Cleaning out the Closet-Keep, Donate, Dump or Delusional?

Every Spring and Fall I take on the laborious task of cleaning out the closets.  Since FTD and I share a mid-size walk-in closet there is just not enough room to hold all of our stuff year round. To alleviate the clutter I keep what we will need for two seasons in the closet at any given time. I do this to our coat closet and now Oliver's closet as well. It's annoying, but it is necessary.

Here is how this whole thing works. I have two or three storage tubs for each of us and two for our coats as well. I start by emptying out the storage tubs into four piles; Keep, Donate, Dump and Delusional. Let me explain...


This is of course the clothes I plan on wearing for the season. This pile also has the Spring Break t-shirt from 1996 that holds too many memories to part with, the tops I spent too much on, that I have never worn because they require an "occasion," and the hideous grandparent gifted sweaters I have to keep readily available for surprise invites and drop-ins.


This is the pile of clothes I love, but know the time has come for them to belong to someone else. This pile also holds the Christmas, birthday and awful baby clothes I will NEVER EVER put on my body or my child's. What?  My trash is someones treasure. After all, someone bought these fine specimens of shit...er... clothes thinking they were superb. These same people are also on PeopleofWalmart.com


This pile is the worst of the worst.  While it is meant for the city dump, it should be burned to ensure these articles of clothing never see the light of day again.  This one holds the clothes I painted the wall and myself in, things I wore until they fell apart. Literally. Things even the Goodwill will not take. You know it is bad when Goodwill throws the bag back in your car, screaming "LEAVE!"  Again, for examples go to PeopleofWalmart.com


This happens to be a very special pile. This pile is beautiful. All of my favorite clothes that I cannot fit into anymore, but love so much I cannot part with are piled, very high, here.  Why do I call it the delusional pile and keep it separate from the keep pile?  Because I am so incredibly delusional I think I will be a size 4 again, or that somehow I will be able to pull off that twenty-something look at thirty-something. No, really, I think it possible!  What if this whole, "Wait until you start chasing a toddler, the pounds will melt off," is true?  Granted the whole, "Breastfeed and the pounds will melt off," proved to be a load of horse turds. But, maybe, just maybe, the toddler marathon will get me into my pre-teen denim!

I'll tell you exactly what I tell FTD every time he questions this pile, "I will NEVER give these clothes up. I will wax nostalgia with them every year and then be buried with them."

Side Note: Before baby, marriage and grown-up bills I had a consignment pile. Until consignment shops start buying Target, that pile will remain non-existent.

Ok, so once the bins have been sorted, I start doing the same with the clothes in the closet. I fold the keepers and delusional items and put them in the tubs, then bag the donates and dumps. I do the same with the shoes and coats.

 A trick a friend taught me was to hang all of the new clothes with the hanger hooks facing me, once I take the garment off the hanger I turn the hanger back around. This way, at the end of the season what ever has not been turned around should be donated or dumped. Truth be told, 75% ends up folded in the delusional pile.

Ten hours, a war won in "F" bombs and 44 "Really?"s from FTD and I'm finally finished. I step back and admire my hard work. While the task is laborious and time consuming, once I am finished I am filled with my favorite thing, self-gratification.

I have a feeling I am not the only one undertaking the closet swap each or every other season. What are your tips or tricks for making this process less laborious and time consuming? Or do you just say screw it and keep the same clothes all year long?

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com


Unknown said...

Wow, you're good - bins and all! I do the same thing with our clothes, although it is sporadic and spontaneous, and I never actually seem to finish, but rather just roll on into the next season still sorting clothes out.
I've been putting anything and everything I shrink out of into the donate or dump piles straight away though, that way I can't go back on my weight loss. I don't touch hubbies clothes either, so his half of the wardrobe (double sized, not walk in) is crammed full of clothes from the 80s, 90s and today, just like a classic hits radio station.

Mrs. Loquacious said...

I do a purge every couple of months (or at minimum, twice a year). During said purge, I usually sort into two piles - dump or donate. The donations get bagged and tossed into the nearest donation box, and the dump ones get discreetly pitched into our "garbage only" compactor in the building. The latter is thankfully a smaller pile, because I usually don't wear my clothes to the point of breaking; they're usually donation-worthy.

As for delusion? Yep, I have some unrealistic goals, but not too pieces left in this collection. Every time I purge, I remind myself that if I really needed it (or I lost a sh*t ton of weight), I could always treat myself to a newer version. The promise of being able to buy more is compelling enough for me to ditch and donate quite a bit.

Baby's stuff is harder to dump though, since I'm not sure when/if we might end up with a second babe.

britmouth said...

Looks like a great approach to a daunting task!! I really need to do this & soon. Our tiny house is slowly being taken over by clothing that doesn't fit in our tiny closets.

Unknown said...

Haha... you know how the weather is here in Florida, it doesn't vary too much, so most everything stays in one area. Several months ago I purged about 60% of my wardrobe and got rid of it. Some stuff I'm missing now, but oh well. A good 25% of stuff I kept is business clothing, but I'm not sure if I'll ever need it again- scary. The kid clothes? Well, most goes to "donate"- especially as they get older and wear the heck out of it all. Since my daily uniform consists of a tank top, work out shorts, and tennies- from dropping off/picking up Kaely- nothing is going to get worn :/

Good for you though! I need to try your method

Chewylicious said...

hahahaha donate all stuffffffs to me! i love up-cycling them for SOME THING or some PROJECT hahaha xoxoxo ...umm yeah if i had a room all to myself I'd have a total junk room and my hubby would kill me! xoxo

oh hunnie, this post is hilarious! i don't even know where to begin...i was pulling out clothes and hubby said that was SOOOO 1990's ...(yeah i still have some of my old stuff that I hoped to fit in then realize it's not quite back in style YET but it is coming back around so maybe i'll keep it a little longer...sorry i think i'm rambling but i love to keep all my clothes...every time i've donated something...i'm like aww crap i coulda used it at least for some type of craft ...now i have to go back out and buy it >.< ugh...

i have my fat pair of jeans, and a fitted pair lol..for me...at home i wear all my tightest clothes possible to remind me of WHAT i want to wear...and if i can't fit then i can't eat >.< yeah i know i'm crazy lol but BAH HUMBUG lol

love yah babe!

foodpixie said...

Love the delusional pile. I still mourn clothes that I no longer have but would totally fit into now. A girlfriend and I just traded clothes, and I'll be getting the smaller ones back hopefully one day.

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

Before Baby I have been the same size for 5+years. So for the most part it was donate b/c I don't like and dum becuse I liked too much!

Dealing with Hub's clothes is a VERY delicate matter.

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

I have the same problem with the baby stuff. you never know...

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

That is exactly why I have to stay on it. We live in a closet with four closets inside of it! Great to hear from you! XX

Unknown said...

I am about to undertake this chore. My delusional pile is probably 90% of my clothes. I put the clothes that require an outing in that category too because thinking I might go out is about as delusional as it gets.

Having a toddler hasn't helped me lose any weight. Chasing her hasn't been that hard. I hope you have better luck!

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

I thought of you when I wrote 'or just keep everything year round' ;) SO Jealous!! I would only need 1/2 the clothes!

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

I wear tight clothes around the house AND have a skinny photo of me in the kitchen to make me think before I eat! Trust me, you do not want what I am giving away! XX

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

At least you send your delusion off to a person who is not delusional. I stare at mine, and sometimes in my extremem delusion I try them on and feel sorry for myself when I cannot get anything on!

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

More Horse Turds! I knew the toddler marathon would be fruitless. Since getting pregnant my whole freaking closet is the delusional pile!

Good luck with the undertaking!

Layes Landing said...

Another totally relative to me post!! I am actually too lazy to get up and do this, but I am tempted to go take a picture of my delusional pile and send to you. Its soooo huge it is out in our storage shed!!!