I used to have a ton of clothing that just sat in my closet unused. And I know I’m not the only one.

Some of the clothing I’d only worn once, some I wore to death, and others I just couldn’t seem to let go even though they hadn’t fit me right in years. I had tons of sleeper shirts, “hanging around the house” shirts, “shirts that go under everything”, a “just in case” skirt, shoes I rarely wore, sweaters that never saw the light of day, etc. I just had too much.

One of my goals is to one day have a wardrobe with staple items that I can mix and match to form a variety of outfits. In order to keep this new wardrobe organized, I cannot buy anything new unless I let something else go. This excludes additional staple items that I need to get.

I view staple items as things that are versatile, durable, and can go with anything. Right now the staple items in my wardrobe are:

  • 3 pairs of dark jeans
  • 1 black cardigan
  • A couple of decorative shirts
  • 1 pair of black leggings

To complete the wardrobe I’ll need to buy:

  • A black pencil skirt
  • A white blouse
  • A “little black dress”
  • A button-up shirt
  • A white/black spaghetti strap tank top (for under the button-up)
  • Black shorts/capri pants
  • 1 pair of black dress pants

Right now I own too many decorative shirts and jeans. I need to downsize further in those areas. I still have a lot to buy before my Staple Closet is complete, so right now I’m keeping what I have and seeing the different outfits I can put together.

But before I can get to work on my new closet, I have to make sure my old one got taken care of.

Two weeks ago I combed through my closet in my old apartment and organized my clothes into three piles: Donate, Keep, and Discard. If I came upon an item and immediately started to justify and make excuses that made no sense (for example: “I like having this shirt for when I paint or do something dirty”) I threw it in the Discard pile. Why? Because one) I paint or do something dirty about once a year, and two) justifications are what got me here in the first place.

Two boxes full of donated clothes and two trash bags later, I was finished.

Here’s what my closet looked like before I got down to business:

And here is what it looks like now (well, my side of the closet anyway):

Big difference! It looks a bit bare at the moment, but that is because I still have to buy some staple items. I’m in no hurry, however, and will take my time to find some bargains around stores like Ross, Marshall’s, Target, or TJ Maxx. I always find great items there for a really low price. I’ll probably update this blog with those purchases if they’re in the near future.

What could you get rid of in your closet?