretty. Hope the antibiotics are kicking in. xx

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    1. This is the first time I am doing this, but I think it will work out well. It'll be less tiring than trying on outfit after outfit and less stressful deciding what stays and what doesn't. If I haven't worn something by December, then, there has to be a good reason why, and I will decide then, if I want to continue to keep it or not.

      Thank you; I do wear that skirt and blouse fairly often. Yes, the antibiotics are starting to kick in, I think.

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  7. Yes, yes to your lovely skirt and blouse. Very nice indeed.

    I am going to try the hanger trick because I do have lots I do not wear now being retired. I also need to have a go at my shoes. I now seem to wear the same few over and over. Can't remember the last time I wore heels. For every day and more I love the Go Walk brand, so comfy and you can wash them!

    You have a sweet kitty.

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    1. Thank you, Sandy, yes, I'll be keeping it. It's very cool and comfortable in the summer and can be worn with a cardigan when it is cooler.

      I, too, need to go through my shoes. I believe I have 8 pairs, not including the pair my neighbor gave which are too big for me. I could probably give away 3 pairs and be fine.

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