Yeah, I keep something of a ‘clothing to-do’ list

Posted on 28.09.2011


I don’t mean shopping, either.

The photo to the left might shock, even scare, some of my oldest and closest friends. My ‘closet’ looks amazingly out-of-order here, but I assure you that it isn’t. In fact, it’s in impeccable order.

I used to organize the clothes in my closet by color. Within color, they were organized by sleeve length, which made it easier to choose between my summer and fall/winter clothes, since I uses to keep them all out. I still keep most of them out, actually. The ones that work well as layers, at least. All of my hangers were white, because I have a MAJOR issue with visual clutter.

In the beginning, I was more interested in color than history. But now that my short-term memory seems to go a little quicker these days (I blame the MS, not my age, not at all), the order in the photo goes better.

Also, I realized I was having issues remembering WHICH clothes I wore to WHICH class the week before. We tend to wear our ‘favorites’ all the time, and I was completely guilty of that. Factor in working at a fashion company three days per week, and the issue suddenly included repetition as well. I love my students and am sure they don’t bother to look at me in that catty, competitive way (all the time, at least), but I need to look my best, mostly professional, and generally impeccable (my standards, not theirs). This means not repeating outfits.

As an aside, it’s not just outfits that I try not to repeat. When it comes specifically to outfits, it’s more a question of ‘in how many different ways/combinations can I wear this one top before I have to repeat?’. It’s like a game. When it comes to things in the rest of my life, like bike routes and sentences, I prefer to see how many different ways I can bike or say something. It’s not that I fear repetition, it’s more that I enjoy change and challenges. And maybe I get bored easily, when things are predictable, too.

What’s the order in my closet these days? Chronology. These clothes are literally in a list in the image. And there’s even a divider there. The clothes, starting directly to the left of the scarves (on special IKEA hangers) are in chronological order of wear date. I don’t keep or record dates (anymore), I just hang what I wore yesterday up right next to the scarves. If I have to wash something, an empty hanger goes there and waits for the item to be washed, making a place saver.

If you count the hangers, it’s easy to tell about which week I wore the beige blazer in. I wore it early last week, after I bought it the week before.

When I buy something new, or pull out my fall/winter blazers and sweaters, they just get tossed onto the far left end, and then I can work them into the rotation with no issue. Sometimes it happens that the clothes in the middle of the left side sit for a while, and that’s what I’m writing about today.

What about the clothes to the right of the hanger?

Well friends, that’s the ‘to-do’ list.

Every week, I pull out a few things (usually from the far left) that I haven’t worn lately, or want to try to ‘solve’, if I’m feeling like they’re not going to make it through my next purge. I hang them there on the right (usually after checking the coming week’s weather report) and think about them as ‘all I can wear’ for the coming week.

I’ll also put new things here, when I’m excited to wear them post-haste.

It seems kind of silly, but I have a major issue with closet blindness and choice fatigue early in the mornings. When possible, I try to plan my outfit the night before, so I can sleep for an extra 30 minutes the next morning. When not, it’s really nice to ONLY look at those things and figure out what I’m going to wear, instead of considering the whole closet. That takes too much time!!!

By the time I wake up and consider ‘the list’, I’ve already had at least 3 or 4 ideas about how to wear the things that are there.

It’s also majorly helpful because it’s really easy to spot which items aren’t moving. These are the ones that I add to the to-do side, and if I can’t solve them or don’t want to, then they get donated, because I’m obviously not that into them. The only time this is not the case is during the season change, when I just ‘retire’ them to the storage space under the bed to reconsider next season.

What funny practices do you use to help yourself remember things?

Posted in: fashion, life