Nine Easy Steps to Downsize Your Clothing

When my clients take me through their homes, as they start to downsize, they open their bedroom closet(s) and sigh. So many years of clothing.

They don’t know where to start. The very thought of trying on all those clothes to see what fits and what doesn’t, is exhausting.

My question to them is, “how many hangers do you need?” By “hangers” we really mean clothes on hangers.

Let’s get started!  Make sure you have lots of determination, labels and garbage bags.

  1. Remove all the empty hangers and set them aside for recycling. Most dry cleaners will accept them. By eliminating the extra hangers, you have reduced some of the clutter. You have also made an agreement with yourself that nothing new shall enter your closet unless something goes out.
  2. Count the remaining hangers and say, I have ‘x’ number of hangers of clothes.
  3. What is your goal?  By how much do you want to reduce your wardrobe? By third? By half? If your closet is bursting, start by reducing your clothing to what comfortably fits.
  4. Place a garbage bag over an empty hanger by making a hole for the hook of the hanger. Hang it in the closet as your divider. On the left side, place all the clothes that you have worn in the past year including items you have worn around the house or to a special occasion.This is your actual real wardrobe.
  5. Now it’s time to deal with those extras. If you purchased items over a year ago and they still have price tags on them, out they go. Is the zipper broken? Buttons missing? Again, if you haven’t fixed them in a year, into the ‘out’ bag they go.
  6. Retire clothing from a job you have retired from. You won’t wear them! I speak from personal experience. Consider donating to Dress for Success
  7. If you don’t like some of the clothes on the left side of the hanger, you can trade them for nicer pieces on the right making sure to bag the ones you take from the left.
  8. Let go of all the clothes that are two sizes too big or too small.
  9. Don’t cheat! You cannot keep tiered hangers that hold 5 skirts or place 3 pair of pants on one hanger.

By now, you should have several bags of unwanted clothing. Give them a second life. Take them to a consignment store or to your favorite charity. Local families are waiting to receive your generosity.