I have a problem. A clothes problem. I hate ironing, and I don’t like doing laundry. Actually, I don’t mind doing laundry, but I don’t like putting away the clothes afterwards. Generally, I wait until it reaches critical mass before I break down and put my clothes away. That’s okay because I have a system in place that supports this behavior. Generally, I have enough clothes to not have to put away clothes for close to a month if I time it right. Yep, that’s a lot of clothes, and that’s what led to my Spring Fall cleaning this past weekend.
I thought about doing a purge clothing evaluation when I read the Physician on Fire’s post about cleaning out his closet. I knew we hadn’t done a 70 in 7 challenge recently, and it was due. Our version of a 70 in 7 challenge is pretty simple. For 7 days, pick 10 things a day to sell, donate, or trash. It’s an easy way to declutter and get rid of things we’re not using anymore. I was pretty sure I could come up with 70 things just from my closet and hat collection.
Ode to Clothes Mountain
Goodbye Clothes Mountain.
I’ll miss seeing your peak, covered in boxers and undershirts.
Dress socks askew on your steep slopes, occasionally avalanching down to rest along your jacket covered valley.
Goodbye Clothes Mountain, you will be missed.*
When I decided to say goodbye to Clothes Mountain and put away my clean clothes (hooray for a separate laundry room with a door!) I realized I had a LOT of dress socks. How many is a lot? Try 64 pairs of dress socks. Yep, 64 pairs… Amazingly, only 3 socks showed up with no matches! I sorted them all out and found out I have 12 pairs of just plain black socks, although some are grey’ish now due to age.
I like patterned socks and have gotten out of wearing plain old droll monochrome socks. I was able to weed out 18 pairs that were worn out, threadbare, or faded with age which means I still have 46 pairs of socks. Since they tend last a lot longer with that kind of rotation, it seems like a frugal sort of move, especially since I get most of them for birthdays and Christmas (exciting I know!).
Then I took a look at my boxers and counted 34 pairs – see, I can go a whole month without doing laundry and putting stuff away. My system works so well! Of these, I was able to find 8 pairs that I could part with. I just got a “yuge” restock for my birthday so over half are practically brand new.
Then I looked at hats, ahhh hats. I like hats. I have 23 hats. I forgot my waxed cotton fishing hat for the picture, if you’re counting, d’oh!! Most of the hats in these pictures are over 10 years old, and looking at them all laid out like that I had fond memories of when I got each hat, different places I’ve worn them too and even just reminders of what was going on in my life when I got them. Good memories. After looking at which ones I wear the most and which ones I don’t, I was able to get rid of 9 hats. I know, that’s not even half, but it’s progress right?
I had to then turn my attention to t-shirts which is another area where I can get slightly hoarder’ish. Who would want to get rid of my funny t-shirts like my “Dept. of Redundancy Department” shirt, the “Never Forget” dinosaur t-shirt, or one of my fav’s “Similes are like Metaphors”. Hilarious!! However, some of these have also seen their prime and I may have outgrown them like my Chuck Norris shirt “After a hard night of partying, Chuck Norris doesn’t throw up. Chuck throws down!” Even though I had a big purge when we moved, I still have 44 t-shirts. I was able to get rid of 17 of these, with only 2 needing to be trashed, the rest will be donated, but that’s some progress too.
I also looked at my work pants situation (only 12 pairs) and was able to convert 2 of those to cutoffs for yard work. No, these aren’t “nice” dress pants, although that would be hilarious. These are khaki style pants that I can wear to work because as a geologist, ummm, the “nice clothes” bar is pretty low…
I also evaluated my work/dress shirts, currently at 34. I have a few that I’m on the fence about, and even though I just got some new shirts (3 nice shirts for under $20 total at Kohl’s – yeah discounts!) I find it hard to part with dress shirts. However, I do have 6 shirts that could go out to pasture.
The rest of the purge dealt with miscellaneous things not necessarily related to clothes. I’m already at 70 items and have 3 more days before the 70 in 7 Challenge will be complete. Don’t worry, I won’t stop at 70 if I keep finding more things that I don’t use anymore. I feel good about this purge though, even if I still have a lot of clothes and hats remaining.
What do you do to cycle clothes through your closet? Do you also hoard have a similar genius clothes rotation system? What do you find hard about parting with your clothes?
* Probably not missed by Mrs. SSC as she thought it was bordering on ridiculous how high the pile had grown.