Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Closet cleansing success!

Hope you had a good weekend!  One of my big goals for the weekend was seriously cutting down on the amount of crap in my closet and dressers--I'm sick and tired of injuring myself when I reach up to my precariously organized shelves above my closet rod, or pulling out my under-bed storage boxes of sweaters.  Seriously, minor bruises and scrapes and lots of frustration!  At one point recently I whimpered "I just want it all to go away!!!"
Would love all my clothes to fit in this closet. From Real Simple

That may be a little extreme, but I did want to cut it down by a good chunk.  So, over the weekend, with my husband's support, I went through every category of clothing and sorted out:
  • A thrift store pile
  • A give-to-friends pile
  • Akeep pile, and in some rare cases
  • A "don't know what to do with this" pile.  
My plan was to also sort out those pieces I couldn't bear to get rid of yet but never wear, and keep them in a box for a year or so to see if I miss them.  But I found I really didn't need that option.  Most things I could make a decision about, and with a few pieces I realized, I've never worn this, and I don't love it, but... I should keep it until I wear it.  And I'm wearing one of those today!  When I get home today this sweater is going in the thrift store bag.

Being someone who's always had lots of clothing (in the past year of working in a professional environment I have NEVER worn the same outfit twice--which is just ridiculous), it's a big mental shift for me to get down to a basic, essentials-plus-trends wardrobe.  It's also pretty interesting to think that I can buy new clothes in this new system--that's kind of how it works--but I will have to get rid of things as they get old.  I have clothes from high school in my old wardrobe, seriously.  And quite a few nice sweaters and tops from like 2006.  It's time those pieces moved on, and so should I.
Right now I don't need this lovely closet. From BHG

I've recently become very inspired (thanks, I think, to Pinterest) by some of the wonderful fashion blogs out there.  I love seeing real people wearing (very current) trends and looks and pin their pictures like crazy in my "cute clothes" pinboard.  I'll have to share fave pics sometime.  One blog in particular, Kendi Everyday, had some great tips for me on building a working closet--I particularly needed to read the part of closet purging.

Kendi Everday also inspired other fashion bloggers to wear only 30 pieces for a month, creating 30 cute outfits.  The 30 for 30 challenge created some super cute outfits on other blogs I've seen!!  Totally inspirational.  I wanted to use the same idea for my wardrobe throughout the year--if I only had pieces I really loved, I would look and feel cuter.

Armed with these ideas and a strong desire to cut down, I sorted out about 50% of my clothes this weekend.  My mom taught me well about going through your closet, and about basics and accents and sorting by color, and buying things that you can imagine wearing 3-5 ways, but it had gotten so out of hand.  I don't have the storage space for all this stuff.  One thing I found that really helped this time was to make piles by color or neutral, everything, even tanks and tees.  I don't need 5 white tanks.  Get rid of the ickiest ones!  This really helped this time.  It's also hard to imagine my clothing needs for all seasons--highs have been in the 90's the past few weeks here in Oregon but I know winter will come again!  So I did keep some staples from last winter, got rid of some, reminding myself that it is okay to buy new things as my tastes change.

Any other little tips you try???

Whew!  What a project!  Hope did cool stuff this weekend too!


  1. I have opted for the 'phone a friend' option. I got my bluntest girlfriend to come over and I tried on all my clothes after my initial purge. She told me which were fantastic and which definitely should go. It helped a lot. I find I have a harder time parting with my sewn clothes but they have to get judged just like the others.

  2. Anonymous9/12/2011

    Have you tried one of those clothing parties? Basically you get together with your friends and you all bring clothes you don't want and everyone trades with each other. I've never done it before, but I think it would be a fun way to get new pieces without spending.

    Oh, and I love Kendi Everyday too! She has such cute style and a good mix of new and thrifted/less expensive items!

  3. Anonymous9/12/2011

    I used to have this idea that I couldn't wear the same outfit twice within two weeks... then I realized that I would never notice if one of my coworkers or friends did, so I didn't need to own that many clothes.
    Before buying new clothes, think about the "price-per-wear." This has considerably cut down on how much I buy and the quality of what I buy. I have to really want it and be willing to wear it a lot before I'll buy it. Even if it's on clearance or on sale, if I only wear it once it was a waste of money, and it's taking space in my closet.

  4. Wow, that is one big project! Something I definitely need to do in the near future.....

    I love the closet photos you posted, they're amazing.

  5. I was the same way with the clothes I wore to work. At one of my old jobs, I didn't repeat an outfit or pair of shoes for over six months! I can't believe I used to have that much stuff. What changed for me was moving on from that job to a more casual work environment, coupled with the realization of how much money I was spending to do that.

    I go through my closet seasonally and get rid of whatever I haven't been wearing or don't like anymore. When shopping, I also consider the price per use, like someone else mentioned. I have no problem dropping hundreds of dollars on an item that I will wear over and over again. My favorite purse cost quite a bit, but I have carried it a lot in the years I've owned it, unlike a few cheaper purses I bought that I've used once, if that.

  6. I've been doing a couple of those "clothing parties" that Sarah mentioned! It's a cool way to get rid of some clothes, find some nice new/pre-loved ones, have a fun afternoon and afterwards we take everything that nobody wanted to the thrift store together...

  7. I used to keep my closet organized in ROYGBIV order withing clothing article categories. As in ROYGBIV sleeve shirts, ROYGBIV long sleave shirts, ROYGBIV skirts, etc. Now, all of my clean clothes go in on the right side of my closet and make their way to the left end of the rod. I pick my outfits based on what is at the left. If something gets to the left and I do not want to wear it, I put it back in on the right with the hanger facing backward (hook facing out). If an item on a backward hanger makes it back to the left and I still don't want to wear it, into the donate pile it goes. Obviously there are exceptions for cocktail dresses and formal wear, but for the most part, this totally helps me keep things under control. Good luck!



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