Give It Away, Give It Away, Give It Away Now- The Closet Purge

At least once a week we text each other the exact same thing: “I hate everything in my closet”, “Why did I buy this”, or “I have absolutely nothing to wear”. Is that true? Nooooo. Does it feel real every time we attempt to go out and do something and get a little dolled up? YASSSS. We’ve decided that with a new year comes a time to say, “out with the old, in with the new”. First things first, tackle our closets.

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Ashley: My closet looked like if the movies 13 going on 30 and Pretty Woman were thrown together and had a very, very ugly outdated baby. I wish I was kidding. I have what I like to call “what if I give it away and I need it later” phobia. Which means, I hadn’t cleaned out my closet in YEARS. I also have a shopping problem- not expensive items, but like every time I walk into Marshalls or Target I have to come home with SOMETHING, even if I’m not in love with it. I’m not proud, guys. Just keeping it real.

When Jesse suggested we tackle cleaning and reorganizing our closets before the new year, I thought, “sure, I can get rid of a handful of items”. She came over for moral support (along with brutal honesty) and thank goodness she did. I ended up getting rid of over half of the things hanging in my closet. Some of which I hadn’t even known were in there (WITH TAGS)! We printed off some helpful guides to knowing whether or not to keep an item with questions like: is there any sentimental value to this piece? Is it stained? Is it from Forever21, because you’re now almost 31 years old so STOP it, etc. With each piece that was thrown in the “hell no” pile, I began to feel a little lighter and a little less attached to these tiny (Pretty Woman-esque) pieces of fabric.

Jesse: I’m such a sentimental person. That may be surprising to many of you- what with my IDGAF attitude that I sometimes have… Anyhow, I am totally that person that wants to keep everything because I used it or wore it at something that was special or significant. “I can’t get rid of that awful top, because I was wearing that the night Tyler actually asked me on a real date.” OR “But those pants with the holes in them are important to keep because I wore them a lot my first year of teaching and your first year of teaching is a big deal.” Wait, what? I know- I’m crazy. I honestly have a box of random tidbits from highschool that I saved and when I went through it I found a box containing items from a DBS ball I went to one evening: a spoon, name card, and a Sweet ‘N Low packet. I don’t even remember why those things mattered, but I’m still tempted to keep them because my highschool self thought they were significant. I need help, y'all.

So you can imagine how this translates to my closet. Lots of weird looking items that I shouldn’t have. Luckily, I DID do a major cleanout about two years ago, so it’s not nearly as bad as it was. It may even seem semi-tame to some of you, but it was certainly time to do it again. There are items I haven’t worn since the last time I went through this stuff. #firstworldproblems I know. But it was time again to purge and man, it felt good. Well not at the time, but with Ashley’s “help” (“absolutely not keeping that”), I feel good now.

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Of course, we would never leave you guys hanging on the pics. Below are some BEFORE pictures of the closets.

So we want to provide our tips on how to get this monster job done. We aren’t claiming to be experts, but these things worked for us. If we can get through a closet purge, then so can you, friends. Pinky promise.

Advice on how to clean out your closet:

  1. Get a big bottle of wine or your drink of choice (coffee, perhaps) and crank some tunes. We have provided a short playlist below created exactly for this task.

  2. Have your best friend there to keep it real with you. Make an agreement that whatever they say about your clothes, you will not get mad or feelings hurt. They are only clothes and let’s be honest, that dress IS hideous.

  3. If you say “no” right away, put it immediately in the no pile. If you’re a little hesitant and your friend hasn’t yet ripped it away from you and thrown it in the no pile, go through a list of questions. We recommend these.

  4. Ask your social media friends for help. No one is more honest than social media friends, so post a picture of you in your “maybe keep” clothes and ask for their opinion. Just be prepared to not be offended when/if they hate it.

  5. Do not keep your old clothes you’re going to donate in your house or in your car. Immediately drop them off so you’re not tempted to go through them all over again.

  6. Reorganize what you have left! Pour yourself another glass and have some fun. We recommend velvet hangers- those nasty pulls in the shoulders of your tops is SO five minutes ago. And they save so much space! Also, find a system that works for you. You might want to color coordinate items or line them up according to item type (dresses, long sleeves, tanks, vests, etc.).

  7. If you’ve followed all the steps, we encourage you to treat yo’ self to something you NEED for your closet. Maybe it is a new pair of shoes, maybe it is a statement piece. However, make a commitment to only get things you LOVE (not just the random shirts you pick up on clearance at TJ Maxx). Your new motto: If you don’t love it in the store, you won’t love it in your closet.

Music to listen to while cleaning out your closet:

  1. Eminem - Cleanin’ Out My Closet (duh)

  2. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Give It Away Now (our inspiration for the “no” pile)

  3. Journey - Don’t Stop Believin’ (you will get through this)

  4. Queen - Another One Bites The Dust (another piece of clothing, that is)

  5. Bachman Turner Overdrive- Taking Care of Business (time to get this ISH done)

Alright, drum roll please… we followed the steps, we listened to the tunes. Now we share our AFTER photos with you. We are very impressed by them. If you’re not, don’t tell us.

For your enjoyment we are including some of the outtakes of actual footage from our closet clean outs. We want you to see how confusing, hilarious, difficult, but satisfying this can actually be.