spring/summer wardrobe experiment recap


i spent some time this holiday season cleaning out my closet… again.  it’s good timing as my birthday and christmas both fall in december and i tend to receive several articles of clothing.

last spring, i borrowed an idea from oprah.com that included hanging my clothes with the hangers in reverse direction.  as i wore a piece of clothing, it was returned to the closet with the hanger facing the correct direction.  at the end of the season, i would take easy notice of the clothes i did not wear all season and promptly discard. 

the experiment was beneficial in two ways:

  1. at the end of season, i quickly noticed the 7 shirts that were just taking up space in my closet.  morning after morning, i chose not to put them on and chose a previously worn shirt instead.  those 7 shirts have been removed from my closet and placed in the nearest “goodwill donations” box.
  2. during the season, the hanger experiment worked to keep my wardrobe fresh as i wore a few shirts that had been otherwise neglected.  the backwards hangers did not catch my attention most mornings as i naturally went to the section of clothes that are routinely worn (it was far less distracting than i imagined).  however, a few times i purposely took special notice of the backwards hangers and chose a shirt to wear that i wouldn’t normally have worn.

all in all, i was very pleased with the experiment.  i have switched out my closet for winter clothes (good thing since we got 31 inches of snow over the weekend) and have begun the experiment anew.  this time with my winter wardrobe.

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Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. says

    I did a variation on this for most of 2009 so I could get a sense of what would be worn over the four season weather we have in Western New York. I instead packed EVERYTHING away into a dresser in the spare room and pulled out what I needed, when I needed it. I naturally grabbed my favorite items first and when I wore them and subsequently washed them, I put them in my closet / dresser in the main bedroom. After week one of this, I made sure to check my main bedroom closet/dresser first.

    The result of this is that I was able to scale back my wardrobe by more than 50% and that set me up well for my 2010 100 Thing Challenge.

    Most of my 100 Item list is still clothing and shoes (about 60%), but I have a slimmed down closet now and making choices in the morning is quite easy because nearly everything matches up with all the other pieces in my wardrobe.


  2. Eedlewee says

    I did this with my current (Winter) wardrobe and ended up getting rid of six trash bags full of clothes, shoes and purses. Also emptied out four of seven dresser drawers. It feels great! Now I know whatever sweater I pull out of the closet will be one of my favorites. Can’t wait to do the same for the warm weather clothes.

  3. Emily says

    I do a variation with my shoes as well. I stick a colored sticker on the ball of the shoe. I’m currently using pink dots. Every season transition (I live in Michigan) I go through that season’s shoes and get rid of the ones with dots still in tact. I’m a bit of a shoe junky, but this method keeps me honest. I do have a few special occasion shoes that are exempted, but I find I wear them at least once a year, which is all it takes to qualify as a keeper for me.

  4. says

    Love this suggestion (about the hangers)! I already went through to eliminate all of the “easy pickings” (stuff that I admittedly do not wear, or worn out things) and now plan on implementing the hanger trick to find out the rest of the story.

  5. di says

    Just a few items can create several outfits.

    Try creating an all-season wardrobe, such as a short-sleeved shirt covered by a long-sleeved shirt.

  6. Samantha says

    I am so glad to be a sunny QLD Australia girl! No need for snow clothes, no need for too many winter clothes at all really. The town I live in has approximately 9 months of summer, one month of winter & 2 months of moderately cool to warm weather. Given it is also very dry for most of the year, the only person with a raincoat is my young son.

    Even under these circumstances, I still had 2 wardrobes worth of clothes which I recently purged and got rid of about 1/3 of.

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