Wardrobe Wonder: Making Mornings Easier Through Capsule Wardrobing
I have lost 100 pounds twice.
I accept congratulations when I tell people this, but what I don’t tell them is I had three closets brimming with clothes due to my size ranges. Recently I lost 45 pounds of baby weight from the toddler, but this time I was prepared and saved a ton of money by capsulizing my wardrobe during my maternity leave.
The purge, reorganizing, and shopping within my wardrobe has been very therapeutic and has also made my life infinitely easier by cutting my dressing time to mere minutes every morning. With a twelve year old who refuses to remove himself from his bed before three warnings and a cover removal at 7:15 am and a toddler who got up three times to pee (but demands assistance very loudly from his bed) and then slept with his foot in my ear for the remainder of the night… It helps to have some control and womanly power over my closet. Plus, I look good in every outfit! Not because I’m stunningly gorgeous, but because everything goes and I would have to try really hard to screw it up.
Step 1: PURGE
This is the most labor-intensive and emotionally damaging part of this process. You will need totes, duct tape, trash bags, and a glass of wine, or bottle of wine, and some time to yourself.
Go through everything. EVERYTHING. Try it all on. Because I did this part during maternity leave, no one was home, but me and the baby so I pretty much just hung out in my undergarments for 3 hours and bit the bullet of “that’s way too small” and “Size 8! Hahahahahaaaa… **Cry a little** and “Why did I ever wear this? It’s horrific!”
Now you make piles. (1) Goes to charity. (2) Goes to the trash because NO ONE should wear that, it’s hideous and has a hole in it and maybe some spit up from the first kid who is now twelve. (3) One size too small. (4) Two sizes too small. (5) One size too big. (6) What fits now. (7) T-shirts you want to keep that you WEAR (8) T-shirts you don’t wear. (9) Sentimental – this is your prom dress from 1997 that no one will ever wear or love as much as you, your mom’s prom dress that Grandma thought you needed and now you do too, etc. (10) Shoes you have worn in the last year (11) Shoes you haven’t worn in a year.
Seriously take a day off from work, while the hubs is at work and the kids are at school, and do this for yourself. It’s cathartic and overwhelming, BUT the light at the end of the tunnel is shining brightly girl!
Step 2: ORGANIZE
Bag (1) is the charity bag. Get a trash bag or whatever you want to haul if off in, put your clothes back on, and go put it in your car RIGHT NOW!
Bag (2) is the trash bag. Bag that up right now and go put it in the dumpster or in your car, depending on your trash disposal options, but if it goes in the car be sure to put a sign or piece of duct tape or something to identify it from the charity bag. Take that out RIGHT NOW.
Pile (10) is shoes you haven’t worn in a year. If they are in good shape, bag them up and give them to charity too. This is sometimes the hardest thing for us to do, however shoe shopping is probably the best shopping fun you will ever have and that closet will fill back up with the newest fad in footwear before you know it, so toss ‘em!
Pile (9) are the shoes you wear. Put them back in the closet.
Pile (8), the Sentimental Pile, goes back to the darkest corner of an obscure closet, but you need to bag them up to preserve them. So put them all back on hangers (because you know you tried to put that prom dress back on) and take your trash bags and duct tape and bag them. I usually cut the bottom seam of a trash bag, slide in hangers, lay on floor/bed, then take a second bag from the bottom, sack it up and duct tape across the middle seam. Now put those out of sight, out of mind.
YOU ARE HALF WAY DONE NOW!
Now it’s tote time. I love tote time. I use slim line totes that I can stack about 4 on top of running vertically in the corner my closet.
In the first tote go all the t-shirts I want to keep, but am not really sure why because I don’t wear them, but I’m gonna keep them anyway. (Aren’t we the weirdest creatures?)
Second tote goes the two sizes too small clothes. Women are notorious for weight fluctuations. If you lose enough one day to wear these then great, if they provide some sense of encouragement to be healthier which may results in losing weight then good, or if you fill this box up and go “All of these look like someone else and I don’t need or want them” then grab a trash bag and send them to charity. One less tote in your life is an accomplishment unto itself!
Third tote is one size too big.
Fourth tote is one size too small. I always put this tote on top as motivation.
Stack totes in closet and you now should only have Pile (6) and Pile (7) out. Put your t-shirts away however you choose. I hang everything, but that’s just me.
Now separate the “What You Wear Now” Pile into work and non-work clothing. Work clothing will go on one side of the closet and non-work clothing will go on the other. If you have a chest of drawers and do not wear jeans to work every day, then I would fold neatly your jeans and put them in the drawer. Same goes for yoga pants, leggings, sweat pants, and pajamas.
Step 3: BACK TO THE CLOSET
All non-working clothes can just be ignored for this portion. We are focusing on making getting ready for work while juggling kids, breakfast, and make-up easier so, separate your tops from your bottoms. The organize pants and skirts, and dresses, long sleeve shirts, button ups, short sleeves, cardigans, tanks, etc. Now put them in an order back into the closet that makes sense for you. If you wear skirts everyday then put them in front of the slacks, etc. Same with tops.
Step 4: CREATE YOUR WARDROBE
Look at what you have and what goes together. Really analyze what is in front of you. This also helps you recognize that you don’t have a white button down shirt that actually fits you and you really need one, but because the one that was a size too big had been in the closet, you didn’t notice. If you have time, strip back down and play with making outfits out of what you have. It’s fun and will help you remember what goes together or doesn’t when you’re getting ready in the morning.
Now, (this is my favorite part) get on Pinterest and start you a board for your closet. Search items that you already have like black skinny pants and look at all the outfits that other people have come up with. If you have similar pieces then save it. If you have all but one piece save it. Then go back and look at your board. It maybe that you have liked outfits that have a common theme, or color scheme, or a common missing item like a white button down shirt. Now that you know what you have and what you need, you will save time putting together outfits in the morning, and you will save money shopping because you know you only need one white button down shirt.
Step 5: FEEL REALLY GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF
You just conquered a mountain, girl! You just took back your power over your closet, your clothing, and your mornings! You deserve a big pat on the back and maybe a new white button down shirt.
Because I am a very cold natured person, I have a lot of sweaters. When it’s sweater weather I have them hung in the closet, but when it’s not cold outside, I have an extra tub for them. These are sweaters I wear and (of course) one ugly Christmas sweater on stand-by. Don’t keep what you don’t need or wear.