Once a year, usually after musical season has ended and the spring cleaning bug hits, I empty out all of my closets, and go through all of my clothes, and refold and reorganize all of the clothes that I end up keeping. I donate or add to my costume bins at least 20 items of clothing every year, but somehow my closets never seem to gain any extra space. How is that even possible?
The problem is that I have way too much clothing. I have an armoire that is bursting at the seams, a closet that has hanging space for my work clothes, skirts, and dresses, and another closet that has 3 shelves just for long sleeve shirts and shoes.
I have too much stuff. Plain and simple.
Recently, I chucked and/or donated about 15 pairs of shoes from my closet. I still have like 30 pairs. That is gross. But I love shoes, so only a little gross.
So every year I try to clean house, even though it never seems to make a difference.
Last week, during my great cleanout, I was getting frustrated that I was finding so many great tops in my closet that I had seemingly forgotten all about. With the amount of clothing that I have, and the terrible fibromyalgia memory to boot, how can I try to remember what I have so that I make sure I get better use out of the clothing that has cost money and takes up so much space?
I was all “Hey! What if I came up with some kind of closet organization app for the phone that you can put all of your clothing in, and then you can see what you wear in a year?”
JK there are already quite a few of these in existence, actually. Just goes to show that there really aren’t very many original ideas to be had in the world. Sad.
So here’s what I’ve decided to do. I took inspiration from my favorite shoe blog, Shoeper Woman, who does the year-long shoe challenge. The challenge is to wear, and document the process, of trying to wear each pair of shoes in your closet at least once in the year. Sounds easier than it is. Whatever you don’t wear by the end of the year, you have to toss/donate.
So I’m going to try to do that with my clothes and shoes in an effort to make better use out of what I own, and maybe make more room in my closet.
Both apps allow you to take photos of all of the clothing that you own and place them into categories – blouses, trousers, jeans, shoes, accessories, sweaters, jackets, etc. It’s simple!
- Take a photo of the item.
- I like to color correct the iPhone photo in another app called Camera+ (sidenote: LOVE this app for on the go photo edits. I highly recommend it) so I can more accurately plan color coordinated outfits in the future.
- Import the photo into the app.
- Remove the background (if you choose to, but it does help give a distraction free view of the article of clothing in question!)
- Label and add information to the item.
- Put it in a category
- All done!
With both apps you can create “looks” or “outfits” of your clothes matched together. This is great for when you have to pack for a vacation or have to plan out outfits for work or special occasions in advance. Both apps allow you to add these outfits or singular pieces of clothing to a calendar, so you can see what you wore and when.
However, Stylebook will automatically track articles of clothing on the calendar and show you have many times you’ve worn the item since you’ve started using the app. This is awesome because you can see what you wear a lot, what you don’t wear at all, and if you link a price to the article of clothing, it’ll help tell you if you’ve gotten your moneys worth!
On the flip side, Netrobe has a social media aspect to it that Stylebook doesn’t, so if you want to keep track of clothing and outfit making with friends, you can!
I’m still in the process of cleaning my closets and adding all of my clothes to the apps, but I think this will be a worthwhile project for me. I definitely encourage other people to give this a try, too. It’s great for people who need to cut the clutter, clean house, be more wise about their spending on clothing, or people who are trying to downsize because of space or maybe because they’re moving soon.
So here’s my personal challenge, and it begins now! I might throw an update about my personal challenge into the mix here and there, but otherwise I won’t really post about it. If anyone else gives it a try, let me know!