Great Closet Advice

Today my friend Hannah and her business partner Suzanne had their Doncaster show at my house and are donating 10% of all their sales to the Food Bank.  Thanks to all the wonderful ladies who came out, stripped down and decided they had to have a new skirt, sweater or suit.


I heard lots of funny and useful information about people’s clothing and closets while they pondered between the lilac and the olive sweaters.  One friend, Kathi, found a couple of pieces of clothing that looked great on her, which was no surprise because everything looks great on her.  She said that she could not buy them right there and then because first she had to go home and see if she already had anything like them and find an equal number of things to weed out of her closet before she added anything new.


WOW!  What a concept.  She says she only needs so much and this way everything she keeps is up-to-date and in great condition.  “How many black shoes does a person need?” she said.


I don’t know about you, but most women tend to buy the same thing over and over again, because that is what they are drawn to at the store.  I have friends who only wear one color, say black, or taupe, you know who you are, which is great because that is what they look good in.  But if you are only going to buy one color, how many multiples of the same items do you need?


I remember when a friend built a new house, she was showing us her closet and she said, “Here is the dress hanging section and the shirt hanging section and the shoe section and the black pants section.”


Kathi’s plan of only having one of anything works for her because she has remained the same size for her whole adult life.  Kudos to her for that hard job, but it does make closet management easier.


Another friend Lucy asked us if we had ever seen the “Home Improvement” episode where Tim Allen built his wife her dream closet.  She described what was needed in a dream closet, “A place for thin clothes, fat clothes and the just five fewer pounds clothes.”  Tim then holds up a tiny slinky dress and asks his wife, “What section would this go in?  The In-Your-Dreams-Section?”


I remember once my mother, who hates to ever part with any of her clothes, tried to do a weeding out.  I happened to come to visit her after she had spent three days removing every item of clothing and trying it on and deciding if it should go in the keep, donate or throw pile.  I walked in the door and was horrified to see she was wearing a 30 year old L.L. Bean wrap around skirt that did not quite meet the wrapping minimum, paired with a thread bare Shetland sweater which had been my sister Janet’s in boarding school that was at least three inches too short for my mother.  As she tugged on the front of the too short sweater she said with a big grin, “Look at these great clothes I found.”  Great has a different meaning for my mother and me.


When I asked if that was representative of the things she was keeping what in the world was she throwing away or donating.  That was when she pointed to three ratty t-shirts on the dining room table that I had thought were dust rags and said, “I’m giving those away.”


I am going to try and break any genetic connection I have to my mother when it comes to my closet and somehow become adopted by Kathi.  I am embracing the nothing-new-in-the-closet-until-something-old-comes-out rule and I will make sure that I am not purchasing a duplicate item unless I have worn out or ruined the first one.  Now, if I could just do something about the In-Your-Dreams-Section.

5 Comments on “Great Closet Advice”

  1. Stori Cadigan says:

    4 oclock in the morning…huge crash.. the entire closet fixings ripped off the wall and the inside of our closet resembles an episode of “Hoarders”. OMG lets talk about emptying the closet to make room for new stuff. Unless we get a dumpster there will be no new stuff:)

    • dana lange says:

      Stori. When Russ and I first got married and I moved to his house in new jersey he built me a new closet. One night the whole thing gave way and all the clothes fell on The floor covered in drywall dust. I think I cried and said that we had to leave new jersey after that

  2. Suzanne Worden says:

    I love donating clothes to charity and, in fact, just put together a bag today which contained too small shoes of Oliver’s, some clothes of mine and Grace’s that met our “2 year rule” (if u haven’t worn it in two years in gets tossed)’ and 2 bras I bought on line when I was sure my boobs were bigger than they actually are. They’re being donated still in their original packaging!


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