Out of the Closet: The Case for Spring Cleaning

So…you need to clean out your closet. Yes, you do. I once read a statistic that really stuck with me, despite the fair assumption that it probably wasn’t calculated in a scientific way: The average woman only wears 20% of the clothing in her closet. For men, I’m assuming that percentage would be a bit higher and “in her closet” would be replaced with “rumpled on his bedroom floor.” I’ve no desire to speak out against most people having a narrowed collection of go-to items. I mean, what kind of weirdo doesn’t have a favorite pair of jeans? If anything, there’s something wrong with me for being able to go months without doing laundry (the outfits would get quite “creative” towards the end, but I could make it happen). Whether your wardrobe is a modest heap, totally out of hand, or a shameful archive of old selves, it could use some editing. Aim to flip those numbers to 80% accessible pieces and just a guilty 20% “but a boyfriend gave me that” necklaces, “might need that for next Halloween” dresses, and “will fit into those if I lose some fat, muscle, and bone matter” pants.

Here’s why creating a streamlined, organized closet will be worthwhile, even if you unearth a spider or worse in the process:
1. Picking out an outfit will be a pleasant experience of self-expression rather than a boring resignation to whatever just came out of the dryer or a frustrating hunt. There’s pride in finding a diamond in the rough, but I’d rather have a shiny rack of diamonds ready and waiting.
2. When you can actually see all of your options, more creative pairings will ensue. You can juxtapose different items with speed and ease as opposed to merely digging around for that one (presumably only) shirt you know looks okay with that crazy-patterned skirt you bought on impulse.
3. Having a general mental inventory of your wardrobe allows you to shop more effectively. You’ll know what you actually need instead of just gravitating towards things you already have a sufficient version (or 3) of. Most of us who engage in some retail therapy and/or recreational shopping have favorite items to shop for (someone please restrain me in the presence of black boots, underwear, and vintage post earrings). You’ll find yourself with more choices if you seek out what your closet is missing, not what it was overflowing with in the first place.
4. You can benefit a charity by donating any unwanted clothes. Or hey, this is America, so benefit yourself by selling them.

I practice what I preach (er, blog), and this has yielded a mini-mountain of duds that I will try to convert into cash-monies. Coming soon: a review of various resale/consignment stores around town with my findings on how to maximize profits and minimize the weirdness of strangers assigning a dollar amount to your style.

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