Hey Red! What are the "clothing rules?"

My clients (family/friends/strangers) always ask for my advice and recommendations on much more than just organizing. And the way I’ve seen it, if one has a question, I’m sure many do. Here’s where I’ll share these tips and answers with you!

Hey Red! What are the "clothing rules?"

Question: The other day a client asks me, "What are your 'rules' in regards to what clothing to keep and what to toss?"

Discarded Clothing Pile

Answer: This is something I think we all have a struggle with at one time or another, myself included. However, we have to be ruthless in our closet. When we aren't, we make it harder on ourselves to get ready in the morning.

And when you're half-awake, why do you want to make getting dressed any harder?

You only wear a small percentage of what's in there anyway. We want to change that to 100% instead.

To take up valuable real estate in your closet, your clothing should:

  • Fit your current body. Obviously we're not talking about the couple of pound fluctuation we get after a carbolicious meal or something like that, but overall the garment fits properly. You don't have to tug at it. Nothing spills out. You don't have to mess with it throughout the time that you're wearing it.
  • Fit your current lifestyle. You want to dress for who you are now and the person you want to grow into, not the person you used to be. When I was a ballroom dancer, I had a closet devoted to formal wear, competition wear and costumes. Since I spend my days up to my eyeballs in other people's clutter, that doesn't really fit the bill any more. If the clothing doesn't represent who you are now and the direction you're going, it needs to find a new home. Outside of your own.
  • Make you feel fabulous. When you put on this piece of clothing do you feel good. Do you feel confident? Do you feel like you at your best self? Do you receive compliments? If not, it goes. (Does not apply to a *few* items you can keep for doing grubby work. But that can go in a drawer. Fold lines don't matter when you're grubby.)

Disclaimer on weight management - if you are ACTIVELY doing something about your weight - eating clean and working out CONSISTENTLY - then you may keep a certain amount of clothing for the impending new body. Separate these items out from the rest of the wardrobe and give them a realistic deadline. (1-2lbs per week) Of the items you keep, they must:

  • be in good condition
  • be something you absolutely LOVE. Not kinda ok. LUUUUUUUUURVE. Or it goes.

If you don't fit in them at that deadline, let them go. Remember, if you haven't worn it in years, it may not fit the new body and your current lifestyle. The new body may not be the same composition as the last time you were that size. It may no longer be in style or represent your style.  Plus, many people are so excited about great weight loss that they want to buy new clothes in celebration.

It goes without saying that if you aren't actively doing any sort of weight management then anything that is too small or big goes. (Unless you decide to change that right now. Not *one day* but right. now.)

Pregnant? Same rules as active weight management - give yourself a reasonable, post-baby deadline and then get ruthless.

Cleaning out the clothes is not only a great way to create space for new items, but you may re-discover great items that you forgot you had. When you follow these rules, you'll know that you can easily grab any item in your closet and it will fit and make you feel fabulous. So get in that closet, choose a rod to start clearing out and hit it!

Do you have a burning question? Perhaps just a simmering one? Send it to heyred@melindamassie.com.