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Create a Working Closet, Part 1: Purge

One of my missions in life is to create a working closet. What do I mean by this? Well since we can't all be lucky enough to live inside of my creepy litle head, I'll explain. 

When I say working closet, I mean a closet that works for you so that you don't stand in front of your closet and feel lost.  A working closet is one in which you can remix what you own into infinite cute outfits. A closet that doesn't scream "go shopping now!" at you every time you walk in. One that knows when a new piece is needed and when it's time to let an old one go. In my experience (I've been conscious of my closet and wearing clothes since I was 5, so I'd say I have a good 21 years of experience) I've found a few ways to go about creating such a thing as a working closet:

Purging, Assessing, Organizing, Shopping, Remixing. Or PAOSR. I love a good acronym.

So over the next 5 weeks or so I will show you each week a step in the process. Hopefully, this crazy plan doesn't just work for me but can work for you too. I am NO EXPERT on this. I've just done this too many times to not share.  So we start this week with Purging. (Closet Binging is not a pre-requisite for this course.)

How to Purge Your Closet (and still have things to wear)

1. Go through your closet with a fine-tooth comb. Take inventory of everything you own and start evaluating if you need to keep an item or not. I have a few guidelines that I use to see if it's worth keeping or it's ready leave my closet.

It no longer fits. 
You don't like it or you've never worn it. 
It has unrepairable holes or tears in it. 
You haven't worn it in 6-12 months (or within the appropriate season). 
You get confused by just looking at it. 
You've never seen this item before and you're not quite sure how it get in here. 

If you answered yes to any of the above, there is only one answer: purge it. Get it out of your closet. 
Keeping items that you will never wear in your closet does you no good. Think of these items as junk mail, when you clean out your inbox you can see your other emails a lot better. Same with clothing you don't wear, clean it out and you'll begin to see your closet for what it is and can be.

2.  If you are struggling with throwing a few things out, start a "maybe" pile. I keep a (small) box in my laundry room, so when I find something that I just don't wear anymore, but I'm not ready to give away it goes in the box. If it's still there in a month or so (meaning I haven't missed it), then I donate it, sell it or swap it with a friend. If you are unsure about a few items, pull them to the side and try them on. If it fits and you can pair it with 3-5 other items in your closet, then keep it. If it doesn't, purge and move on.

3. Next, go through the clothing you've decided to give away. Figure out where these clothes are going to. Is it a thrift store like goodwill or salvation army? Is it to a friend for a clothing swap? Will you sell it to a consignment shop or online? Find a place for these clothes to go somewhere, don't just toss them out. If you can't wear them, someone will. Donating creates a great cycle. The more you donate, the more people can buy which creates more jobs. See? Who knew that cleaning out your closet could do so much good?

4. After your purge, go through your closet and start to pair items together without the clutter of the unworn clogging your creativity. Pair things together for the coming week and hang them in their respective outfit pairs.

Have any purging tips to share? Lend some below in the comments. Next week we will talk about Assessing Your Closet. I know, you can hardly wait.