Welcome to my blog, aka my place to comment and reflect on things I find inspiring, amusing, irritating, or baffling. When I was young, my Stanford PhD, former physics professor, software engineer father used to help me with my math homework, and I, being mentally deficient in all things math, could never quite get it. He would constantly say to me, "Jill, it's not rocket science." (Did I mention the PhD was in Aeronautics and Astronautics??) So I thought it would be an appropriate title for this blog because everything I write about is, indeed, not rocket science.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Cleanin' Out My Closet (I'm Sorry Mama)

I couldn't resist the Eminem reference. This weekend I cleaned out my closet, which I try to do twice a year. I'm really good about getting rid of stuff (but am also really good about replacing stuff with other stuff), with the exception of my junk closet. I'm quite ruthless when it comes to purging my closet, and I have a few tips for anyone who holds on to things for too long and hates to get rid of that sweater that you "might wear one day!"

1. Put it on! If you're unsure about whether to keep an item or not, put it on. Chances are, it's out-of-style, too big/small, or you hate the site of yourself wearing it (amazing how that happens with fashion in just a few years). Then the choice is easy: DONATE (I donate everything to Goodwill, and if you are one of those people who throws perfectly good clothes away, then the karma gods will enter your closet in the form of moths and eat holes in all your cashmere sweaters).

2. Don't keep anything out of emotional guilt. "But this was expensive, and I only wore it once - that would be like throwing money away." Well, guess what? You already spent the money so it's long gone, and now it's just sitting in your closet, taking up space, making you feel guilty. "But I bought this in France 10 years ago and it's just so pretty." Have you worn in it 10 years? Exactly. "These shoes are gorgeous, but they cripple my feet when I walk." Unless you're a masochist, you're never going to wear them again. DONATE. 

3. If you haven't worn it in a year or more, get rid of it - you're most likely not going to wear it anytime in the future. I've heard from professional organizers that a good strategy is to turn all your hangers around so that the hook opening faces you. When you wear an item, put the hanger back facing the normal way. Over the course of a year or so, you can easily see which ones have been turned around and which ones haven't. Get rid of the items that haven't.

4. If you're talking yourself into keeping something, don't. Uncertainty usually means it should go. And besides, it's probably a doozy that should have been ditched four years ago.

Do I have things in my closet that I should probably get rid of? Sure. A couple of jackets, some sweaters and sweatshirts. I'm definitely guilty of a few of the above things. But for the most part, I'm excellent at saying goodbye to old clothes. I've never once regretted getting rid of something; I wasn't wearing it anyway, so how could I miss it? And I know that by donating it, someone else is getting a lot more use of out of it than I did.


  1. Who throws perfectly good clothes away??

    Anyway, these are excellent tips.

  2. Great post Jill! Most women only wear about 30% of their wardrobe. I love donating, consigning and arranging clothing swaps with friends! :)


  3. Kar, I've known people who do this. It's a sin in my book.

  4. Someone out there has a LOT of striped t-shirts, thanks to you, Jill! :)

  5. This is true! I don't have as many as I used to, but there's still a few. :)