Another Sneaky Reader Tip for Your Closet

LOVED all the feedback and comments on last week’s closet tip about facing your garments let or right.  Here’s another new take on organizing from an anonymous reader…

Recently entering a new lifestyle phase – retirement in her case – she devised a fresh way to weed out her closet a bit at a time.  She organized her garments by categories — bottom garments, under-layer tops, etc.) and then started with one category, selecting each day the item hanging on the far LEFT.

She’d build an outfit around that piece, enjoy it for the day, then (after laundering if necessary) return it to the RIGHT end of the lineup.  Next day there’s a new item at the head of the line, waiting for it’s own outfit combo.

And if she couldn’t make an outfit with an item, or if she didn’t enjoy wearing it after all, it went into a spare closet as a future charitable donation.

Category by category, she went through her entire wardrobe that way, ending up with only the pieces that were wear-tested favorites.

Thanks to all of you for sharing your creativity.  I’m working now on a new format for these blog conversations that leverage YOUR knowledge in a much more full way — stay tuned for big news soon.

About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.

15 Comments

  1. Meg Kundert on October 31, 2021 at 9:11 am

    I do the same! If something has been sitting on the left too long I know I need to either make something to go with it or ditch it. It also forces me to be more creative with outfit combinations.

  2. Pati Palmer on November 2, 2021 at 5:01 pm

    A great idea. At least you give the garment a chance by wearing it before you toss!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on November 3, 2021 at 10:03 am

      True! And the push to build an outfit around it can really spark new ways of thinking about a piece too. Wardrobing can be such a fun creative pursuit.

  3. Fred on November 2, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    Wonderful idea. I am going to work on that one! Also, maybe I’ll see more that one outfit to be made with that one piece – just like your 12 piece wardrobe! I am now not buying anything that does not go with navy blue.

    Thank you, Nancy for all your good work keeping us together!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on November 3, 2021 at 8:58 am

      Totally agree that items in our wardrobe should work more than one way – my personal criteria is 3 ways, or it’s out unless there is some over-riding reason to do otherwise. In terms of the strategy this reader shared, that might mean another potential purge on the second time thru the garment lineup for pieces that can’t make a second outfit combo.

  4. Melissa Miller on November 2, 2021 at 6:27 pm

    I like this idea! I am retiring at the end of December, so I will have to try this!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on November 3, 2021 at 9:58 am

      Retirement was exactly the lifestyle change that prompted the original reader to try this idea. “Great minds …” as they say.

  5. Marlene on November 3, 2021 at 8:18 am

    HI Nancy: I really love this idea and am going to give it a try. It does bring to mind a somewhat related closet question – what do you do or how to you handle / store in your closet – clothing items that you do not wear on a daily basis i.e. items you wear infrequently. I am thinking of items I might wear out to dinner, date night etc.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on November 3, 2021 at 9:04 am

      I do indeed keep my dressy things in a separate closet, in part because most of my main closet is double-hung and many of my dress-up clothe are longer. If an item is borderline – could be worn more or less dressy – I keep in in my small area for dresses in the main closet so I don’t forget about it. I keep my dressier shoes, little evening bags and wraps in the same closet. What a treat when I get to open it and get a dolled up for something special!

  6. B. Gibbs on November 3, 2021 at 8:23 am

    I wish I’d had an idea like this when I retired 13 years ago! I still have pieces in the closet that haven’t been worn since then. Some I have “outgrown,” and others I have no occasion to wear anymore. But this year is the year to clear them out, and not one-at-a-time! They all must go!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on November 3, 2021 at 8:55 am

      No time like the present – right? But do think about casual way you might use some of those carry-forward business items. Like a skirt with tights, booties and a sweater instead of it’s original jacket. Or a blazer – sleeves pushed up – as mid-season outerwear with jeans. HAve fun with your “re-invention”!

  7. Melissa on November 3, 2021 at 10:13 am

    Love this idea. I have a lot in my closet that I don’t wear because of fit. The funny thing is that I feel like if I get rid of them then I have nothing to wear, but I don’t wear them anyway. Off to donate they go so that I can find “outfits” to wear with what DOES fit.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on November 3, 2021 at 10:18 am

      That’s such a common fallacy. When I do a closet purge with a client she nearly always feels like she’ll have nothing to wear at the end. Then a few days later she’ll call to share her amazement about how easy it became to build great outfits when she wasn’t distracted by all the wrong pieces hanging there …
      There may be a few gaps you’ll need to fill after weeding out, but each of those will more than pay for itself in versatility. Let me know if I can provide one-on-one help along the way.

  8. Trish on November 8, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Nancy!
    I love brainstorming wardrobe strategies. I recently moved into a very small condominium near the beach in Southern California. My goal is to store a 12 month, seasonless wardrobe in one, well designed closet. This format is a great way for me to move lighter clothing Items to the far left, slowly rotating darker hues to the right! Love it! Early next year I’ll start the reverse process.

    So excited, thank you!

    Trish

  9. Nancy Nix Rice on November 8, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    The rest of us are envious, Trish, that you are living in a spot so friendly to truly year-round clothes. Enjoy!

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