Cleaning Out My Closet

I looked at every article of clothing I owned this week. I was in for some surprises! I went through all of my drawers, my side of the closet, and my shoes, my accessories, and my jewelry. I didn’t think I had a lot of clothes, and I definitely didn’t think I was a hoarder, but going through them all changed my mind!

I’m joining several other ladies in Project: Simplify, hosted by Simple Mom. Using her book Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living as a guide, for five weeks, a new “hot spot” is revealed, and we have a challenge to get that spot organized. This last week the hot spot was our wardrobe.
It wasn’t the first place that came to my mind when I thought about de-cluttering. No one sees it really except me. Tsh Oxenreider, the writer at Simple Mom, had several good reasons for starting with our wardrobes:
  • Taking care of ourselves, since we as women often forget to do that.
  • Setting an example for our families, and 
  • Motivating ourselves for the rest of the challenges. 
It was really motivating to see the pile of clothes that didn’t fit anymore, were stained and holey, or that just weren’t my color that were leaving my drawers and hangers for good. Why did I hang on to them for so long?!

The steps were as follows:

  • Make sure your clothes are clean and in one place.
  • Mark two boxes (I used bags) one as “Give” and one as “Toss.”
  • Take out all the contents of the drawers and clean them. 
  • Try on your clothes, sorting them into piles: keep, maybe, give, and toss.
  • Re-assess your maybe pile and make some decisions. 
  • Do the same for your shoes, jewelry, and accessories. 

Shirt Drawer
I started with my shirt drawer. Here are all the shirts I have that are not hanging in the closet. It’s hard to tell from this angle, but this drawer is really full. I has all of my short sleeved, tanks, and long sleeved shirts inside since here in AZ, I never know which I’ll need on a given day.

I learned the rolling shirts trick a long time ago when I shared my room with my very fashion conscious little sister who took up a lot of drawer space. You really can fit a lot more in when you roll your clothes. 
Although I’d gone through all my clothes while packing them before we moved here, I realized that there were a lot of tops I hadn’t worn in a long, long time. Several didn’t fit me, but I hung on to them for sentimental reasons. Although I rarely ever wear tee-shirts, I kept my choir shirts, high school newspaper shirt, youth group shirt, and my fall play shirt. 
I used Tsh’s suggestion to take a picture of yourself wearing the outfit. For some reason, seeing the picture helps you look at it objectively.
I know it’s backwards in the mirror, but it says “State Fair.” Best high school musical EVER. I took the most pictures of my sentimental shirts, and ended up keeping the ones that meant most to me, fit best, and that I actually did wear on occasion. 
I put in the “Give” bag several of my shirts that I’ve had since I was a sophomore in high school. Now that I’m an old married woman, I need to dress the part!
I also got rid of tanks that were too small, shirts with holes, shirts that were uncomfortable, or didn’t look good on me. Here’s my finished drawer:
I know it looks just as full as before at this angle, but trust me, it’s got a lot more room and now holds only the clothes I actually like. 
My bags were close to full already when I started on my jean’s drawer. 
Jeans/Shorts Drawer
Here we have some of my pajamas, some of Brian’s shorts, my shorts, capris, and jeans, all mixed together. This was a hard drawer, mainly because hardly any of my jeans or shorts fit well. My jeans are generally ok after wearing them for a day to stretch them out, but when I first get them from the laundry, it’s painful to get them buttoned and zipped. It didn’t used to be that way. 
So, do I keep them or give them? If I got rid of all the jeans and shorts that were uncomfortable, I would have one pair of jeans and two pairs of shorts left. So I decided to keep the ones I know will stretch out, at least just for now. Hopefully I’ll be able to replace them with comfy ones soon. 
Sock/Underwear/Pajama Drawer
This has been a mess for a long time. I took everything out and refolded it, and counted it. I couldn’t believe my eyes! Guess how many pairs of underwear I had?
Yes. Fifty pairs of underwear, all different styles and colors. I found two pairs with stickers still on them, never worn. I had no idea that I’d collected so many! I threw away all the pairs with holes, stretched out elastic, or didn’t fit right. 
I did the same for my socks and bras. I had several pairs of socks that I’d never worn, I guess I was saving them for a special occasion. I put several pairs in my give away pile and kept the ones I thought I’d actually wear. 
I sorted my pajamas and got rid of random pants or old tanks that didn’t go with anything, and kept five matching pairs. Some are for really cold nights, and others are for really hot nights, so I think it’s a good number.
I can’t bring myself to post pictures of this drawer, so you’ll have to trust me when I say that it is much, much improved! 

I haven’t bought these yet, but wouldn’t these be awesome to keep your underwear drawer organized? 
Drawer Organizer Combo Pack - Set of 6

My Closet 
Are those knee high nylons shoved down there?
Yes, yes it is. 
Here’s a close-up of my top shelf.
It’s not a pretty sight. My scarves are piled up there, along with a couple sweatshirts, blankets, and purses. My shoes are kind of a mess too, and my clothes aren’t arranged in any order.
I found several outfits that hadn’t fit me for years hiding back there. They went into the “Give” bag. Some I had to try on a few times to come to a decision. The shoes were especially hard, because I love all my shoes, even the ones that don’t fit or are out of style. I had to be ruthless, and it was hard.
I had a difficult time finding a solution to the scarf problem too. I wanted them to be contained, but still visible. I finally used a hanger, just like I had been doing for my belts. It would be nice to get some hangers like these in there someday. 
Walnut 10-Scarf Hanger
I had another problem: even after sorting through the clothes, they were really, really crowded. I solved this by putting all my lingerie in a VS bag on the top shelf, and folding my sweats and putting them on the floor. It’s not ideal, but it works for now. 
What would be ideal, would be something like this for my lingerie: 
Extendables Lingerie Box - Clear Drawer Organizer
Although maybe not something clear…ahem. 
This would be great for my sweats: 
Shelf Dividers - Set of 2 Tall in White

My shirts are kinda organized by length of sleeve and color. Kinda. I’m open to organizing suggestions! 
Here are my final “Give” and “Toss” bags after sorting through my maybes:
The bag on the left is “Toss,” The other three are “Give.” My little sister is coming next week, so she gets to go through the give piles first and anything left goes to Goodwill.
Do you have some spring cleaning to do? Get inspired by everyone else’s posts and join the weekly challenges at! This is spring cleaning at its most fun!

When was the last time you sorted your wardrobe? How do you organize your closet?

  • Ok- stop. I totally roll our shirts too!!!! I say our, because I fold all clothes here… (we're working on changing this fact). And yes, I too have clothes from high school (some from jr. high- eek)

    The knee highs made me laugh, and I too, color code my hanging clothes.

    And I JUST went through my long sleeves. I'm keeping 2. I figured if the weather here gets chilly, I can grab a jacket. 🙂 It's FREEDOM!

    Great post!

  • WOW! I'm sure this activity kept you busy all day!

    I only wish I could get my husband to go through his "stuff"… but I think I'd have to go to the hospital on that day as I'd have a heart attack! LOL

    Good Job!
    Have an AWESOME day!

  • I'm working on my closet now too–out of sheer desperation! It's so, so bad! It looks like you're doing great so far!

    I do actually use a laundry basket on my floor for sweats and tees that I wear pretty often because I don't have much for drawers and it seems silly to hang them. It's easy and keeps them pretty neat and out of the way but it's easier to clean up than straight on the floor. I also keep all my shoes in a basket on the other side. Not so neat, but at least they're contained.

  • Oh my goodness! I have a laundry basket I'm not using for anything! I'm totally going to put it in there and use it for my sweats now. Thanks for the idea!

  • hehe..i'm sort of disorganized so I don't remember tossing any clothes yikes! I can't throw things either

  • Good job! It's really hard work going through clothing and you got rid of a lot of stuff!

    I totally need to do this. I'm sort of in an interesting position as most of my clothes don't fit as I've started seeing a personal trainer but my body hasn't reached a new equilibrium so I don't know if I should wait, get rid of everything or what. I know that some people recommend getting rid of all your bigger clothes so that you won't go back into them, but I'm just trying to being realistic about my future weight fluctuations. haha. So, I think I'm going to wait to see what happens before I really go through all my clothes.

  • My sons were involved in sports for several years as they grew up and had a ton of t shirts. I surprised them by having t shirt quilts made for them. Both absolutely loved them! Just an idea for a way to make something useful out of keepsakes.

  • We are having a garage sale on the first Saturday of April, so I'm in the process of getting our cabinets cleared too! Right now, Hubby and I's clothes fit in one cabinet (Can you believe that?)

  • My only suggestion is to get those hangers that fold down…I'll have to show you the one in the girls' closet if you don't know what I mean. It really does add a lot more space! 😀