November 8, 2011

Post-Baby Clothing Purge

It's rare to find a Professional Organizer that doesn't follow their own advice...

I'm always saying to clients: "When it comes to your closets, get rid of/donate the old to make room for the new." I help people (mostly women) clear out torn and stained clothes, too-small clothes, clothes with bad memories attached to them to make room for clothes that make them look and feel fabulous.

But, yet another saying comes to mind: "The shoemaker's son has no shoes."

You see, although I dispense this advice, lately I have been the shoemaker--too busy to tackle my own closet. My closet has been a hodge-podge of what I wore before I got pregnant six years ago, what I wore between my first and second pregnancies, what 'kinda' fits me now and what I've bought even though I'm hoping to drop another five pounds. This closet even has some clothes that pre-date my wedding day eleven years ago!

A few weeks ago while the rest of my family was out, I took an hour to sort through and purge my closet. What did I do?

• I took out anything I hadn't worn in years and yes--literally dusted the items off.
• I made four piles: donate, throw out, keep, laundry.
• I tried on items that I thought might not fit me anymore.
• Anything that I was keeping (that had pre-pregnancy dust on it) I threw in my laundry basket.
• I counted all the empty hangers and made an appointment with myself for a little shopping...
• I donated items that were tight, that I no longer liked or suited my lifestyle.
• I wrote down what items needed replacing (white blouse, green sweater set).
• I created a drawer I call 'Another Five Pounds' which means, try these on again in a few months to see if they fit (mostly pants).

I bagged up all purged items and took them to Goodwill.

And I'm not done. I need another hour when the kiddies aren't home to keep purging. Those winter clothes that didn't fit me last year will be tried on in the next few weeks and ruthless decisions will be made. I took a quick look in that closet last week. I have a feeling I'm going to have more empty hangers...


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Stacey Agin Murray, Professional Organizer said...

Thanks for stopping by, Karen. I'm glad you found my post to be so helpful. If you know anyone who might find the information useful, please feel free to share. Happy holidays!

Janet Barclay said...

I can relate to this on so many levels, but the one thing that stands out most is that the job you'd postponed for so many years only took you an hour to do. Been there, done that... But doesn't it feel great to have it done finally? Good luck losing those last 5 pounds!

Stacey Agin Murray, Professional Organizer said...

SInce this post was written a year ago, I am happy to say that I have dropped a few of those extra pounds and I now fit into much of my post-first baby clothes.
Actually, the one hour I blogged about was only one of many quick purging sessions I have done in my closet since the birth of child #2. Since his arrival, getting an hour to myself is a rare occasion! Despite that, I knew I had to use that one hour to organize my closet or else I would continue to have trouble getting dressed in the five minutes I have in the morning!

Rashelle said...

I too was impressed by how much you got done in that one hour! I think definitely having a specific plan for when you a tackle a closet is key. Otherwise something like an impromptu fashion/styling show (while certainly fun!) might take you off course.

Stacey Agin Murray, Professional Organizer said...

Thanks so much for your kind words, Rashelle!

Between my experience as a PO and my familiarity with my closet, I was able to get a lot accomplished in that hour. Every so often I take a few minutes to pull a few items out, try them on and make a decision. But, yes you're right. An impromptu 'fashion show' can easily lead a person astray from the task at hand.