Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Waste Not, Want Not... Or, How Cleaning Your Closet Pays

Did you know that a recent study posted on MSN found most of us wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time? Wow. That shocked me. I did some quick tabulating a few weeks ago and found that I own (gulp) 53 pairs of pants. Fifty-three. Yet I most always wear the same two pairs of jeans, the same gray and khaki slacks, and the same brown cargo pants. So for me I think it's more like I wear 10% of my clothes 99% of the time.

So I rounded up an armload of clothes I don't wear much. Half of them still had tags. I stuffed them in the car and drove about an hour away to a little consignment shop. Last week I got a call: they had a check ready for me. $214. Wow again. Not bad for stuff I'll hardly miss.

Because I'm nerdy like this, I did some quick figuring. I found that if I weed out my closet once a year and deposit that money in a regular old savings account, after 25 years I'd have roughly $10,000. Not bad. Plus think of all the closet space I'll free up in the meantime.

Of course, all my toss-out clothes won't be consigned. I have three projects worked up to show you this spring: 1) How to turn a shirt/skirt into a darling handbag; 2) How to work a blanket out of clothes you don't want to part with; and 3) How to dress up a few tired, old pieces so you'll fall in love with them again. (Or at least wear them.) Could be fun, right?

April's all about going green, so in the spirit of that, I say we apply our best Waste Not, Want Not principles to our closets first. Who knows what we'll turn up and how much we could save....

14 comments:

betty r said...

I am in the process of 'weeding out' my closet..maybe I'll hang on till I see what you will show us, I may just get some more use out of those clothes yet!

Rosa said...

Sounds good to me! I'm in the process of weeding out all those things I don't use regularly. (Except stuff used only for hoildays or parties.)
I'd love to learn new ways to use what I have.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Yes! Sounds like a fun post just like this one is. I learned what you're learning long ago. My closet is sparse indeed, just the way I like it.

laurel said...

Woo hoo!! Go, Brin! 53 pairs of pants?! Really?!! That must be some kind of a record or something! :)
I am with you on the paired down wardrobe. Right now I only have two pairs of pants. One pair of jeans and one pair of black pants. Admittedly, it is not enough. But, I am in transition right now, losing baby weight, and I just don't want spend money on clothes I will only wear for a couple of months! I have a few really cute skirts that I am hoping, HOPING to fit into by summer...cause I am SICK of these two pairs of pants! :)

Martha said...

I go to a great blog called nikkishell.typepad.com/wardroberefashion/ The people are all taking old clothes, thriftshop buys and ill fitting items and refashioning them for themselves or sometimes for lttle ones. It's really neat to read how creative they are with clothing that doesn't quite fit their style. I think you'll find it interesting.

Mayberry Magpie said...

I just weeded out my closet during spring break. The excess was shameful and I pledge not to do it again.

The blanket project? CAN'T WAIT!!!!

Mayberry Magpie

A family of boys said...

We've been weeding out things for quite a while now. My closet is good except for hubby's 55 t-shirts. Now I just need to get people to stop giving us clothes for the boys. They had so much that their drawers weren't able to close easily! Felt good to donate that stuff...

Anonymous said...

I just sorted all the old T-shirts I've been hanging onto for 40 years and I'm having a blanket made! It's a great way to keep the memories and create something useful at the same time. I'm excited!

Can't wait to see your ideas!

grace f

Christi said...

I am also a 20 something God-fearing young woman:)

I just read your blog for the first time after hearing about it from another friend with a blog. Yours is delightful, of course. And encouraging, and challenging.

Come by mine sometime if you'd like:)

Have a wonderful day!

Mama Lisa said...

love the scarf on the jacket. did you make that as well? if so i want one.

Anonymous said...
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jane said...

20 years ago when I married, my husband had to drag all my stuff to his home out of state. This included 72 pair of shoes. 72. He had no idea. hehe.

Now I have 3 pair I routinely wear, 2 of which are of the lovely orthopedic style. bah!

Sue Neitzel said...

Sounds like a plan to me! I'm weeding out too for a move in May so maybe I'll take some things to our consignment shop, but most go to the thrift stores. Can't wait to see your spring projects!

fireflynights said...

At least your closet isn't full of three sets of clothing - Plump, Plumper, and Really Fat. I got rid of Normal Size a few years ago, and now luckily I'm ready to start getting rid of the Really Fat things. Eventually Plumper items will go along with them.