Chronic Closet Clear Out
The word closet means a very different thing to someone with a Chronic Illness than to a fully functioning person.
We all know the drill; you wake up, everything hurts, you drag yourself out of bed and you put on… the same outfit you’ve worn around the house for the last three days. Hey, we’re all guilty of it.
The reason that we generally do this is that our clothes are generally not equipped for pain or exhaustion. In fact, women’s clothing isn’t even really intended for a full life – guys, pockets are a blessing.
The general problem was fast fashion, a dangerous sport when like me, you like shopping. My wardrobe, at the age of 19, was overflowing with colours and shapes that I never wore. Two cars had to take my belongings to college – my Nissan Micra bought everything back.
Note: the first thing you want to do is put some really comfortable clothes on – I generally do this in leggings and a singlet. It makes things simpler, trust me.
Get a box, preferably a plastic one you can store under your bed or in your parent’s garage. Label it ‘keepsakes’. This is your ‘can’t bc pain’ box – meaning, you adore that piece of clothing and can’t part with it, but you also can’t wear it.
Grab two other boxes and label them ‘donate’ and ‘bin’. Pretty self-explanatory.
Pull it all out of your closet and put them somewhere you can leave them. This is important – you and I both know you’re going to get tired, so your bed is the worst place for your clothes.
Once you’ve had a sit down (clothes are heavy okay), divide it into tops, jackets, dresses, pants, skirts etc
Pick a pile and start sorting.
Here’s what you want to know;
- The keepsakes box is for items that you love and can’t part with, but aren’t comfortable anymore or don’t fit.
- Donate any clothes in good condition that you don’t love, that don’t fit and aren’t comfortable.
- Bin any clothes that are in bad condition. That means the ones that have pasta sauce down the front or a hair straightener burn on them
- If you can’t decide; put it on! That’s why you’re wearing leggings and a singlet. Other factors are the age of the piece, fabric (is it itchy at all?), fabric weight (too-heavy coats are a no), slightly too tight (if you can’t get it on over the leggings, you’re not going to wear it) and what goes with it (are you going to have to replace the top because it’s the only thing that matches your favourite skirt?)
- If you’re still undecided, get another box, fill it with your undecided stuff and hide it for a month. If you can survive without, then donate it.
DO double check that you haven’t just deleted your entire wardrobe. You still need the basics, at the least.
Shoes are a nice easy one, because they essentially go by three principles
Are they dead? > if they are the best thing since sliced bread, replace them. Then throw them out.
- Do you wear them? > if no, donate
- Do they fit? > again, if no, donate
- Are they comfortable? > no? DONATE
Ladies, you’re allowed to keep pretty high heels, that pair of ballet flats that you haven’t worn for several years because they give you blisters have got to go.
Once you’ve done the first cull, bring them out, and grab a set of scales; the kind you stand on. You can pull your bags and costume jewellery out for this one too.
Basically, weigh everything. If it’s more than a kilo (two pounds), bin it. Your body will not enjoy wearing heavy shoes or carrying heavy bags, and they might not get the blame when you’re sore later. Costume jewellery needs to be under 500g, or again, it goes.
And ta da! You have a clean wardrobe. Enjoy!
Read my post on what essentials you need in that wardrobe to survive here