The 40 Hanger Closet

The 40 Hanger Closet--How to minimize your wardrobe for maximum style.  This is so inspiring! Great post about drastically purging your closet so that all that is left are the things your really love.

Maybe it’s a girl thing, or maybe it is just a “me” thing, but when my closet is organized, my life just feels a little less chaotic.   Despite my best efforts, there are simply times where life gets hectic and it is easier to close the door than to keep it tidy.  Thus, I organize my closet a lot.  Too often, according to my husband.

He might be right, because I often wondered, with all this sorting and purging and re-folding and re-hanging, why it still felt like I never had anything to wear.   I mean, obviously I could see that I DID have things to wear…..there were countless blouses and sweaters and tee shirts and dresses and jeans….oh, the jeans.  There were plenty of things to choose from.  Why did I hate most of it?

The 40 Hanger Closet--before the purge

Years and years of buying just to buy things, followed by another few years of buying things just because they were on sale left me with a closet full of clothes I didn’t really like and with a closet that I kept re-sorting and re-organizing in the desperate hope that perhaps if it all looked better, I’d like it more.  But it never worked.  Despite a closet full of clothes, I still kept choosing the few pieces I did actually like, while all the rest simply took up space.

I’m not proud of my bad habits, and I now realize how destructive those years of insatiable consumption really were.  I am so thankful to finally be on a different path, one not controlled by always needing more.  Even so, sometimes I feel like I am constantly trying to dig out of this mess I made.

huggable hangers

I finally decided to take a more drastic approach with my closet.  Inspired by my dear friend Edie’s closet tips, I invested in some very nice hangers, the cool skinny kind that are covered in velvet so your clothes don’t fall off.  I only bought 40 because I couldn’t bear the thought of spending any more, and I figured 40 would be enough to hold all the clothes I actually liked.

The rest had to go.

The process was actually was a lot easier than I would’ve thought.  Honestly I knew exactly which items I wore and which ones were just adding to the clutter.  I filled 3 large bins with clothes that I wasn’t wearing.  I wanted to donate them right away, but my husband convinced me to hold on to them for a few months, just in case I missed something.

the closet purging process

Amazingly enough, in the months since this drastic purge, I have honestly never been happier with my wardrobe.  Not only do I not miss the clothes I got rid of, I actually feel like I have more to choose from than I did before.  Now when I walk into my closet I actually like everything I see.  Getting dressed is a breeze, and keeping things neat and organized is much easier too.  With only 40 hangers to work with, I am forced to keep things to a minimum, and anything new that comes in has to be something I truly love or it doesn’t make the cut.

The 40 Hanger Closet--how to minimize your closet for maximum style.  This is such a great idea.  Invest in 40 really nice hangers then get rid of everything you don't absolutely love. Great tips!

Here are my tips for minimizing your closet for maximum gain:

  • Purge ruthlessly.  Keep only those pieces that you absolutely love and that you currently wear on a regular basis.  If something doesn’t fit, has holes or stains, is out of season, or you just really don’t like it anymore, it needs to come out.  
  • Determine each item’s fate.  Just because it comes out right now doesn’t mean you have to throw it out or send it to Goodwill.   If you’re anything like me, you probably have clothes in a variety of sizes, some of which you may still really like and hope to fit into again.  Store a bin of “skinny clothes” to pull out if and when you lose the weight.  Likewise, torn or stained items might just need a little TLC to get them good as new, and other items, such as jeans or t-shirts, are great pieces to add to your craft supply closet.
  • Invest in great hangers.  It is such a simple thing, but I found that buying a limited quantity of really nice hangers was the best motivation to finally weed out everything I didn’t love.  It really wasn’t a huge investment but psychologically it made all the difference.  And frankly, even inexpensive clothes seem luxurious when hanging on nice hangers.   I bought my set at Target, but a similar set of 50 hangers is less than $30 (with free shipping) at Amazon.com.
  • Minimize your losses.  Just because you are getting rid of a lot doesn’t mean you have to take a total loss.  Clothes & accessories that are in good shape can be brought to a consignment shop (be sure to wash, iron, & hang any items you plan to consign) or sold via Craigslist, eBay, Facebook, or garage sale.  For more tips on how to sell your stuff, check out this very detailed post.
  • Make it easy to keep things in order.  Set up a no-fail system that is simple to maintain.  I keep ALL my clothes in my closet (rather than dresser drawers) because to me it is easier to see what I have.  I have clearly labeled baskets for the things that are hard to fold–bras, panties, swimwear, socks, pajamas, & accessories.  I love keeping the laundry hamper in my closet as well–it makes sorting laundry so much simpler!  I’ve used this heavy duty sorter for about 2 years and it is great.
  • Practice careful procurement.  Once you’ve managed to pare your closet down to the bare minimum and have kept the pieces you truly love, keep it that way!  When buying something new, choose quality over quantity.  Resist the urge to buy something simply because it is on sale.  You are always better off buying ONE piece that you love than TEN items that are just okay.  I’ve personally found that sticking to small specialty boutiques, or using a personal shopping service such as Stitch Fix rather than the mass-market stores helps me avoid the old habit of buying just to buy. (Wondering if Stitch Fix is a good value?  Check out my assessment HERE.)
  • Re-evaluate regularly.  It is a good idea to re-assess, re-sort, and re-evaluate your closet every few months.  Once a season double check to make sure that your items are still in good shape, that they still fit, and that they are free of stains & holes.  If necessary, pull seasonal items out of storage to add to the rotation, and store any items that are no longer seasonally appropriate.

This post was underwritten by BlissOnState.com.  All opinions are my own.  BlissOnState.com features a fabulous and affordable collection of hand-selected boutique clothing, including stylish tops, wear-anywhere dresses, eye-catching accessories, and figure-flattering Vigoss jeans.

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Am I the only one with a closet FULL of clothes I don’t really like?  Do you ever buy things just because they are on sale, only to find you don’t really like them all that much?  How do you keep your closet organized?  Have you ever thought about paring down your clothes to just the bare essentials?

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{ 97 comments… add one }

  • Amanda May 24,

    Sometimes I seriously think we must be the same person! My closet is SO full of clothes and I feel the same exact way–I never have ANYTHING to wear! I saw your picture on instagram when you did this a few months ago and I have been so excited to read about what you did. Now I am so inspired to do the same! Definitely my weekend project–I am going out to buy hangers TODAY!

    Reply
  • Denise May 24,

    You are definitely not alone. I have so many clothes that I never wear. I can’t wait to try this!

    Reply
  • Sharon May 25,

    Just came across your blog today. I’m so glad I did because I find the tips you mentioned really helpful. I was thinking about the exact same thing this week and felt overwhelmed having to tackle my closet full of clothes. I too cannot wait to try these tips this weekend.

    Reply
  • Alyssa May 25,

    Just came across your blog this morning. Great post! I’m constantly trying to pare down and donate, because we really do wear a very limited amount of our clothes. Keeping it clean, though- we keep it on display! We took the doors off and added a window treatment, so it always has to look nice and organized!

    Reply
  • Tabatha Jeppe May 25,

    This is such a great post! You have a really inspiring blog, I love your material :)

    Reply
  • Leora Smith May 26,

    I have just finished having a garage sale of household items. Purged that area…..now to the closet. Thank-you for making sure that we all know that, “I am not the only one that has a closet like your former one!”

    Reply
  • Melissa N May 28,

    Ok, so while my girl spend the night with grandma I totally tackled my closet after your inspirational post. I had a pile I threw away, a bag to donate, a bag to yard sale and a bag that is the next size down/winter clothes. I got my closet down to 50 items. This is a big improvement! Love the room I have to see my clothes. I needed the extra 10 because I have “layering” tops and I wear a lot of skirts. But on the flip side I only have 3 pairs of jeans in my dresser. Now if I can get hubby to part with some of his…

    Reply
  • Christina May 29,

    Great job Ruth! Have you heard of Project 333 by Courtney Carver? It’s all about living for three months with only 33 items in your closet. I’m currently working with less than that (in a state with four distinct seasons) and I’m also doing a year of not buying clothes. It’s a fun challenge if you are hating your current closet situation.

    Reply
    • Dawn June 30,

      Christina,
      I am up for your challenge. I too have 4 seasons of clothing. Way too much in my opinion. Long dresses and skirts seem to be the “in” thing now. I have recently bought 4 skirts, and 5 dresses. Adding those to my short dresses has really stuffed the situation. Beginning today, I am accepting you challenge of not buying clothes for a year. Exception, just one…I need to but a Mother of the Bride gown. My daughter marries this November. :) Project 333huh, seriously 4 seasons and 33 items. Idk, will give it a try.

      Reply
  • Rachel @ CMYfabriK.com May 29,

    I am across this post at the perfect time. My closet floor is a big ol’ mess and I have still nothing to wear! You’ve inspired me not only to clean it up but to get rid of items that I’m keeping just because. Great post!

    Reply
  • Clean Exterior May 30,

    That is easy and very helpful tips. Great idea. Your ideas always keep me up!

    Reply
  • Amanda @ Eloquent English May 30,

    I found this article on Pinterest. Over the last few months we had been renovating our mast bath / closet area. It’s rather a tight squeeze to fit all of our clothes in 1 closet, but we always seem to manage. Well sort of. I use one of the guest closets for dresses and the husbands suits. I had recently considered buying the velvet hangers you had mentioned and counted how many I would need. That number came to 200, just for my clothes. I’m with you, that I kept a lot of clothes (this is after getting rid of quite of few) just b/c. I’m not sure why I hadn’t worn it in a long time? I actually think I could cut it down to 100. I say that b/c I have to wear suits everyday to work and well, I don’t wear suits after work or on weekends. It’s just a completely different attire for me. My closet is super organized even with 200 hangers (well really 15o in the big closet), but still I’m sure I could get rid of a bunch of crap. ;)

    Reply
  • Erene June 6,

    Great post! I recently bought the same hangers at Costco because I haven’t seen it that cheap. It was 35 pieces for $8! I bought it 2 weeks ago. I have yet to clean my closet though :)

    Reply
  • Sarah Stäbler June 14,

    I just wrote about the very same thing on my blog! I wish I’d seen your post before I organized my closet. :) You’re so right about not buying something that’s just okay, just because it’s on sale. I was just at H&M and tried on 4 different things, but didn’t love them, so it was easy to say no because I’d just cleaned out my closet. Ha!

    Reply
  • Kim @ Our Hyphenated Home June 14,

    I love this! A few months ago, I did a closet purge, and it made such a HUGE difference in my mornings. I was able to pick an outfit right away instead of the usual “hemming and hawing” that accompanied over-flowing drawers.
    But you’re so right! You have to keep doing it! In what seems like a hot minute, my closet is back to the chaos (like seriously, where did all this come from?!).
    Oh, and totally with you on the boutique thing. I’m much more likely to cherish and take care of something that has a story (and a small business) behind it!

    Reply
  • Christalee June 23,

    Great post. I have recently been losing some 3 baby weight ( and my oldest baby is 10) and over the past few weeks have been cleaning out my closet. So far I have a big black garbage bag full to donate. I need to purge more but I like the idea of only having a certain amount of hangers and that’s that. Great blog. I will be returning :)

    Reply
    • Sage November 17,

      I have also been changing sizes due to baby weight. I love that she talks about having differnt sizes Somewhere else! I am encouraged that it is possible. Now to get Dear Hubby to purge his 100+shirts…

      Reply
  • Kellie June 25,

    My mom and I just had this discussion! Thanks for the tips!!

    Reply
  • Melanie July 1,

    Great article! As an FYI, there is one more option, when cleaning your closet or purging!!! Clothes Mentor! This store will pay you CASH for your clothes, and there is NO need to consign them, wait weeks or months for them to sell, then get your money! They cater to women over 25, and only buy the BEST brands, in near perfect condition! I’m addicted to them! I now find myself donating most of the things in MY closet, (as they were cheap or unfashionable to begin with). Now I buy BETTER clothes, for A LOT LESS!!!

    Clothes Mentor has over 85 stores across the USA, and is growing! Hopefully there is one near you!!!

    Reply
  • Sydney July 4,

    This is the story of my life! When my fiancé and I combined homes, I had a bit of a crisis with lack of space. I sold or donated most of my clothes and shoes and, while it was hard at first, I have never felt better! Now, I keep a basket next to my wardrobe for donations. If I don’t want to wear something one day, and haven’t in a while, it immediately goes in the donation bin. If I won’t wear it today, when will I?

    Reply
  • Jessica July 19,

    I have fallen into these exact sam

    Reply
  • Stephanie July 30,

    I was so inspired that I logged off and headed up to the closet! I am a teacher and almost need to have 2 different wardrobes…one for the “Teacher” in me and one for the “Mom of 3″ that I am every day! Not sure I could pare it down to 40 hangars, but anything is better than nothing! Thanks for the post –

    Reply
  • s July 31,

    i just did this! except i really DID pare down my closet (summer clothes, at least) to the bare essentials and list the rest on eBay. still, it feels really liberating to know that i can wear everything in my closet right now without having to think about whether i actually like it or not, or if it fits – there were a lot of items in my closet that i just bought randomly because they were on sale. when my current clothes wear out, i am thinking i can replace them with slightly higher-end pieces of clothing that i will actually wear, because i will be able to find them in my closet. haha. anyway, this was a life saver – thanks!

    Reply
  • Holly - Simply Organized August 1,

    This is one of the best articles I’ve read in a long time. I so appreciate this.

    Reply
  • Dressing August 2,

    By choosing the right closet or wardrobe that will suit your dressing room you can make sure that you have your home beautiful as always.

    Reply
  • sonjia August 15,

    We donate to my sisters church they are close and have attendees from abused women’s shelter and I feel good knowing it’s truly helping someone. We my 3 kids mostly “purge” in the end of winter beginning of spring with their toys which we again donate, because they love to go to yard sales so 1 they know before summer toys have to go but also during summer if we hear of a family in need. I feel blessed to have such compassionate kids who would be will (and have) to give the toy out of their hand to a kid who doesn’t have. Makes me feel like im doing something right.

    Reply
  • Wendi August 16,

    My sister in law has a wonderful rule…She turns all of her hangers around on the rack…When she wears them they go back into the closet “correctly”…At the end of the year anything she can easily see what she didn’t wear and it goes out the door…

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup August 17,

      I love that rule! Thanks for sharing Wendi!

      Reply
  • Miya August 22,

    Hello Ruth!

    I came upon your blog from a mommy group I’m in (they posted the blog you wrote about minimalizing toys) and I really love it! I saw this post about organizing your wardobe (on your sidebar) and it intrigued me – it is something I DEFINITELY need to do!

    I was wondering how you are liking that pack of hangers you purchased? Have any broken? Does the velvet leave black fuzz on your clothing? I’ve looked at velvet hangers before, but they were probably the cheaper kind and I feel like they shed too much – I don’t want that on my clothing! I also see that you have a combo pack (which I haven’t been able to find) ….the shirt hangers hold 10 lbs and the suit hangers are supposed to hold 18 lbs (according to the site). Did you really see a huge difference in them? Sorry for so many random hanger questions! I really want to give them another try, especially if you highly recommend this brand! :)

    Thanks in advance for your response (if you have time)!

    Reply
    • fred February 20,

      The hangers don’t leave fuzz in your clothes unless they are wet. I kept some plastic hangers for line drying laundry because the fuzzy hangers are not waterproof. The suit hangers have a bottom bar, the shirt hangers are like an open triangle. The combo pack was from Costco, but they don’t always have them. One of the metal hooks came out of the hanger, but otherwise we have been really pleased with them.

      Reply
  • Carol August 27,

    Inspiring. My excuse is “it’s on sale” – send me a coupon for $5 or for 30% off (yes, you retailer – you know who you are ! lol) and I think I have to get something. I’m doing better. The best way for me to solve my problem is to stay away from the stores. I’m thinking about a hanger or item count and a couple of storage totes for somethings I really like, but are just a little too snug. maybe when they are out of sight for a while,I’ll be able to part with them more easily. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Rachel August 28,

    This is my first time reading your blog! I found the link at the top of my pinterest feed today and said – YES! Please show me the way! I am a twenty something and accumulating clothes is no challenge. My hang up is that I enjoy having a wide variety, but hate making decisions about what to wear. Soon, I will be moving into a space where the closet is much smaller and I need to be OK with having much less. Thanks for sharing your tips and I look forward to reading more.

    Reply
  • Sarah August 30,

    I just found your blog today, and I seriously feel like we’re the same person! Thanks for giving me the motivation to make some changes!

    Reply
  • Anonymous August 31,

    I loved this post, We are preparing to move to a new home and I plan on purging, pretty much the WHOLE house, soon. This has given me a great place to start for downsizing my wardrobe! I only have one question though, do you do 40 hangers per person?? In other words, is it a 40 hanger rule for the whole closet, or do you have 40 hangers for yourself and 40 for your hubby? Just curious.

    Reply
  • Kerry September 2,

    Hi Ruth,
    Just found your blog today and I love it, especially the amazimg grace posts- i am a lisenced mental health counselor and I suffer from depression. Thank you for sharing your story-people sharing really does help others. My question is about a much lighter subject – closet organization/clothes. I have read a couple of blogs were people suggest paring down to either 40/50 items. Does that mean total? (Pants, jeans, shirts, skirts, dresses, jackets, sweaters, sweetshirts, t-shirts, etc.) or just hanging clothes (pants, shirts, dresses, skirts). I am not a clothes person and I don’t love to shop (at least not for myself) but that still seems low. I am assuming this doesn notinclude undies and stuff.
    Thanks and i look forward to following your blog,
    Kerry

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup September 5,

      I pared it down to 40 hanging items. For me that did not include t-shirts, tank tops, jeans, or shorts (though I did drastically reduce those quantities as well.) It also did not include undergarments or swimwear. I think you have to find the number that works for you–my goal was just to make a dramatic reduction! Hope that helps! :-)

      Reply
  • Starmax Online September 10,

    Very informative post. Would definitely keep these closet organization tips in mind! Thanks for sharing.
    Gina

    Reply
  • nicole @nicky_olea September 16,

    I recently moved to Italy and have two wardrobes overstuffed. I think this is a lovely idea I really need to consider.

    Reply
  • Kim Kauffman September 19,

    Such a good post. The last three years have meant a total overhaul of my closet – I went from working as a paralegal to having our first baby and becoming a stay at home mom (I just had our second almost three months ago). I’ve been learning that, for me, it’s better to spend money on a more expensive item that I absolutely love and feel great wearing, than spending less on something that ends up sitting in the closet. I’m trying to remember that quantity really isn’t better than quality! I do like the idea of the nice hangers. It makes the closet so much more streamlined and neat!

    Reply
  • Rachel September 19,

    You have just given me my weekend project. I’m doing our closet and both of the kids too. Thank you. I have been feeling the need to de-clutter for a while.

    Reply
  • Antonia September 25,

    I would thoroughly recommend Project 333 having seen this. I am currently on my second ‘phase’ of P333 and then saw your ’40 hanger closet’ so thought I’d read. I am not massively bothered about clothes so apply P333 to mine and my daughter’s clothing BUT it was still a challenge for me! Would definitely recommend it! :)

    Reply
  • Carol September 28,

    Donations to Goodwill and Salvation Army are tax deductible. Just ask for a receipt. I prefer the Salvation Army. The president of Goodwill earns $725,000 a year – too much for a charitable organization IMO.

    Reply
  • Kioshana October 7,

    Loved the post – I took your advice and bought the hangers. It totally made a difference in the way my closet looks and feels and I managed to cull more than half the clothes in my closet! Great post!

    Reply
  • Melissa October 8,

    Currently I’m working on your 31 day spend freeze (I did cheat and spent $10 at a thrift store but it was on things I really did need and have been hunting for forever!)
    Today is #8 preparing to clean which I did this morning and then canned a bunch of peach butter and pie pumpkin. Now I am avoiding all other house work :) and poking through your blog. I’m so glad I read this as tomorrow I planned to tackle the master bedroom first it is my least favorite room to clean. I may jump start that by going through my closet now instead. I’m so tired of dealing with it my clothes rarely make it out of the laundry room! I can’t go buy new hangers though since I have plenty and it would be another cheat on my spending freeze!

    Reply
  • Anne T October 15,

    My fear is that I’ll come down to the few pieces I love and they’ll be lopsidedly one kind of garment, like sundresses at the expense of slacks. How do I decide how much I need of each to dress sensibly every day? And do you have a top forty per season or top forty period? Any tips on keeping versus purging clothes for the maternity flux?

    Hm. What if I just do it and let Matthew 6:30 worry about the rest?

    Reply
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  • Katherine October 22,

    Do you have a list of “must haves” for the forty hanger trick? I am desperately trying to get organized with my master closet & I feel like my hubby & I have TOO much!

    Reply
  • Ana October 24,

    According to Wikipedia, Capsule wardrobe is a term coined by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called “Wardrobe” in the 1970s. According to Faux, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that will not go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be updated with seasonal pieces.[1] This idea was popularised by American designer Donna Karan, who, in 1985, released an influential capsule collection of seven interchangeable work-wear pieces.
    Everyone’s priorities will be different, according to where they work, what leisure activities they partake in, etc.
    My suggestion is to keep what you love and wear most as per Ruth’s method of sorting above, and then identify what you feel is missing from your wardrobe and write it down {smartphone handy for this} to take with you in your purse ~ that way if you see something on sale that catches your eye, check your list to see if it is a ‘must have’ item first {is it the right colour, style, material, etc.} before you take the plunge. If not, take a pass and wait for the right one to come along, even if you have to pay full retail, it will be worth it to have things you truly need that will go with what you already have, rather than a bunch of sale items that end up not being worn because they are not really what you needed.
    For inspiration, try:
    http://theproject333.com/how-to-build-a-capsule-wardrobe/
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/capsule-wardrobe
    http://into-mind.com/tag/capsule-wardrobe/
    http://www.simple-ways-to.com/simple-ways-to-create-a-capsule-wardrobe.html
    http://www.pinterest.com/meredith_krugel/capsule-wardrobes/
    http://craftyteacherlady.blogspot.ca/2011/08/goodwill-hunting.html
    Happy Organizing!

    Reply
  • eva November 20,

    You are right !Too many stuffs we’ve got , at the end of the day , we only wear the same clothe. More room, clearer ideas ,less effort …GOOD TIP

    Reply
  • Jessica December 10,

    That sorter is exactly what I need! We have three types of laundry at my joys whites, blacks/darks, and colors. Right now everything just gets thrown in the basket and I have to sort before washing. This would make my life so much easier. This will definitely be a purchase when we get into our new house next year. I hope they have it in black though.

    Reply
  • leza January 1,

    Buy the hangers at costco! There only $8 for a big pack! Love them. Black ,solid hangers.

    Reply
  • Anonymous January 4,

    I thought your before closet was well organized too. I don’t think I am quite ready for this challenge but will keep it in mind. I am doing then No Spend January and am having a blast . My secret is I turned off my debt card so the cash it have is just that, the only cash I have there is no rescue. All the money made this month is going directly to the bank and it feels great!

    Reply
  • Olivia @ Snyders Tell All January 4,

    I know this post is older, but I love it! I’m about to clean out my closet this month when a dresser I ordered comes in (for closet). I hate hanging clothes and I’ve realized, if it needs hanging, I usually throw it on the floor because I’m too lazy. So my jeans, shorts, and cotton shirts are going in the drawers. I’ll have to check out the hangers. Uniform hangers do make a closet more organized also. Keep posting…your blog is awesome!

    Reply
  • Jennifer January 15,

    Love your post! I was doing all of this today and thought I was crazy for getting rid of so much, then I came across your post on pinterest. I am so encouraged to keep going! Thank you!

    Reply
  • Simone January 17,

    Love this!!! The hangers are on sale now until 1/26/2014 at Costco for just $9 for 35 hangers.

    Reply
  • Simone January 17,

    I forgot to ask: How did you decide what to fold and what to hang up?

    Reply
  • S. Carpenter January 23,

    Would love to pare down the wardrobe . Will be working on that.
    The size of my closet prohibits putting folded clothes any where other than the dresser drawer. You are blessed to have a decent size closet!

    Reply
  • Dianne January 27,

    WOW! I admire you, really. I don’t hoard clothes, but I do buy clothes just for the sake of buying. I admire you for being able to relieve yourself of the “unnecessary” things you have. Oh, I prolly won’t be able to let go of my clothes, but I’m thankful for this post.

    xx Dianne
    http://diannealejo.blogspot.com

    Reply
  • Angela January 29,

    One suggestion I would add, for those short on time, is to place a box, bag or extra hamper in the closet that is solely for items that need to ‘go’ – I have one that I use instead of going through purges every few months.

    If I find myself putting something on and really just not ‘loving’ it, it goes in the box. If I don’t miss it for 3 months, then it comes out of the closet with the rest of the box which then gets donated or sold. It’s easier for me to maintain :)

    Reply
  • Sharon B. January 30,

    Thank you so much for the inspiration! I just finished my own closet makeover and was able to get rid of over 1/2 the stuff in there. I couldn’t do the 40 hangers, but I feel like I can breathe in there again. I was able to get rid of so much that I hung my purses on hangers too after seeing you do that, loved that idea. Thank you! Sharon

    Reply
  • Jane Macdonald February 4,

    My mum raised me to clean out my stuff once a year, with the rule that if I haven’t been using it, get rid of it. Much older now, I don’t do this once a year, but just as needed. There are so many in need, so we give away all that is good and useable still.

    Reply
  • lola February 10,

    I did the 40 hanger thing and realised i also had so much clothes but never had anything to wear. i donated my excess clothes to a less fortunate lady with 4 daughters. now i have decided to replace the items in that 40 hanger range that i still dont like with dresses! yes dresses… they are an outfit-in-one, no need to pair shirts with skirts or pants… makes getting ready for work so much easier. dressed in 5 minute and out the door.

    Reply
  • AaronAllen February 20,

    I keep all my clothes arranged properly in my wardrobe with luxury wooden hangers. Even those which i don’t generally wear are arranged properly.

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  • Jess March 5,

    The joys of being a student is because I travel so much, my wardrobe is less than that anyway. I have a tiny wardrobe so that when I go home for holidays I literally take everything with me. It’s odd not having a lot of clothes but it means I always know I have a nice outfit in my suitcase!

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  • Anonymous March 28,

    This is a great plan. I’ve been wanting to simplify my closet. I’m going to trade my old hangers out for my 9 year olds hangers. New to him and purging my closet is a great feeling!

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  • Christine April 12,

    I bought the same or similar hangers at Costco a year or two ago. I wound up returning them because I felt like they stretched out my shirts. Have you found this to be the case?

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    • Ruth Soukup April 13,

      I haven’t noticed that at all. Maybe the ones at Costco are a little bigger? (“man” size?)

      Reply
  • Heather Able April 14,

    Do you have 40 hangers of clothes per season? like 40 for spring and summer? and 40 for fall and winter? or 40 for the entire year? do you count your pants in that number? or just your shirts? thanks!

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  • Cas April 23,

    I know this post is almost a year old, but I just found it and it’s totally inspired me! I just donated 2 hefty bags of clothes we never wear, but now I realize there’s a lot more I’m hanging on to that I rarely ever wear.

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  • Elizabeth George April 24,

    I do my purge and reorganize about twice a year and use some of the tip you mention. I have some additional tips for keeping closets tidy on my bog as well.

    http://www.theclosetorganizer.blogspot.com

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  • Aileen April 25,

    Lovely post. Many folks need to examine the colors they purchased for themselves also as method to purge clothing. Take selfies and let them get cold. Then look at them only for a second or two. Then let two – three days pass, and look at them again for a second or two. Be 100% honest with yourself. Evaluate whether your clothing makes you look like you are washed out, tired, green, or sickly. If your cheeks are not rosy and you don’t look healthy, toss that item in the donate bin. So many folks wear the wrong colors for their skin tone, especially in shirts or tops, so that also does not make us look our best. You can wear a bad color for you on your pants, but you want to keep the wrong colors away from your face. I turned my hangers backwards also. If the hanger did not get touched after 3 – 4 months, then it was obvious that was an item that needed to be put in the Goodwill bin. The only exception was special occasion dresses and dressy shoes. I purged a few months ago, and saved only clothes I knew I liked even if they did not fit me at that moment. I was in a phase of losing weight, so I knew I would get back into them. About a month ago, I got sick of pulling my pants up so I ventured into one pair of jeans. Yup, sure enough, my weight was down enough to get into them comfortably. And that meant I did not need to go shopping, but I could continue purging. I came up with “10″ as a number for socks, underwear, bras, camisoles, t-shirts, etc. So that should get rid of a lot of ‘extras’. My method was there was 7 days in a week, and if there are 3 spares, that will give me the ability to stay on top of things. Especially since you can buy socks and underwear in packs of 3.

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  • Anonymous May 18,

    Ross, TJ Max, Marshall’s, Home Goods and even goodwill have really great felt hangars. I bought 25 for 11.99 at Ross! You don’t have to spend a fortune on baskets either. I buy a basket [it has to be the good kind ]every time I go to Goodwill or Ross.

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  • Jill May 22,

    Thanks for this great post, Ruth. My sister and I share a room so we have little closet space to spare… your tips will come in handy!

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  • Samantha May 26,

    I love your site, I wish I would have discovered it sooner! I totally agree with your concept of purging. I recently moved to a tiny apt by myself (no roommate, I live in a big city) and I had to cut down on a lot of things. I got rid of three bags of clothes (all gave to goodwill) and I don’t even remember what I gave away (isn’t that sad?). I will continue to purge and buy more thoughtful items. I am 27 so I am trying to transition out of the post-college clothing phase (buying stuff from the younger-targeted mall chains) so if I get something, something has to go.

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