Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Probably one of the funnest facts about me is that I love rap music. Like, really Jae? I want you to imagine me now, driving back from dropping off carpool in my large SUV in my sleepy 2,000 person town. Now imagine I’m blasting Eminem from the stereo and bobbing my head like I’m in a hip hop video. I might throw up a gang sign or two. Yeah, I would say I’m pretty much the most intimidating 5’4” suburban mom EVER. Why am I even telling you this? Because this post is clearly devoted to cleaning out your closet a la Eminem, to the tune of writing a violent rap song in which you pretend like you’re going to kill your mother.
I’m totally kidding. Not only is that silly, but it has nothing to do with fashion. If you want to kill your mother with a shovel you can do it on your own time, thanks.
While Eminem did write “Cleanin’ Out My Closet,” he probably didn’t mean getting rid of ugly clothes. At least I think he didn’t. I only took one class in song interpretation so I could be wrong.
One of the biggest challenges with trying to dress well with kids is that sometimes, you just don't feel like you have the time to put yourself together and get out the door. You're running off to carpool while listening to gangsta rap, hurrying out to work or trying to squeeze in a trip to the gym and the way you look just happens to take a backseat for the day. So you end up heading out in your trusty tee and jeans combo, with barely enough time to slip on your flip flops as you run out to the car.
Well, at least half of the problem is probably found deep within your closet. We all have the exact same issues, no matter how our closets are organized: the clothes you wear all the time are easy to find near the middle, the clothes that don't fit yet you hang onto like a crazy person are stuffed in the back and there's probably a few pieces that you forgot about too. Like me and my red skirt. Because of this, you probably grab whatever you see first to get dressed in a hurry. Which may or may not be frumpy and disappointing.
Can I let you in on a mind-blowing fashion secret?
If you don't have crappy clothes in your closet.... (wait for it) ..... you don't wear crappy clothes.
I KNOW, RIGHT!?
That's why I urge everyone to clean out their closets at least twice a year. I tend to do a big cleaning in both fall and spring. It's when I assess the season's clothes with the upcoming weather change and decide whether or not I want to hold onto them for another year. Seeing as I just got rid of a massive bag of clothes, plenty of stuff didn't make the cut. That sweater with the hole in the armpit? That jacket that didn't button? The hat that was a really bad idea? All gone. Because I got rid of so much stuff, I was able to rescue some lesser-worn pieces from the back of my closet to put them back into rotation again. Hello, friends! I'm sorry I have forsaken you.
Don't know where to start? Here's some tips! Hows about you get rid of/donate/trash/give to a cross-dresser:
-Anything that doesn't fit. Um, yeah. Doi. Yes, I know you want to lose ten pounds, but that doesn't mean the jeans you wore in high school are in style. Let it go.
-Anything that you don't feel confident or attractive in. Don't know if you like it? Put it on and snap a digiphoto. You'll find out real fast which clothes are keepers and which are kickers. Ask your husband too. You'll be surprised at how vocal he is about your favorite sweater. Every so often my husband dispenses helpful fashion advice, like "You should wear more pink." I own exactly one pink shirt. Time to go shopping.
-Any comfort items that you're keeping just because they're easy to throw on or it looked good once upon a time/10 lbs ago/when you were in 8th grade. Seriously, if the only reason you own a piece of clothing is “because it’s comfortable,” toss it. Comfort isn’t the only reason to get dressed in the morning, people. Get rid of your 9am safety net and MAKE yourself try something new.
-Anything barfed on, peed on, pooped on, stained with food or otherwise destroyed. It's gross. Only a true mother would understand why this is a common issue.
"But Jae!" you say. "If I tossed a bunch of my clothes I wouldn't have anything to wear." Correction: You won't have anything crappy, misshapen, stained or sloppy to wear. When you pare down your closet to well-fitting, well-made basics, you'll actually have more to work with. You'll be able to clearly see what you have and how it works with other pieces, instead of just blindly reaching into your closet every morning.
Here was my weekend's work:
Shoes are organized by color and texture, with both the front and the back showing so I can choose them according to the way they look AND heel height. Plus it just makes me happy to have prettiness in my closet.
Tops are arranged by sleeve length, then dresses, pants and jackets. Makes it super easy to find what I'm looking for and it only takes a few minutes extra when folding clothes to divide them up properly.
Also, the top of my closet is for workout clothes and the Nerf gun I confiscated from my son. WHO buys a two-year-old a Nerf gun? My husband, that's who.
Anyway, with an organized closet it probably takes me LESS time to grab something that looks put-together than it would for me to dig out some yoga pants and an oversized tee, so it pretty much forces me into looking like a normal human being. Drat.
Although I am looking for ideas for hanging handbags and scarves, if you have any... right now they're stored in a laundry room cupboard and fall on my head when I try to get at them.
Seriously though. Two hours on a Saturday. That's all it takes to separate the wheat from the chaff and start dressing just a little bit better. Plus you get to have that Sex in the City moment every time you open up a clean, organized closet. Half of the time I expect birds to fly out and soft music to start playing when I try to pick out some shoes. It's THAT satisfying.
And just so you know, I did NOT give away these shoes. They've become my closet mascot. One day, when Minnie Mouse clodhoppers come back in style I WILL BE READY.