How to Tidy Your Closet When You Really Love Clothes!

The last couple posts stemmed from those of us who don't have much attachment to clothes. But what if you absolutely love clothes?!

I'm in this boat. I love clothes! I love fashion. I have a weakness for shopping for clothes. But, this weakness (or love) for clothes comes at a price (literally). Not only on my budget but space as well. Not just physically but psychologically, even emotionally.

There's the excitement of finding something beautiful and needing to have it. But there's also guilt. Guilt for spending money and guilt for overconsuming.

I've tried many things, from trying to put myself on a budget to attempting a capsule wardrobe. Or, more like an experimental capsule wardrobe where I picked out the clothes I thought would be suitable for a capsule and kept everything else on standby. You know? Just in case.

None of these things really worked.

Even doing KonMari only went so far because, well... I LOVE clothes! So, even after decluttering my clothing, I still had a weakness for shopping for new clothes. I went from having a minimal closet post-declutter to a constantly rotating influx of new clothes in and out.

Clothing for me comes in several categories:

  1. Clothes I need.

  2. Clothes I want.

  3. Clothes that are too beautiful not to buy.

  4. Clothes that are free (or cheap).

Or some combination of any and all the above. I'm guilty of buying something, wearing it once, and then being over it. So, how am I handling keeping my closet to a minimum?

Personal Clothing Inventory

This comes from my own background in archiving and love of lists. After attempting the capsule wardrobe where you choose a certain number of clothes (say 35), including shoes and accessories, I was forced to make a list of the clothes that would go into the capsule. Capsule wardrobes are designed to be very versatile, so most pieces you can mix and match.

It kind of worked for me.

But it didn't help with the other pieces of clothing that didn't fit into the capsule. So, I wound up having my capsule, and then some. My clothing was divided between what was in the capsule, and everything else in drawers. I didn't like having say 3 tee-shirts in the capsule, while there were another 10 hiding in my dresser. 

How does the inventory work?

One of my inventory pages

One of my inventory pages

I give myself 10 slots within a category. So, say long sleeve tops. I had to go through all of them and pick out my top 10. I wrote them down. I put this list on the inside of my closet. And I do this with all my categories of clothing.

Now, if I do go shopping, and I bring home say a new long sleeve top, I have to decide what this new pair will replace on my list.

Here are my categories:

  1. Pants

  2. Skirts

  3. Dresses

  4. Sweaters

  5. Cardigans

  6. T-shirts

  7. Tank tops

  8. Long sleeve tops

  9. Hoodies and sweatshirts

  10. Shoes

  11. Coats and jackets

  12. Exercise bottoms

  13. Exercise tops

  14. Scarves

  15. Underwear

  16. Socks

  17. Bras

  18. Bags and purses

  19. Belts

  20. Hats

This may seem fairly liberal, but that's the point. I know clothing is my weakness, so I've found that working within these parameters actually keeps me the most aware of my clothing and therefore not overshopping. For instance, right now I love all 10 of my sweaters so much I've passed up things I've seen while out and about because I couldn't think of one I wanted to replace.

Without this, I would've just bought it, probably felt bad for spending money, and guilty for adding more to my closet that I didn't really need.

Common Pitfalls

  1. Clothing exchanges

  2. Discount and cheaper retail stores

  3. Sales!

  4. Clearance!

I have mixed feelings about clothing exchanges, only because clothing is a weakness for me. It's a beautiful and wonderful event to have and even host. It brings friends together, helps people let go of things that no longer bring them joy and pass them on to someone else. My way of dealing with clothing exchanges is, I let myself just freaking enjoy them!

I mean, the clothes are free. I let myself have and take and feel like a kid in a candy store. After all, it's not hitting my wallet, so I let myself play. But, what I do when I get home is, I do a thorough assessment. Many items were great just to pick up and take home. That was the thrill of it. Once I'm home, I realize not everything needs to become part of my closet. I put those pieces into my to-go bag.

As for discount stores (like Ross, Goodwill), sales, and clearance items, this inventory really puts "things" into perspective. Whereas before I would think, why not it's only $x, I think of it instead as, this is a THING. Some THING I have to deal with once I get it home, and is this thing worth more to me than what I already have in my inventory? Oftentimes that $5 shirt in front of me pales in comparison to what I already have at home.

It's all about what works!

What tips and tricks do you use for yourself to keep yourself from overconsuming? What are your weaknesses?