Thursday, August 12, 2021

Clothes Closet on Wednesday


I reorganized my clothes closet, today, although you probably can't tell it from the picture above!  I often feel like my "After" pictures look more like other people's "Before" pictures!  LOL.  Yes, I know that we are supposed to use only one color of clothes hangers to make it look more uniform, but, I just use whatever I have and I am not about to toss the perfectly good hangers even if they are mismatched!

Anyway, I reorganized my clothes closet, today, as it has been some time since I last organized it and it showed!

My closet is 6 ft. wide, has one overhead shelf and a single pole running the length of it.  The overhead shelf contains some of my daughter's things (mostly old toys she wants to keep) because I am using the overhead shelf in her closet as the main household altar.  I use the floor of the closet to store certain items I don't want to store in the garage.  I did not sort through those items, today.

The closet holds all the clothes I consider OK to hang.  Sweaters are folded and stored in the chest of drawers; night clothes, sweatshirts, socks and underwear, etc., are folded and kept in the dresser drawers.  Everything else is hung up in the closet. On one side of the closet (to the right when standing in front of the closet, facing it) I have all my cardigans, ponchos, hoodies, jackets, and blouses.  On the other side, I have the skirts, pants, dresses, the two winter coats, and my saris.  

Today, I focused on getting my clothes sorted.  I generally have the clothes separated into categories, like items together, and more or less sorted by color.  Today, I went one step further and sorted all the blouses according to sleeve lengths.  I am hoping that this would make it easier to see what I have and reach for the item I needed to suit the weather.

I also turned all the hangers the other way around, again; as items are worn, laundered, and put back, they will be put back with the hangers turned the usual way.  This will make it easier for me to see which items were worn and which were not.  There were a few hangers that were still turned the other way round from the last time I rearranged the closet, but, most of those were party wear items which weren't worn because I haven't had the opportunity to wear them, in the past year and a half or so.  I am keeping them, for now.  Maybe there will still be an occasion to wear them, again!  

I did not declutter the closet today.  I didn't pull out all the clothes and dump them on my bed, or hold each one to see if it sparked joy or, if it didn't, thank it for its service and put it aside to donate.

Instead, while sorting things into categories, I took inventory of what I had!  I used to do that, a long time ago, but, had not kept up with it.  I did not count my saris and the blouses and underskirts that are worn with them.  I probably have about a dozen saris (some of which belonged to my mother).  But, I counted everything else!  I had read that the average American woman has 103 items of clothing.  I am afraid I have more than that!  

It's not that I buy a lot of clothes; the last time I went clothes shopping was in November 2019, when I bought myself a short sleeved blouse and my daughter bought me three pairs of black pants and three sweaters for my birthday.  Nor do I spend a lot on clothes - the blouse I bought for myself cost $3.99; the items my daughter bought for me were $20 or less, per piece.  But, I get a lot of clothes from my cousins and aunts and I tend to hold onto items!  

The next step is to decide how many of one type of a clothing item do I need?  How many do I want?  What is a reasonable number for a retired woman who stays at home to have?  What is a reasonable number for me to have?  How many is too many?  

I feel I have pared down certain items of clothing to a bare minimum - I have 1 T-shirt (which is actually too big for me, now!), 1 tank top, 2 pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of denim jeans, 3 pairs of sweat pants and 5 sweatshirts (I usually wear them to sleep in in the winter).  I have 1 white skirt and 1 white blouse to wear to the Temple on the casual occasions when I don't wear my white sari.  I have one cream colored sweater to wear with the white skirt when I need something a little warmer.  I don't mind the fact that the skirt is more than 20 years old, but, I was looking to buy a new white blouse before the pandemic started.

On the other hand, I have a total of 21 sweaters (including the 1 ugly Christmas sweater) and 34 blouses!  Do I wear them all?  Yes, for the most part (some of the tops are meant for evening wear, so, not worn much, recently).  Do I have room for all?  Again, yes, although some sweaters might be a bit squished!  Do I need them all?  Probably not!  I will be looking to declutter some of them.

In addition to sorting through my closet and reading various articles about decluttering clothes, today, I chatted on the phone with Aunt C and friend R, ran the dishwasher and washed a few items by hand, and watched news.  I also called the charity I usually call for a donations pick up to ask if they accepted text books and they said no.  I will call the library, tomorrow, to see if they accept text books.  If not, I'll have to put them in the recycling bin, which seems like such a waste to me.  

Daughter checked the jury duty website and she doesn't have to report in person tomorrow, either, so we are both happy about that.  

By the way, she has decided that the blouse she took from me doesn't suit her (too big) and it will be donated after it gets washed.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Being blessed with an abundance of clothes
- Daughter does not have to report in person for jury duty tomorrow either
- Phone calls with family and friends
- Leftovers in the fridge which meant I didn't have to cook
- Working appliances

Today's joyful activity was organizing (or, at least, sorting through) my closet and seeing exactly what I have and how many, etc.


August Decluttering Challenge: 

8/1 - 1 pair gardening gloves

8/2 - non-working heating pad

8/3 - old purse/handbag

8/4 - 1 computer CD containing a report

8/5 - 1 plastic lid that cracked and broke in two

8/6 - 1 hooded sweatshirt (received a new one to replace it)

8/7 - old make-up I no longer use

8/8 - 6 plastic laundry detergent scoops (I use powdered laundry detergent; each new box comes with its own scoop; I don't need to keep the old ones, but, it seems such a waste to toss them in the recycling bin)

8/9 - 1 sponge paint brush (unused, but, so old, the sponge is no longer spongey!)
         1 plastic food container

8/10 - 1 blouse (given to daughter); will be donated as she decided it didn't fit her properly

8/11 - 1 broken clothes hanger
          3 bras

How was your Wednesday?  What would you consider a reasonable number of clothing items to have?  How do you decide what clothes to keep, what to declutter?


  1. Your closet looks good and tidy to me. I've done the whole emptying it all out onto the bed thing and immediately regretted it. It then takes an age to sort through and hang properly - and I don't own all that many clothes! :)
    I need to sort Lily's wardrobe soon. X

    1. Thank you, Jules. I've done the empty the whole closet thing in the past and I agree with you - it becomes overwhelming!

  2. I don't think I have 103 items of clothing in the house but will check as decluttering clothing is on the list for next week. I do know I don't have any sweaters or sweatshirts at all, which I want to rectify before the colder weather arrives. Does the 103 items include underwear? I'd estimate that I have 50 - 60 items, not including undies, and I think quite a lot of it can go due to age and appearance, so some retail therapy will have to take place, which I guess cancels out the decluttering efforts!

    1. No, I don't think it included underwear or sleepwear, etc. Just clothes in the closet. I feel I have a good control over socks, undies, sleepwear, etc. I keep enough to see me through the week or so between loads of laundry (plus a spare package of both undies and socks, just in case!). I need to be more critical about age and appearance of the garments in my closet; I keep and wear things for too long!

  3. Well done you getting a handle on your closet. I've done that reverse hanger bit, it sort of helped (col). During this pandemic I don't think it would be a fair assessment as we aren't living the normal life of going out & about as much if at all, IMO.

    1. Thank you, Mary-Lou. Yes, the reserve hanger thing is only as good as you declutter the items still unworn after 6 months or 1 year. I've been known to find excuses to continue to keep those unworn items! :D I'm giving consideration to the impact of the pandemic on my social life and will continue to keep those items I usually wear when going out and about. But, there are other items I tend to wear at home, when going to the grocery store, etc. I need to decide if I need quite as many of those garments as I have!

  4. It sounds like you need to wear white to Temple. Is that right?

    1. It is the preferred color to wear to the Temple. It is not a requirement, but, it is what is traditionally worn to the Temple, to an almsgiving, and for mourning. White symbolizes purity and it prevents the distraction of more colorful clothing. It is also a great equalizer - when everyone is dressed in white, it is harder to tell people's social status, etc. :)

  5. Your closet sounds like the same style as mine. I also have a mix of hanger colors, and types, and think changing them out to be the same would be extremely wasteful! I do switch out winter and summer clothes, as the seasons are so extreme I don't wear many of the same clothes all year. I declutter clothes rarely, as I wear them to rags! I hate clothes shopping and don't get new items very often. I'm glad your daughter is still there to help you. I am at my sister's caring for her, she had surgery last week. It went well. Best, Celie

    1. Glad to hear your sister's surgery went well, Celie. I know she must be very grateful to have you there to care for her. You are a blessing to her!

      I think some of us have the same ideas when it comes to spending money on things like matching hangers! :D I don't enjoy clothes shopping that much, myself, which is why I gladly accept what my family and friends give me when they declutter their closets! But, every now and then, I wonder just how many clothes do I need? :D

  6. I have been using the hanger turning trick, too, as I hate to wash an item that has been hardly worn and is clean and can be worn again later. Anything washed gets the hanger the right way round. I have several jackets which rarely get worn but I like jackets and there is always the odd time that one may be useful. Our climate seems to be mainly no jacket, or bundle up completely against the elements. Jackets are useful for traveling, if we ever get back to doing some!

    1. I think I learned about the hanger trick when I first joined GON. You probably need two separate wardrobes for your weather! I agree that jackets are very useful. I have an old black blazer that I tend to wear as a jacket, but I should look to replace it with a proper fall/winter jacket for when I don't need the big wool coat!

  7. If things continue like they have been the past year, I could get by with 5 pr shorts, 5 tops, 5 tank tops 5 pr sweatpants, 4 sweatshirts, 1 pr jeans, 1 pr dress slacks,2 sweaters, 2 dresses (one summer and one winter) flip-flops, tennis shoes, pumps, birks, 1 coat, 1 hoodie, necessary underwear , 3 pr flannel pajama pants, 3 nightgowns, 1 robe

    1. Now that would be a very streamlined wardrobe! Assuming you do laundry every 3 or 4 days, I'd say that would be more than adequate. I am not quite sure if I could streamline to that level, although, when I was in mourning for my mother, I had a similarly streamlined wardrobe.

    2. I'm inspired by Anne's list!

    3. It is inspiring, isn't it? :)

  8. Good job on your clothes de-cluttering. I was forced to do the same thing three years ago when we got rid of our old bedroom furniture and replaced it with new. I went through every stitch of clothing we had in our armoire and dressers. I kept way too much and I know for a fact I will never wear it again. A lot of it was sentimental, so I just couldn't get rid of it. But I did get rid of a lot. Seems like you have a lot too, but I give you credit for even doing it. Some people hold onto too many clothes for too many years. Guilty as charged. Denise

    1. Thank you, Denise. I try to go through the closet at regular intervals and declutter, but, then, a family member will offer me some clothes (always with the caveat that I can give away what I don't want) and the process starts all over again! I have 3 dresses that I am holding on to for sentimental reasons - they are among the last items my mother sewed for me (she used to sew almost all my clothes). I need to be more ruthless with what I keep and donate the rest!

  9. What an informative and enjoyable post about clothes decluttering.
    103? I think I am now going to count. lol
    Over the last few years (slowly over a decade) I have donated a lot of my clothes and don't feel like I now have too many.
    My storage is similar to yours. Same size closet with all of my hanging items.
    I no longer have any additional storage for off season clothes- I used to pack away the off season clothes because I didn't have room in my closet. Not anymore. Warmer weather on the right and cold weather on the left. And then I have my bureau with the same things in it that you have.
    The shelf above is almost empty. I have a fabric tub with a few purses and a separate summer straw purse that I keep all of my letters from my mother and cards from my husband.
    I feel good about that system.

    1. Thank you, Debra. Well, if you have more than 103 items of clothing, you can say that you are above average! :D

      It sounds like you have a very good system in place and a very streamlined closet. :)


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