Tuesday’s Chill Pill: Dealing with My Clothes Jam

The delightfully warm weather this past weekend, the pageantry of the Oscars, Kristen’s post on Friday, and an impending move have brought my clothes mess into sharp relief.

As Mike from the Jersey Shore would say, “we have a situation.”

Closet clothes jam org

Too bad my closet doesn’t look anything like that! A peek inside my drawers or my closet reveals a full-on clothes jam.

Quick Definition: Clothes Jam

Similar in nature to a traffic jam, a clothes jam occurs when you simply have too many outfits in circulation. A clothes jam will stop drawers in their tracks, make it impossible to navigate wardrobes, and may even lead to a case of fashion frustration (that paralysis that can overcome you when you just don’t know what to wear).

My Situation

I have a particularly bad case of clothes jam right now because not only am I transitioning to a new season, but I’m also trying to get back to my regular size since I just had a baby last August. I’m not quite back to my regular size yet, so I’ve got maternity gear, my ‘fat clothes’ and then my regular clothes – for fall/winter and spring/summer. Talk about a standstill! It takes me twice as long to get ready in the morning because first I have to find the pieces I’m looking for, and then I end up cycling through three or more outfits because I have too many options to choose from (and none of them ideal!). I estimate I’ve wasted about a good fifteen minutes this week alone on this ridiculousness. And oh how I could have used that extra fifteen minutes of sleep!”

Getting Started

The reason I was simply grinning and bearing the clothes gridlock is that I don’t really have a lot of time to spare. None actually. But as a pile of sweaters fell on my head this morning, I decided enough was enough. I knew dealing with the mess in my closet didn’t have to be an all day affair. Here’s what I’m going to do to get this task out of the way:

#1: Schedule Time

Scheduled Clothes Jam
I’m always amazed at what I can accomplish in an hour. So, I’ve blocked off an hour on my calendar to tackle the problem. When? On Thursday night after the kids are down and while Grey’s Anatomy is on (brain candy to reward me for my hard work).

#2: Apply the 80/20 Rule

I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I’ve heard the statistic that the average American only wears 10% – 20% of the clothes they own. I pretty much fit that bill. So, as I go through my wardrobe, the focus will be on identifying the 80% that I don’t really wear. Anything I haven’t worn once in the previous season goes in a bag to give to charity or swap with friends. And anything with holes in I will either throw out immediately or put in the rag bin. Picture me ruthless!

I’ll update this post with a before and after pic on Friday morning. In the meantime, if you have other thoughts on what I should do in the hour I’ve allotted – leave me a comment – I’d love to hear!