Thursday, February 25, 2016

Closet Inventory

A few weeks ago I attempted a KonMari-style clean-out of my closet (despite not having actually read the book). It's something I've been interested in doing for a while, but I could never seem to find the time. One weekend I finally decided to sit down and purge everything. My main reason for the clean-out was to reduce the amount of clutter in my closet, so I can actually see the things I want to wear, instead of only the things that I never wear.

The first thing I did was pull everything out of my closet and pile it all onto my bed. Here's a picture of the resulting chaos. Coats and shoes weren't included, because those were part of my hall closet purge. Also, I apologize for the poor image quality, but the lighting in my apartment is really bad!

After emptying the closet, I picked up each item, thought about how I felt in it, and then decided to either put it back into the closet, add it to the donate pile, or try to sell it. About a quarter went to the sell pile, a quarter to the donate pile, and everything else went back into the closet. It was difficult to let some pieces go, especially when they were new with tags (ack) or in like new condition. I kept feeling bad about how much money I had wasted, but ultimately I decided that it was better to let those pieces go rather than hold onto things that I never wore and even worse, made me feel guilty. I did keep a few iffy items though. They're currently on probation, so if I don't wear them enough in the next few months, I'll get rid of them.

Here's a picture of my newly clean closet (minus whatever was in the laundry at the time)! There's also a cat. ;)

My experiment was such a success that I went on to purge the hall closet and my fiancĂ©'s closet! I think it really helped to take out everything and then decide what to put back. In the past when I've cleaned out my closet, I left everything inside initially and only removed items. In the first scenario, you choose what to keep, whereas in the second one, you choose what to discard. By  keeping only the best pieces, I was able to get rid of even more of the mediocre stuff.

So what was I left with at the end of the day? Loving numbers, I decided to tally it all up.

Coats: 6
Jackets: 7
Blazers: 5
Vests: 2
Total: 20

Sweaters: 7
Sweatshirts: 3
Cardigans: 8 
Button-downs: 13
Blouses: 11
Tees: 15
Tanks: 6
Total: 63

Jeans: 9
Casual pants: 3
Dress pants: 2
Skirts: 4
Shorts: 4
Total: 22

Dresses: 10

Boots: 5
Sneakers: 3
Flats: 14
Sandals: 5
Flip-flops: 2
Total: 29

Totes: 3
Crossbody/shoulder bags: 8
Clutches/wallets: 6
Total: 17

Hats: 3
Belts: 10
Scarves: 12
Total: 25


That's still a pretty large number, but I know it's significantly less than what I had before. To prevent another huge closet purge in the future, I'll try to be even more thoughtful about what I add to my wardrobe. I would also try the take-everything-out approach again in the future!

Have you tried the take-everything-out approach for cleaning your closet?


  1. Thanks for sharing your experience. It's interesting to see how you approached KonMari's idea.
    I couldn't face pulling out every item of clothing. I knew I'd feel overwhelmed, so I did this process one dresser drawer at a time. It was much more manageable for me.

    I've been procrastinating where my closet is concerned, but you've inspired me to dive in. Your tidy, clutter-free closet really looks great.

    1. It was very overwhelming at first, but I was able to finish my closet in a few hours. Then the next day I went through my shoes and the coat closet. The reason I took out everything is so I could assess items in the same category at once. By looking at say all the tops together, I could easily figure out what I don't need anymore.

  2. Looks fantastic! I've never tried the method of pulling-everything-out, mostly because I am fairly good at getting rid of the items I don't wear regularly. I think Stylebook helps me a lot with that since I can see on the app when the last time was that I wore something!

    1. I tend to hold onto things in the hopes of one day wearing them, so I had to take out everything and assess what I even owned. Then I went through each category and culled the stuff I didn't want anymore.

      I remember you mentioning Stylebook before, but it's only for Apple products, right? Unfortunately I have Android. Too bad, because it sounds so useful!

  3. Nice work! I always feel so refreshed after a closet purge. I like your idea of putting certain items "on probation"--sometimes it would be helpful to delay the final decision by a few months, particularly if its somethings that's currently out of season.

    1. I do feel a lot better after clearing out my closet. Now I can see everything! I should probably make an actual probation section in my closet, so I can actively try to wear those pieces more.

  4. Congrats on accomplishing this, it is not an easy feat at all!!! The last time I did a full closet purge was when I moved, and while it was horrifying to realize how much stuff I had, it was also a great feeling to cut out the things that didn't bring me joy and to start fresh. You've totally inspired me to start another cleanup this weekend :)

    1. Thanks! That's actually one of the reasons I cleaned out my closet recently. I'm starting to think about graduation (even though it's still more than a year out), and I don't want to deal with purging everything all in one go then.

  5. Yay for having a clean closet! I actually did most of my closet cleaning before ever reading Kondo's book, and because I have a hard time being very decisive about whether to keep or donate clothing, my actual "KonMari" closet decluttering session wasn't even particularly effective or dramatic.

    I do think Kondo's book was what inspired me to actually start trying to sell some of my items that felt a little too nice to just donate. (Though I didn't have anything too valuable or particularly in demand, so my sole method of selling clothing was by sending stuff to Thredup.)

    1. I keep meaning to actually read the book but just haven't made the time. Oh, one thing a friend recommended doing for deciding whether to keep or get rid of something is to ask your S.O. if you ever wear stuff like it.

      I think Thredup is definitely the easiest way to sell old clothes. You only get a little bit of money, but it also takes very little time. This month I sold a few things on eBay, and it took way too much time for not a lot of return. I only use it to sell my most valuable pieces though and Thredup for everything else.