Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Closet Clean Out?

I have that problem where I have a full, full closet and nothing to wear. I also have a hideous number of NWT things hanging out in my closet. I know part of the problem is that I over buy for summer but I live in Maine where is is winter pretty much all year round so I have lots of pretty summer dresses that don't get much wear.

 I've always wondered what a normal size wardrobe and I wanted to make sure my wardrobe was normal. When I was a pre-teen I wanted to be sure to have just as many clothes as the cool kids. Now I am afraid that I have to many clothes and I am being wasteful. So I'd like to know what's normal interns of closet size for your average American woman. But, I think there is no normal sized wardrobe. It all depends on who you are, what you do, and where you live.

My Primary Closet

I recently stumbled upon "Food, Shelter, Clothing and Optimal Wardrobe Size" by the Vivienne Files which lead to me reading "What is a 'Normal-Sized' Wardrobe?" by Recovering Shopaholic and I was inspired to try to par down my wardrobe to better fit my lifestyle (and my available space). These helped me figure out a good sized closet for me. based on the seasons I experience (endless winter), the range of clothing I need (business formal to yoga class), and how often I want to wear each item each season.

Maine is cold most of the year, September-ish through April. We have a brief spring/summer season May through August but it can still get very chilly at night. I figure I should aim to wear each item in my closet between two and four times each season. When I have a job I spend most of the week in business wear and most of this needs to be more formal business wear.

The Closet in our Spare Room with Nice Clothes, Party Dresses,
and NWT Things I Haven't Worn Yet

I did some math based on these factors and I'd like to try to par down my cold weather wardrobe to 30 work outfits and 22 casual outfits. I have a really hard time finding cold weather clothes that I like. Winter clothes take up more space than summertime clothes because they are heavy and warm. I also wear lots of layers in the winter so I can go a while between washes. So I will assume I'll be okay with repeating outfits up to four times. Indeed, after a quick count, it looks like I've been doing okay with 19 wintertime work dresses.

One of Three or Four Tubs of Summer Clothes in the Basement

I am going to be more lenient with my warm weather wardrobe since I love shopping for summer.  I would like to aim for between 34 and 26 warm weather work outfits and between 26 and 19 casual outfits. I have no idea how many summer clothes I have. Right now most of my summer clothes are packed up in several large plastic tubs in our basement. I think most of my pruning work will be in this area. I'll update when I unpack my summer clothes next month.

My Too Full "Dresser" with Tee Shirts, &c.

I also struggle with what to do with "basics" like layering tanks, tee shirts, and underwear. I spent about 10 years collecting C & C layering tanks in every color. Now I don't need a rainbow of layering tanks because I am a boring lawyer. I also don't need the what seems like millions of tee shirts I have from high school and college. At the same time it seems like I never have enough long underwear, pajama pants, or sweatshirts for lounging in on the weekends.

What does your closet look like? Do you have any plans for downsizing it or strategies for keeping it from getting out of hand while still making sure you still have enough to wear?

1 comment:

  1. how funny, I am working on cleaning out my closet too and a post for it!! This is a great time to do it!


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