Friday, May 23, 2014

Closet Inventory

AJ has done one. Kimmie has done one. Brynn has done one. And now it's my turn.

I knew I had a lot of non fitted t-shirts (the kind you get at events for free), but I thought the rest of my closet was relatively stable. And then I counted. And counted. And kept on counting. I stopped counting when I got to the accessories. Those are not included in this list, nor are workout clothes, camis, PJs, hoodies, $3 Old Navy flip flops, or non-fitted t-shirts. 

- Sleeveless/tank tops: 28
- Short sleeve tops: 24
- Short sleeve tees: 38
- 3/4 or long sleeve: 12
- Button ups: 40
- Cardigans: 38
- Sweaters: 29

- Denim jeans (blue/black): 7
- Colored/pattern jeans/pants: 13
- Work pants: 13
- Shorts: 12
- Skirts: 38

- Strapless: 7
- Sleeveless: 19
- Short sleeve: 5
- 3/4 or long sleeve: 2

- Vests: 5
- Blazers: 12
- Light Jackets: 5
- Winter Coats: 3

- Flats: 15
- Wedges/Heels: 13
- Flat Sandals: 6
- Sneakers: 5
- Boots: 6


The total number is where I thought it would be when I started counting, but the individual counts are so much higher than I anticipated. 38 cardigans? I know I went through a cardigan phase, but dang. 38 skirts? How is that even possible when I only wear a handful of them throughout the year? (Answer: because I have skirts from a time when I was 10 lbs. lighter, and skirts from when I was 10 lbs. heavier. I can't manage to get rid of them, and based on how much my weight fluctuates, I'm not sure I should.)

The total number is nonetheless overwhelming, especially considering accessories and lounge-wear were not included in the list. The thing is, though, I can guarantee you that 10% of this list consists of things I didn't even know I had or things I haven't worn in years.

Case in point: shoes. I was surprised that I still had some of them. (The ones I wear most often are in my bedroom closet, but there are a handful of pairs in the hallway closet that I haven't worn in at least three years.) I have a hard time knowing what to do with things I don't wear anymore. I know the options: sell, donate, trash. But that doesn't tell me what I should do. (Any advice for how to make these decisions would be greatly appreciated!)

For example, should I keep all my solid color button-ups? When I started teaching, I bought way too many "work clothes": pencil skirts, solid color button-ups, and pants. It wasn't until after I had taught for a few semesters that I realized I didn't need to make myself look a decade older than I actually am. But should I hold on to them because they're perfectly fine solid color button-ups? And should I keep the skirts that don't fit me now, but did last year?

It's really hard to make an accurate assessment about my closet. Regardless, though, I have made it my goal to purge my closet of 95 items by the start of Fall term. Do you think I can do it? Do you think my goal is too extreme?

Have you done a closet inventory? How many items do you have? I dare you to share!


  1. Ok, I need to do this. I am so curious now how many items I have since I have been really trying to get rid of so much this year. Maybe this is a job for this weekend! And my weight fluctuates a lot too so I hate getting rid of different sizes because then I just have to rebuy things when I eat a few extra cookies.

  2. I think your goal is reasonable. I bet once you went through everything bit by bit you noticed quite a few things you don't wear anymore, and those are usually pretty easy to let go of. I haven't done a closet inventory, mostly because I feel like it's probably pretty good but I'm sure the number is higher than I'd expect. And also because do pretty major closet purges several times a year, and I'm pretty cut-throat about it haha.

  3. Good for you for facing your closet inventory! I think that my clothes count would be ok since I purged my closet a few months ago...but I don't even want to THINK about how many pairs of shoes I own. Although, I think my summer project is to purge the rest of what I have. I'm also sort of clueless about what to do with the things I don't keep so I will be interested in hearing what others have to say.

  4. I'm hoping to tackle this over the weekend! I'm expecting I will have a similar total number, but I do think I'll be surprised at the numbers of specific items. I think your goal is reasonable. As far as what to do with things, I donate most things. The nicer/newer items are taken to consignment, and then anything that is rejected by them is donated, too. I'm hoping to purge as I inventory, because I think I have quite a few tops that don't really fit anymore. My weight has been fluctuating a fair amount over the years, but some things are from 30+ pounds ago. It's probably somewhat delusional to think I'll be back at that size any time soon. And those items are just taking up space in my closet.

  5. My husband would swear to you I have too much (or many? idk!) clothes, but every time I see someone's closet inventory I just think, man there is NO way I have that much stuff! Then again, I do purge my closet on a daily basis. As I'm getting ready, if I see something that I don't want, it gets thrown in the garage sale bag or the to sell on instagram bag (well.. guest bedroom). So, maybe try that? I think if you try to do it all at once you may get overwhelmed. Just as you're finding something to wear and see something that you don't like, toss it off that hangar! I've pretty much been the same size forever now, so I'm not really any help on what to do with your clothes that don't fit. I had some shorts that were too tight this year, and I just tossed them. I don't think this booty is getting any smaller. -__-

  6. I say donate what you know you aren't good to wear again. Keep a couple small and big pants. Due to you never know when you need them again. My husband actually told me that once and I thought he was crazy but once I needed the pants again. I knew he wasn't

  7. KATE I am so proud of you for doing this. It would be impossible for me to do such a thing because I know it would be in the 4 digits, at least. High 4 digits if you count the clothes in US. But I view these as 2 different wardrobes since I move between Europe and US and have separate closets in each place. I have too much stuff I do know that. But trust me it used to be way worse. I gave away 18 huge boxes of stuff and sold 2 boxes of stuff before I left the States 3 years ago. Then, last Summer when I was there I git rid of another 8 huge boxes of my things (clothes/shoes/accessories). I was only able to sell a few though.

    As far as this Spring (here in Europe) I got rid of 50 things (so far) just last month, including accessories.

    I think your goal to get rid of 95 items by Fall is doable. But looking at the total number, that is almost a quarter of your wardrobe so it sounds like too much stuff to get rid of. But then again, I am not the right person to ask. LOL

  8. I love that you did this! I have been wanting to do it myself, but I keep everything out of season in the attic and I forgot when I switched my clothes for the spring. I think I have so little, but I bet I would be surprised too! I think it's awesome that you shared this with us, and I totally think you can get rid of 95 items!

  9. i'm so glad you took the leap into a closet inventory and posted about your process here, and i hope you will continue to do so! i have my excel sheet going of my clothing tallies and hope to put enough thought into it to incorporate it into a series on my blog, too. i'm grappling with some of the same issues you are -- do i deem it ok to have a button-down in every color of the rainbow, even if i never wear that pink striped one? it's perfectly good, so why get rid of it just because i haven't worn it in over a year? yeah. i went through a cardigan phase, then a button-down phase, and now i'm on an omg-i-need-more-pants phase but i still struggle justifying what i own and what i am bringing in and what an acceptable quantity of those clothing items is. so good luck to us as we try to figure it out! :)

  10. I think its completely fine to keep clothes that don't currently fit. My weight fluctuates, so I have a bin of clothes a size too small, and once I slim down a bit, I'll switch it with the clothes that are too big.

    I used to purge every time my weight fluctuated and realized I just constantly purchased the same things.

  11. I just cleaned out my closet this past week and it felt great (the $108 I got from selling clothes didn't hurt either). I just came across this article and thought you might really like it:

  12. Isn't it completely shocking to find out that you have so much clothes?? I was so surprised because I always felt like I didn't have that much, but it all adds up super quickly. :)

  13. This is EXACTLY the kind of post I've planned to start when we get back from our trip (leaving for Vegas in a few hours). I feel overwhelmed in my closet and yet, don't feel like I have enough. I buy items I want the second I think they look good and fit just to fill that wardrobe gap then regret it because it doesn't fit exactly like I had envisioned. I go thrift shopping a lot too which can be great but also dangerous. I need to do a major closet inventory and assess if I actually have gaps or what I should be replacing. 95 items is a great goal but don't worry if you can't get rid of that much. Just start with a few and work from there :)

  14. Way to go, Kate! I'm really glad that you did your closet inventory. It definitely can be overwhelming once you start counting (and I couldn't stop thinking, "how the hell did all this get in here?!"), but I think it is SO important and insightful. I think your goal of getting rid of 95 things by the start of Fall term is absolutely doable! I've done several purges since I posted my first closet inventory post back in March, and while it is hard to part with some things that are in perfectly fine condition, I know that it's a good thing to do to get rid of the excess. Since we're moving in a couple of weeks, it feels great to get rid of things that I won't have to move with me, too! Since student loans are kicking back in and we actually need to start paying rent now (our housing has always been paid for as a part of Kevin's job), we're really focusing on budgeting as well, which I think will help with the number of things in my closet :)

  15. I can't wait to do this! I just read Laura's inventory over at "I do deClaire" and saw that she linked to you, so I popped on over :) This looks really fun--and maybe it will help me know where to cut back in some places. Thanks for the inspiration!


  16. Wow, thats a lot of clothes ! I did a parcial count and was appalled at the amount of items… and I only went trough about 30% of the items. I did not count trousers or dresses…. Its a marvellous way to push oneself for a closet cleaning.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...