The Wardrobe Architect Week 14: Overcoming Editing Hurdles

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We’ve reached the last week in our Wardrobe Architect series today. Sad, I know. But by now we’ve each developed our first capsule wardrobe plan, and I’ve given you some tools for project planning so you can go forth and try it out.

However, if you loved this series as much as I did, you should know that I definitely plan to expand it. I’ll be posting about that in a wrap up next week and asking for your feedback, so gather your thoughts!

In the meantime, let’s discuss our final topic, wardrobe editing.

Why is it so difficult to let go of things?

Slowly, we collect things into our lives and homes. We buy things we need, and things we don’t need, things we want, and things we don’t really want. They pile up in our closets, our garages, and our living rooms.

All of this clutter begins to drown out the things you really love, the objects you’re attached to and find value and beauty in.

And yet, they are so hard to give up. Why? Let’s dig a little deeper into our psyches to find out.

Loss Aversion

One reason is loss aversion, the human tendency to strongly prefer avoidng loss over making gains. In other words, we find the pain of losing $1 much greater than the pleasure of gaining one.

Tied in with this concept is the status quo bias. In addition to fearing loss, we also have a preference for things remaining as they are. We see the current state of affairs as a natural baseline, and any deviation from that presents the threat of loss.

All of this makes a good deal of sense if you are fighting for survival. Our brains are trying to minimize risk. When you are in a life-and-death situation every day, this is a very good thing.

After all, the risks and reward for our ancestors were far different. The reward was food. The risk was death by lion. No wonder our brains err on the side of avoiding the risk.

But we don’t live at the mercy of wild animals these days (or most of us don’t), so this bias can sometimes make our thinking a little haywire. There’s really no risk or great loss when you give away a sweater you haven’t worn in two years. But somewhere deep inside, you’re afraid of losing something.

Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance occurs when we hold two beliefs that contradict each other.

This feeling is incredibly uncomfortable for most of us, and we will do what it takes to alleviate it, including sticking with beliefs that defy common sense.

The original belief is whatever enticed you to purchase the thing. You believed it was worth your hard-earned cash, that it represented who you are, or that you would treasure it always.

Now, you are thinking of abandoning it. You must either admit that you were wrong, or convince yourself that you really will use it, need it, want it.

Couple this with the status quo bias, and it’s much easier to convince yourself of the latter. Why take a risk?

Overcoming these mental hurdles

  1. Be self-aware. The first step in overcoming these blocks is to recognize them for what they are. They are psychological biases. They don’t necessarily make sense.
  2. Name the risk. When I find myself wringing my hands over throwing out something I never use, I stop and think about what the chances are that I will need to replace it. I think about whether it’s really something I will be worse off without, in any way.
  3. Name the reward. What is the reward for cleaning out your closet? A fresh perspective, feeling good in what you wear, less guilt about things you don’t wear, better buying habits, cleaner space. Some or all of these might help you.
  4. Appreciate what you don’t miss. This has been extremely helpful to me. Every time I do a clean out, I realize that no matter how hesitant I was to give something up, I completely forget about it once it’s gone. I can’t think of one thing I’ve given away that I truly miss.

Exercise

This week, it’s time to edit our closets and rid of ourselves of what we no longer need or want.

  1. Gather your capsule wardrobe items together. I find that having them all in one place (perhaps hanging together in your closet) better allows you to see what you may or may not actually wear.
  2. Pack away out of season clothing. This is optional, but if you have limited space and live somewhere with distinct seasons, I find it tremendously helpful.
  3. Purge. Empty out your closets and drawers and set aside anything that no longer has clear, obvious value to you. Be absolutely ruthless. You won’t regret it.

Optional: You can set a goal for yourself to get rid of a certain number of items, as I did recently. I found this to be surprisingly helpful when fighting some of the demons I talked about above.

Discussion:

What internal struggles do you face when purging your closet?

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

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Comments 59

Jet Set Sewing jetsetsewing.com

Thanks for this helpful series!
I’m big on “toss without guilt” day to get rid of things in my closet. Whatever went wrong with the thing, I don’t let myself feel guilty over getting rid of it.
Now that I have some pretty vintage-style Chanel jackets and wraps that I’ve made in my closet, I don’t feel so bad about tossing store-bought clothes.

Annabella hollyannabella.wordpress.com

This was such a great post. I think a lot of people will identify with the feelings above! I know I do. I can think of a few things that I should probably let go, however some of them are handmade and I have a hard time with that, even if I don’t like them at all. It’s something to do with all the work I remember putting into them. Do you have any good tips for letting go of handmades?

French Toast Tasha tashamillergriffith.com

It took me forever to get rid of anything I’d made, even if it didn’t really work for my life. It helps me, as someone said below, if I can take the me-mades to a clothing exchange with my friends, or to a charity shop that has a little more curated selection, so that I think the clothes have a good chance of finding a better home.
Ultimately though, I just realized that if I’m not really wearing it, I should just let it go in the best way I can. Besides, I get to keep what I learned when I made it, which is the most important thing.
I do keep things that I can see a path for re-making/upcycling, but they don’t have to be hanging up in my closet, and it’s good to go through them every once in a while, and donate the ones I’ll probably never get to.

Amy ladymockingbird.com

This is incredibly helpful. My biggest problem with getting rid of handmade but I definitely want to start!

Caitlyn M.

To add to this, does anyone have suggestions for what to do with handmades that have only okay construction or materials? It feels wrong somehow to donate to charity something I know isn’t especially well made, but also wrong to wad up and throw away something that’s only been worn a few times. I know that you can sometimes reclaim the fabric of a make for other projects, but what about something that’s already small, like a mini skirt?

Laura Lee

Concerning the dilemma of what to do with your handmade items? A thrift shop here, that many frequently shop, is well known for their thrifted handmade items, and what an inspiration to walk in and see a shirt dress someone made, the workmanship, shortcuts, etc. As for the quilts, knitted and crocheted items. Also when going through our hand made items I ask myself cut up for cleaning rags, quilts, pet beds, craft items, etc.? Ha! In my childhood, recycle, remake, handmade, home baked, home cooked and gardening were all a necessity of life before it became popular! :)Items were lasting twenty years or more, more classic, work horse, styles. Of course even fabric stood the test of time~ but that’s a whole new conversation~

Fräulein K. wolkenpalast.blogspot.de

Thanks for the series, acutally i cant do everything. but i work on it ;)

Sewing Tidbits sewingtidbits.wordpress.com

I believe that the biggest hurdle is to get your self-made items out of your closet… I went through a closet purge last fall and it was very hard to admit that items that I made a few months before did not fit my style/life! I believe for self-made clothes, you don’t have to get rid of them. Just put them away neatly, it makes it a lot easier!!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

My tastes have changed a bit in recent years, because I’ve changed. Coming to terms with the fact that things I made for myself and felt were very me no longer are has been odd.

sewlittletime somanypatternssewlittletime.blogspot.com

this is a great post. it’s not actually something i really have much of a problem with and i do purges on a semi regular basis (we’ve got to clear space for new makes, right?). i mean, i gave my wedding dress to a chairty shop!

my weight has fluctated a bit over the past couple of years and i find that is what makes me hang onto some of the things i don’t wear, as they will/ might fit me again (i have both larger and smaller than my current size in there). the things i struggle to get rid of are fab vintage finds. in the uk great vintage is hard to find and expensive, so i hate getting rid of it. also i probably think that it came back round again once, it will do so again!

like annabella, getting rid of handmades is hard too as i worry people won’t buy them as there is no size/ label. i think the answer may be to give them to a charity shop away from where i live so i don’t have to see them if they linger!

kc theactofmaking.tumblr.com

Getting rid of vintage is terrible! Those are the only items I’ve ever parted with that have given me pangs of regret. When you find that one thing that’s so beautiful/unusual that you just HAVE to have it; but then it seems so much like a costume that you never manage to wear it in your day-to-day life. I feel like those are the items I can’t bear to just put in the donation bin — I want to make sure they go to good homes.

Woefully few of my friends are as in love with the electric blue ultrasuede shirtdresses I try to unload on them. =)

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Vintage really is hard! I have some beautiful cocktail and fancier dresses that I never wear, and most of them don’t even fit me. I have them separate from the rest of my clothing though, so at least it doesn’t feel like clutter. But still. Someone else would use and appreciate them more, so I should let go.

Kirsten redofromstart.blogspot.com

The comment about costumes hits home. I have a fabulous vintage cheongsan top which I love and in which I look terrific, but it’s bright, bright pink satin and really doesn’t work as daywear. I’ve worn it to a few parties, but it’s yet to find its perfect occasion.

I have vintage cotton print dresses in lively colours and I wear them with no self-consciousness.

Mary young-broke-and-fabulous.blogspot.com

My weight tends to fluctuate and I’m at the lower end of it right now, so I’m wearing clothes that I haven’t been able to wear in years. I have trouble throwing clothes out because I think, “I’ll probably be able to wear them again eventually and if my weight goes up/down, I might need them so that I’ll have enough clothes to wear”.

Kristen

I usually put the “just in case” or keepsake items in one of those giant air-tight compression bags in storage. I feel like it’s not necessarily bad to keep things as long as you get them out of your closet where you’re looking at them every day.

sojoysews

The things I have the most trouble getting rid of are “bargains.” When I find an interesting garment for a good price I snatch it up, whether or not it actually flatters or fills any hole in my wardrobe. The pride of having found a deal is makes it hard to acknowledge that even for a cheap price, some things are not a bargain.

I am proud to say that I recently was able to let go of some good-quality but too-small blouses and tops. I realized that if ever I can fit into that size again, I will want (and deserve) new clothes. It doesn’t hurt that I have enough fabric stashed to make several new wardrobes that fit and flatter.

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Wow, I’m so the opposite! For me, with bargains it feels like “easy come, easy go.” But if I’ve spent money on something, I feel much more attached.

On the other hand, things I’ve shelled out for tend to be better quality and I usually thought a lot harder before purchasing them, so they don’t usually end up on the chopping block.

lindsey

Just in case you need a little motivation, I suggest donating items to Dress for Success (List of locations: http://www.dressforsuccess.org/dfs_affiliates.aspx)

They need professional clothes for women who are seeking “economic independence.” It’s been motivating for me to donate to them in the past!

Beth 110creations.blogspot.com

I finally realized one day that if I want a completely me-made wardrobe, then I WILL have to get rid of everything that isn’t me-made, eventually. So why wait?

Sarahsky sarahsky.com

I think a good way of getting rid of handmades and clothes that don’t quite fit your style, but you still love is: give them to a friend you see frequently. Whenever I see them in my old clothes it’s like seeing two friends! Ha. Also I think it helps to remember that your clothes are not you, even though society puts such an emphasis on appearance. I recently went through a huge lifestyle shift where nothing I owned felt right even though I really loved every piece I passed on.

Caitlyn M.

The internal struggle I face when purging is one that I’ve not seen talked about anywhere: the feeling of not having enough left. Perhaps this sounds like a first-world problem, and maybe it is. I work in an office environment, so a healthy portion of my closet is made up of office-appropriate clothes. Because I’ve been fortunate enough not to change size or weight since high school, I have many items in my closet that are more than a decade old. Many are still in decent condition, if a bit worn; some have been mended. Much of it isn’t entirely flattering, or doesn’t fit my style, or doesn’t go well with much else in my closet. But I feel that if I really did get rid of everything I didn’t love, I’d have very little, if anything, left, especially for work. For example, I have a half dozen skirts hanging up that I don’t particularly like to wear, but they’re all I have if I want to let my legs breathe until I make or find the perfect navy and khaki skirts I so desperately need in my wardrobe. Without knowing how long that will be, it’s hard to let the less-than-ideal skirts go.

I’ve had times in my life where I was doing laundry every 4-5 days so that I’d have clean clothes for work, and didn’t relish the experience. I also know from experience that it’s hard to feel excited or even satisfied by getting dressed in the morning when you feel you’re cycling through the same (uninspiring) outfits over and over. I know that if I slowly add carefully considered makes or purchases, eventually my closet will be full of things I adore, but I find it’s easier to accept the idea of having clothes I don’t love in my closet to fall back on till then than it is to imagine having few or no options when I want to dress a certain way.

Kat coutureacademic.com

Great post. I’m one of those weird people that gets rid of anything and everything that isn’t useful or beautiful. If I had to donate my whole wardrobe tomorrow I’d be OK with it. Maybe it comes from having to move continents and having to literally sell my whole life back in Canada and move to Australia. It was oddly liberating and I learned I could live just as well (or better) without it all.

Heather Lou closetcasefiles.com

Sarai, I really have to commend you on this series. It has been so incredibly thoughtful, organized, and intelligent, and I love how beautifully you are writing here about some of the deeper psychological reasons we hang on to stuff.

You’ve inspired me. It’s rainy and miserable in Montreal today, and this is my “relax and breathe” week, so when I get home tonight I’m gonna blare some Joni Mitchell, make a pot of tea, be sentimental for a few hours, and then RUTHLESSLY CULL MY CRAMMED AND NEGLECTED CLOSET.

You’ve definitely had a huge impact this spring on the way a lot of us think about our wardrobes. Thank you and bravo!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Thank you so much Heather! Put that Joni on and show no mercy!

Stacy thelandofka.com

I started going through my closet last night to pull outfits together for the Me Made May series, and was putting things in donation/upcycling piles as I went through it. I didn’t get all the way through, so I will work on it more tonight. I have gained about 10 lbs this year, so some things are going into a bin for when I get my weight back down to my happy place. :) The things I am pulling out for donation are ones that I didn’t wear last year when I was thinner either. I actually don’t have a hard time getting rid of stuff I don’t wear, since my closet is so dang full! I do contemplate how I might be able to use them for my kids clothes, though. If they are of good material and I can upcycle them, then they will go for that and begin a new life in my house. I make a lot of my kids clothes, too, so I know they will get used somehow.

Elisabeth projectreclaim.wordpress.com

I think that your insight about loss is a great one. And Caitlin M’s insight seems to dovetail off that. I come from a long line of people who had and then didn’t have enough (whether a home or money in general or family connections) in a fast timeframe. It’s amazing how that gets passed on from one generation to the next. I struggle with the fact that I don’t need to save every little thing. I am so fortunate to have a good job and the ability to care for myself and it’s been an ongoing journey to get rid of the excess stuff! I thinkg the other thing is I am hesitant to get rid of things before I have replaced them. And then I get into budget mode and don’t want to (or can’t) spend on the replacement. Then of course I have closet full of mostly worn out clothes!
This series has been so helpful! I am so having fun planning the wardrobe and I am glad it came fairly early in my sewing experience bc it is something I will be able to reference for a long time. I am feeling much more confident that I will be able to make things I actually am going to wear (just FYI I have worn my Albion nearly every cold day since I finished it! And my Moneta is already a favorite.)

Caitlyn M.

“I think the other thing is I am hesitant to get rid of things before I have replaced them. And then I get into budget mode and don’t want to (or can’t) spend on the replacement. Then of course I have closet full of mostly worn out clothes!”

This, exactly! You captured the idea that I was circling around.

Sarai colettepatterns.com

I get this way too. I had frugality instilled in my from an early age, so I find it quite difficult to spend money.

The key for me has just been patience. I can replace the essentials one at a time, and I can make new things to add. It takes a lot of time to redo the entire wardrobe though.

Elisabeth projectreclaim.wordpress.com

Yes! And working on changing my mindset around what it is ok to spend on is definitely a process but an important one. In the end it is so much more comfortable to have a few things that I love vs a bunch of stuff I don’t. And again, I am so, so, glad you’ve done this series! It’s been so much fun! I have a long weekend this weekend and plan to do some more organizing/purging. It was too hot tonight (weird. Who’d have thought it’d be 85 in OR on May 1st?!)

Zoe May fozzelandbean.blogspot.com

I completely identify with all of these mental hurdles! A huge block for me is getting rid of items that are beautiful (even if they don’t suit me at all) or items that I spent a considerable amount of money on. Like Sarahsky said above, I found that giving items like these to appreciative friends makes it so much easier – it’s such a great feeling to see something you never wore being loved by someone else :)

This series has been so helpful already – I am excited to make room for handmade garments now that I know which colours and shapes to focus on!

Steelheart

One thing that’s hard for me is letting go of things that _used_ to serve me, but don’t anymore — things that no longer match my style, things that don’t quite fit or look right anymore, or things that are wearing out. I get sentimental about them, and fear that I’ll never find anything to replace them (even though this has only been true for literally one item I’ve ever owned and I’m 31 years old). I have two ways I get around it. One is a very large workout/loungewear drawer, where all the old t-shirts and tank tops and anything else good for lounging or working out can get new purpose. For everything else, I found a local charity that I LOVE, so that I feel good about giving them my things.

Sarai colettepatterns.com

I feel that way too about things that I used to like or find functional. My workout drawer is huge too! It’s next in line for a purge.

gabriel ratchet

for me, the hardest things to give away are “aspirational”…. i bought them or made them for someone i want to be, not the person i am. this series has made me examine both sides of the who-am-i/what-would-i-wear question. in some cases, i’ve decided to be a little different, and take the time to have lunch at the art museum or the botanical garden in the clothes i acquired for doing those things. in other cases, i’ve decided to get real, and acknowledge that i will never have use for full-on fancy dress or tailored business clothing. nor, in fact, am i comfortable when dressed up like that, or when wearing bright prints and pastels. so i donated those items.

one thing i do still aspire to be is a person who makes most of her own clothes, so even the now-why-ever-did-i-make-that-? items tend to occupy rail space that i should free up.

RavenNemain

Another hurdle for me is knowing something is not quite right, but not having a superior replacement yet. I have plenty of skirts and shirts that I don’t love, but have not had the time to make new ones to fill the gaps those would leave, so I keep the old ones. It feels like a necessary evil – if I hang on to these items a bit longer, then I won’t feel the need to quickly replace them with some RTW item that will probably be just as bad. (They are also a great incentive to sew some practical garments!)

Thanks for the great series – I haven’t used it so much for the capsule wardrobe, but more as a tool to think about the desired impact of my clothes, both on myself and on others, and it’s really helped me crystallize my stile.

Caitlyn M.

Ah, so nice to see another kindred spirit!

Kristen

Yes! that is a big problem for me. For example, I have one long chambray button up that just isn’t right…it’s too large, too short and the fabric is too thin. I want to replace it with a quality chambray shirt that actually fits, but I have that one sitting in my closet, so I just can’t find any reason to actually buy a new one.

I’m throwing that shirt in the “donation” pile as soon as I get home!

Chantal ahandmadewardrobe.wordpress.com

This is exactly how I feel! My entire closet is full of not-quite-right items, but I can’t sew fast enough to replace them, so I have to keep them for now. I’m aiming to get rid of one item at a time as I sew replacements.

RavenNemain

I have mostly adopted a one-in, one-out policy. It’s been a great incentive to sew in a more focused way, and my wardrobe becomes more awesome with every garment I make.

sara blogmixedemotions.blogspot.fr

I did this! I rid my closet of everything that didn’t feel absolutely right for me right now and things seem so much clearer now, what a relief! And I totally agree with you that I’ve never regretted anything that I got rid of in the past. I would love to do the same thing with all my other possessions, but some things seem taboo, like books and records. I like keeping all the books I’ve read for reference, even if I didn’t love them, just in case I want to read them again or just check something, but they sure take up a lot of space! I really should keep only the best ones, the ones I want my kids to read some day.

maddie madalynne.com

My inherent problem is that I overthink. I create scenarios of when I’ll wear a piece of clothing, why I need it, etc, etc, which is why I set a time limit when I was purging. Every Thursday night for a few weeks, I gave myself one hour clean/edit one area of my apartment. Having that limit made me answer the question, “have I worn in, cleaned it or cared for it in six months” easier to answer – I didn’t have a lot of time to dilly-dally! If the answer was no, it went in the trash (exception being vintage garments).

Sarai colettepatterns.com

I’ve heard of one solution in which people move all of their clothing to another location. After they wear something, they hang it back up in the closet. After six months, if it hasn’t been worn, it has to go.

Alice Elliot

I only regret one thing that my daughter and her partner “helped” me get rid of when clearing my closet. It was a bronze colored leather belt that was too small, but I could have altered somehow, I know! LOL! Otherwise, it’s true, however hard it was to discard all those clothes, I don’t even remember them now. Even the ones I made, if they didn’t work, good-bye! Then I don’t have to be reminded of the waste of time and fabric involved!

French Toast Tasha tashamillergriffith.com

Since everyone is at a different place on this journey, I think it’s worth noting that I’m at place where I don’t need the giant closet purge anymore. Over the last several years I’ve been working on sewing the clothes I really wear, defining my style, and of course that has involved getting rid of things. I’m at a point now where I only have a few things that I could probably justify donating.
I have a small pile of clothes I’d like to alter/remake, and a lot of them have such sentimental value (my grandmother made them, etc.) that I’m willing to put more effort into making them work for me than I would under other circumstances. I’ve gone through several phases of getting rid of clothes I don’t wear, and at this stage, if I don’t want to get rid of it, I don’t, at least for now.
I’ve also had quite a few serendipitous moments in the last few years, where I realized that a scrap or a garment I’d saved was exactly what I needed for a current project, which leads me to think I am about right in my level of things I save. My goal now is to only acquire what I need and use, and the more handmade and beautiful things that fit into that category, the better!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

That is awesome!

Wendy

When it’s time to purge, I tell myself I can stop for the day when I fill one trash bag. Then, that goes immediately to the thrift store. One bag is not that hard, then another day it’s like starting from scratch.

Marie stokescroftstitching.blogspot.com

I’m actually just at the start of the ‘Wardrobe Architect’ process as I’ve finally set aside the time to start evaluating things with a view to carefully choosing my next few projects.

I’m planning to throw a ‘clothes swap’ night to ease the guilt of ridding myself of things I don’t wear. It’s a good excuse for a get together, some tea (wine) and cake and everyone brings along their unwanted items, hopefully leaving with some great new (to them) workable pieces. Plus everything left gets donated to charity.

Tina solestitch.blogspot.com

That’s a fabulous idea!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Yes, these are the best! And it’s funny to see the things you saw as so precious in a pile and nobody even looking at them. Ha!

Tina solestitch.blogspot.com

In order to stop the guilt about throwing away things I’ve bought, or that were given to me, I usually cut up the items and turn them into something else. They might become another piece of clothing, a handbag, a piece of jewelry, or any number of other things. I started my Etsy shop with a mind towards that type of recycling and I continue that idea in my own wardrobe. I don’t throw much away.

Nice ideas about purging in this entry :)

Tasia sewaholic.net

This is great. I have a hard time letting go of things I’ve made, even though my tastes have changed, or it’s not what I envisioned, but since I put time into it I feel more connected to the garment.
I also second the suggestion of donating to Dress for Success – I’ve volunteered there sorting donations and if they can’t use it for interview attire it gets re-directed to the right charitable organization (warm clothes for the homeless, dressy clothes are saved for near the holiday season, etc.) or at least, the location I volunteered at did.

Sarai colettepatterns.com

It seems like a great organization. Alyson mentioned that she just did a fashion show benefit for them too. I’m going to look into donating there next time!

Isabel acraftyscientist.wordpress.com

I have to say I have really enjoyed this series, can’t wait for the next instalment and will definitively try to apply to Autumn, Winter etc.

Regarding wardrobe purges I have two opposing views:

One one hand, I do believe it is good for the soul to de-cluter. I normally tend to do these before moves or around periods in my life in which I have the emotional need to move on. Because of that, I am pretty much at a good space regarding streamlined wardrobes, especially for work wear. My summer wear needs a bit of a edit though!

On the other hand, the issue no-one seems to be discussing is sustainability and reducing the need to do wardrobe purges. De-clutering for de-clutering sake if when associated with massing consumption of cheaply made things is not the way forward. I think it is the case of praying to the converted in forum, but since learning to make my own clothes I have decreased massively the amount of garment/shoes/etc I buy and definitively think a lot on where my clothes come from and how well they are built. This has decreased the need to do wardrobe purges, since I don’t buy as much! That being said, I am starting to sew more and then it becomes the case that something hand made has got to go, I haven’t got infinite wardrobe space :)

Luckily in the UK we have many charity shops that will take clothes, shoes and etc, for resale to support many worthy causes. So no clothing should end up in landfill at all…

cyngehin@gmail.com

After dealing with loved ones with dementia and cleaning their homes, I tend to super clean out closets. There is nothing like seeing first hand the results of years of hoarding to get me going in the purging department. For me , it’s the pants that don’t fit, the tops I made or purchase that I never grab first and feel comfortable in. That’s where donating to charitable businesses is great. Everytime I fill a garbage bag destined for the landfill, I have such guilt. I try to buy less, less fabric, less RTW just less of everything. One can get through with so little. esp if you make or buy quality first.

Becky sew-and-so.blogspot.com

Getting rid of things I’ve made is definitely the biggest challenge for me. The time and effort spent making them increases the sentimental value exponentially, and I’m rather sentimental to begin with. I recently did a closet purge in which I tried to be ruthless in getting rid of anything that was too short, too tight, etc, and I was SO depressed by the end of it. Especially that the bulk of my handmade dresses didn’t make the cut. But I’m cheering myself up with the thought of an excuse to make new ones that fit my life (and body) better.

That being said, there’s some that I’ll probably never get rid of. The main one being my wedding dress, since it took me a whole 9 months to sew together!

I’m going to miss this series, it’s been really great, so I’m glad you’re planning to expand it!

Friday Links and Summer MOMs | Bethel MOMs

[…] Yes, this is from a sewing blog, but they just did a serious on being a “wardrobe architect” that I found really useful, and this post on editing your closet is helpful for the process of decluttering anything. […]

The wardrobe win and purge | Sewstyled

[…] the web were pointing me to do this: the last part of the Coletterie Wardrobe Architect series, Overcoming Editing Hurdles, the Apartment Therapy spring clean out,  but most of all the re-organization needed to happen so […]

Amy clothhabit.com

This has been such a great series, Sarai! I really ripped through it in about two weeks, including closet purging. And you’re right about all the psychological battles. “Stuff” is also deeply connected to memory and is a tangible keepsake of the past. When it comes to those harder-to-part-with items, I have been putting them away for about six months. (Usually I come back and don’t want any of it.) Anyway, my closet got really bare after doing this but I am really enjoying the process of being very selective about what I put back into it, and other than basics like tees and intimates and a few splashy things, making sure everything works together in some way. Trying to stick with a capsule is hard!

Judy

Wow! What an amazing way to wrap up! You want and need feedback. You have a super-great following who might just take 10 minutes to share some info with targeted survey questions. I have not seen surveymonkey used in independent sewing design before to gain information, but it is easy and can be really useful. I’d be glad to help. Your patterns are AMAZING! I got around 9 of them with the new knit book, and I was totally blown away by the packaging and design. WELL WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION! I feel like I got way more than I paid for in terms of how folks network in this community. I don’t have enough time to sew but still hoard patterns and fabric with the hopes of doing more in the future. Many (most?) of us who sew need to juggle family and work and life in general. I very much appreciate your excellent work and this initiative. Only one step I’d suggest to take it to the next level, and that is to get this awesome community voice through a well-designed instrument to find out what people need and how to move this to the next level. ONWARD! :-)

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https://blog.colettehq.com/wardrobe-architect/week-14-overcoming-editing-hurdles

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