If your closets are always jammed and your laundry room is impassable, you might need a few guidelines to organize your clothes. Wardrobe laws can be liberating. Each family is different, so modify as needed, but have some wardrobe rules nonetheless. I’d also recommend running these by your spouse to see if he/she agrees or even cares. You might find out some interesting things about him and his view of the family and what it needs. And he’ll understand more about what you are struggling with when it comes to an overwhelming amount of clothing options.
Our Facebook Clutter-free group is working on their clothes until the end of this month. I have challenged them to complete and share their closet and dresser organizing projects with the rest of the group. We’ll vote, and the winner will receive a wardrobe-related prize from me. If you’d like in on the friendly competition, there is still time to join our free Clutter-Free group. Where else are you going to get rewarded for organizing your closets?
Darla’s First Law of Wardrobes is: If it doesn’t fit, is stained, needs mending, or just feels funny, then it’s time to part with it.
Darla’s Second Law of Wardrobes is: No matter how much you paid for it, if you don’t like it, then pass it on. Keeping it longer does not make it cheaper.
Darla’s Third Law of Wardrobes is: Do not keep clothes because of guilt. If someone else gave it to you, apply the first two rules above.
Darla’s Fourth Law of Wardrobes is: If it requires dry cleaning, cold storage, costly specialized ironing, starching or steaming, you probably will never wear it, or will wear it significantly less than other items you own.
Darla’s Fifth Law of Wardrobes is: It’s worth nothing in your closet if you aren’t wearing it. If it truly is valuable, sell it, consign it or donate it. Either way, you’ll get some value back from it.
[bctt tweet=”Keeping it longer does not make it cheaper. Pass it on. See the other Wardrobe Laws here. https://heartworkorg.com/2017/01/28/darlas-wardrobe-laws/ ” username=”DarlaDeMorrow”]
I personally try very, very hard to not have clothing that I can only wear once or twice a year. The only exception I can think of is snow pants for the kids, which they totally need exactly one day a year. I got rid of my beautiful but fussy white faux fur coat. I dislike storing a Christmas sweater that will only get worn once (unless you are the reigning Ugly Sweater Champion, of course). If you have a huge home with plenty of storage, then keep whatever you want, but when space is tight, reconsider those single-use outfits.
The amount of what’s being stored should make sense. Does it really make sense to have more than 30 outfits, when I can do laundry any time I want? 30 spring/summer and 30 fall/winter? Is that too much or too little? Everyone will have their own answer. But there’s no point in having a closet full of button down shirts if all you ever wear is t-shirts.
My 9 year-old and I agreed this summer that her fall wardrobe would include only about 8 complete outfits. Even kids get overwhelmed with keeping up with their closet. While 8 outfits feels like too few in my eyes, and that means I have to see her in the same stuff over and over, she’s responsible for her laundry, so I’ve got to listen to her when she tells me straight up that she wants less laundry to care for! She would actually be happy wearing the same outfit for days on end…which she has tried to do. Luckily, no one has ever died from wearing an outfit two days in a row.
Lastly, use the 80/20 Rule. The fancy name is the Paraeto Principle. It says that you get 80% of benefit from 20% of the thing. For clothes, that means we tend to wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time. And we almost never wear the other 80% of our wardrobe. If that’s true, would life be easier for you if you just had the 20% easy to get to, easy to care for, and feeling great in all the time?
By the way, you get a pass on some of this if you are working your way from your maternity wardrobe back into your real clothes. Only you know when this will happen, but it’s just a thing that we women have to deal with. I would recommend having a box or large sturdy bag in the bottom of your closet, and as soon as you feel those maternity clothes getting loose, or when you can’t stand to see them anymore, then pop them in the donate bag and don’t look back!
Do Darla’s Wardrobe Laws help you? I’d love to hear back from you.