By Leslie (aka Missus SmartyPants)

Are you ready for another day of our decluttering mission? Back into the bedroom closet we go! Today we tackle our shirts and blouses hanging in our closets.

If you are like most women, your closet is way too full and you probably only wear 20% of what hangs in your closet. It’s true, most
woman have a closet full, but nothing to wear! What about the other 80%? It’s mostly clutter taking up space! If you don’t love it and
don’t wear it, it has to go! (Out of season or special occasion outfits should be moved to the back of the closet or better yet, another closet all together.

By only having clothes hang in your closet that you wear regularly—you will have a lot more room and a sense of peace. No more extra shirts to weed through daily. It’s time to decide what to do with the shirts and blouses not being worn. Let’s make 3 piles. (Remember, 15 minutes at a time so you don’t crash and burn!)

Perhaps you are afraid to let go of some of the shirts and blouses for fear you will have nothing to wear. I promise you, letting go of
clothes you are not wearing will show you what you ARE wearing and help you see what you do need in your wardrobe! Blessing someone else with clothes not being worn is a good thing and you will feel better for it.

Again, start by making 3 piles…

The give away pile

This will include shirts you haven’t worn for a long time, it’s probably been a year or more. These shirts and blouses are in still good condition but you aren’t wearing them–but WHY? Ask yourself these questions as you examine at each shirt you do not wear:

  • Does it fit well? Signs of poor fit are buttons pulling open or horizontal creases and puckering. If it feels snug and uncomfortable–it’s too small and should be given away. If it is too big and you don’t like it enough to have it altered—give it away too.
  • Does it look good on you? It was given to you and it looks horrible on you–you have no intentions of ever wearing it. Don’t feel guilty about not wearing something that is not right for you. Pass the shirt forward it to someone it WILL look good on!
  • It was on sale and it seemed like a good deal—at the time. But you don’t like the color, style, fit, or something and it doesn’t make you feel pretty. Give it away! Again don’t let guilt overcome you because you bought something you have no idea why you bought it in the first place! You are better off letting go and give it to charity where itwill do more good than give you guilt each morning!

The trash pile

This is for blouses and shirts that have seen better days. These shirts are too worn for anyone else to want to wear. Think about these shirts and blouses–would you purchase them at a second-hand store yourself? If the answer is “No” then toss them in the trash.

  • Is the shirt too worn? Yes, if it has pilled and faded in color. Yes, if the buttons are missing/cracked and stitching is coming undone. Also, if the fabric lacks body and is now flimsy in texture—it is too worn out to keep.
  • Stained and dirty? If you are keeping 15 crewneck tees permanently stained (just in case you decide to wash the car by hand) forget about it! Deep six these babies into the trash can! No one needs that many “junky” tees in their closet anyways!
  • This one is my pet peeve…perspiration stained tee shirts. C’mon, no one wants these! Throw these into the trash. Realistically you may only be able to get one season out of your tees, period. (especially the white ones) Perspiration stains happen, but you will find better antiperspirants help avoid this common problem. My favorite deodorant is “Little Black Dress Approved” Degree Ultra Clean; it really does stop the white deodorant lines from appearing on your darker clothes when you dress. Another one to try is Mitchum antiperspirant says “it’s so strong you can skip a day”.

The last pile is for alterations

These are shirts and blouses you would definitely wear with some minor alterations (some you may be able to do yourself). Remember good fit is essential to great style. Don’t skimp here! If you sleeves are too long or your pants are too short, you will look awkward and out of proportion. It doesn’t have to be that way with some minor alterations–you will look terrific!

  • Buttons are about to come loose and need reinforcing.
  • Hemlines on shirts coming undone or minor underarm holes need repair.
  • Shirts too long (most often the case). Have your shirt length raised if it is at the point that cuts your body visually in half. Your best shirt length is generally the top 1/3 of your body’s total length. This gives a balanced proportion—regardless if you are long or short waisted.
  • Sleeves on shirts (and jackets) too long or too short. The proper sleeve length is at the wrist bone. When wearing a jacket and a long sleeved shirt together the shirt will “peek” out below the jacket.

Now, organize what shirts are left. How you organize them is up to you. You may want to keep work clothes together and weekend-wear together. However, I prefer to organize by sleeve length—then color. I find this way works best because I try new combinations of shirts and pants or skirts this way.

Start with sleeve length. Put all long sleeved white blouses together, all long sleeved cream, camel and brown, peach, pinks, reds, purples and so on. Then start the same process with the short sleeved blouses, then sleeveless. Your shirts will begin to look like crayons with many colors of the rainbow. By organizing by sleeve length and color, you will begin to see duplicates or if you have too much black!

Some knits shirts and tees are best in drawers or folded on shelves to help them retain their shape. Keep shirts and blouses in your basic wardrobe as visible as possible so it is easy to see what you have and get dressed.

Bonus Tip: As you declutter your clothes hanging on racks, take a look at the hangers. Remove the wire hangers. The ones from the dry cleaners that are “free” aren’t worth much. They stretch and ruin the shoulders of many shirts. Take baby steps to replace them. Buy a dozen white (or other color) plastic tubular hangers each week. Purchase all the same color and get all your hangers facing the same direction. This little bit of order will make getting dressed a breeze and finding new wearable combinations easier to do!