The Closet Challenge : Setting Some Rules

After seeing the daunting number of items to get through in the next year I realized I’ll need a solid plan if I’m going to make any headway. To start with I’ve decided on a standard closet detox, after doing a little soul searching and recognizing my lack of success in the past. My usual closet organization goes something like this : everything for the season gets loaded in, as I wear something it gets rehung in the back, things I haven’t worn stay in the front, hopefully everything rotates through -or- I remove everything I didn’t wear.

The problem here is I consistently pull items from the back to wear again, and I get desensitized to the things in the front. Fail. This time will follow much the same idea but I’m going to clearly separate the worn and not worn sections to make the difference more visible. As I’ve worked to get my wardrobe to be seasonless over the past five years I can see there are quite a few pieces that get worn (a lot) and more than a handful that are too season or occasion specific that need to be weeded out.


Now that I know what I’m up against, and have a plan, I’m going to lay down a few ground rules for the year :

1. Purchase Limit :  I will buy only one “want” item of clothing and one “want” accessory item per month. If I go over that limit then the additional quantity will come out of upcoming months’ limits. Meaning should I find a super awesome sale/deal/coupon code I may purchase more than one item on my wish list in a single month and will abstain from purchases in future months.

2. Budget :  I will stick to a budget of $250 per month for clothing and accessories. This includes my purchases and all necessary alterations to clothing and accessories items, such as repairing shoes, replacing zippers, have tears mended, etc.

3. Exceptions to Rules 1 + 2 : The following exceptions will be allowed to the previous rules. Basic clothing items, such as short or long sleeve t-shirts, tanks/camis, undergarments, sleepwear, socks, and other foundation pieces are not limited. I will buy these items as needed while keeping within my monthly budget, but they will not be counted toward to my monthly item quantity limit.

4. Exchanges + Returns : These will be eligible for an even trade, meaning I can exchange or return items and purchase an equal quantity of different items in their place.

5. Gifts : Items received from someone else at no cost to me are not included in the monthly limit. Keeping a gifted item will require I remove at least one existing item from my closet.

6. Add, Remove :  For each new item I acquire I will remove at least one existing item from the closet. More than one item may be removed per additional item added.

7. Documentation :  I will document what I wear for the year and will update on progress, struggles, and revelations along the way as a means to hold myself accountable. This may include daily outfits, items removed from the closet, and items added.

8. The Reality : This is intended to be a challenge and as such I might deviate from the rules, struggle, or have weak moment of indulgence. Documentation is intended to hold me accountable and allow openness and honesty about the challenge.

9. Remove : Sell what I can and donate the rest. Sales will go toward existing BHGs.

10. Goal : End with a solid, seasonless capsule wardrobe with a quantity of items that works for my lifestyle and the climate I live in with select seasonal pieces for a sense of variety.

My new motto : Buy less, choose well, quality first.


One thought on “The Closet Challenge : Setting Some Rules

  1. Alana says:

    This sounds great! I’m also on a similar journey to detox and clean out a lot of my stuff! I’m definitely going to apply your add/remove principle and I’d love to hear how your clean out goes. 🙂

    Also if you have a chance, please check out my blog I’ve got a few posts about cleaning things out too. Thanks! 🙂

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