Jaime Narke is a freelance graphic designer and stay-at-home mom of three. When she isn’t taking care of her family she can be found in her closet.
Next month my husband and I are going away for a week without the children. We planned this trip in January and since then I’ve been mentally going over my wardrobe for that week. I’m obsessive like that. While we are away we will be celebrating our 10-year anniversary, I have a surprise dinner and night out planned and wanted to get a special dress to wear. Several months ago, Lucky magazine did a brief piece on lingerie inspired clothing and featured this corset dress. Perfect, I thought. I tore the page out, put it in my journal where I was keeping a list of items I might need for the trip and then I waited. And waited. I even e-mailed Guess to find out when the dress would be available. I was a stalker.
A few weeks ago, to my delight, the dress finally showed up on the Web site. I already had my husband’s go-ahead to get the dress. But I waited. I decided I should head to the mall and try it on, but with three kids a simple trip to the mall takes a month of planning and schedule coordination. Waiting proved to be a very financially smart move, as it always does.
Last week a shelf on my husband’s side of the closet fell. The man has more clothes than me, but I’ll leave that for another discussion. In the aftermath of the collapse I cleaned out our closet. And there, hiding in the back was the perfect dress for my special night out. How could I have forgotten about such a cute dress? Purchased four years ago and just waiting for a rare occasion, like a romantic night out. I think I only wore this dress once before and that evening was chilly so I wore a wrap over top. The dress I had been stalking became a faint memory.
Along with the dress I rediscovered a few other casual dresses I haven’t worn in a while, along with some shirts, buried under sweaters, that are perfect for the warmer weather. I was also able to bag up several items of clothing I know I won’t wear anymore and sent them off to Goodwill.
My closet and dresser drawer are now organized by style of clothing and color, with work clothes tucked in the far, far back. I love walking into the closet or opening a dresser drawer and being able to see what I have and being able to pick out an outfit without having to dig through piles of “stuff.” I had forgotten how cathartic it could be to clean out old clothes, getting rid of items you don’t wear and even more exciting â€” finding something you haven’t worn in a while and realizing you now have something “new” to wear. Every season I think I need a few new pieces, but after cleaning out I can truly see that I really don’t need anything and the list of things I had written in my journal was reduced to simply, a new bikini.
With the weather finally getting warm it’s the perfect time to clean out your closet. Bring those spring/summer clothes to the front and put the bulky winter sweaters in a storage box. While you are at it, if you didn’t wear a particular items this past winter, ask yourself if you’ll wear it next year. If they answer is “no,” or maybe even “eh” then donate it. BUT, if something is good quality and you might wear it four years from now, keep it… you never know when you’ll need a wardrobe surprise.
I should mention that this also works for men. Once organized and color coded, I realized my husband has 17 dress shirts of some shade of blue and 10 pair of corduroy pants. I need to have a talk with him.
Have you cleaned out your closet lately? Did you find any items you had forgotten about?
Kelly’s notes: I’m not a clothes keeper-and I rarely have time to shop so my wardrobe is smaller. Instead of waiting for the end of the season I go through clothing as I’m washing and putting it away. Just this week I weeded out some clothes with holes, some of the kids’ clothing that needed to be donated, and said goodbye to a dress I used to love. If you do have a full closet, full of various styles dating back to the 80s it’s definitely the right time to spring clean your closet.