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Question about decluttering the closet

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

In my closet I have a lot of very nice, very expensive and stylish outfits, suits, skirts and heels from:

1) my previous career life right before I became a mama (had a lot of nice suits and outfits)

2) my previous single attractive gal life before I became a mama (had good looking tops, skirts, heels, etc)

 

Now I'm a stay-at-home mama of a newborn and a young toddler. I am neither a professional who dresses the part, nor do I feel in any way attractive (or practical) enough to dress in life blouses, skirts, and heels (just how am I doing to haul my infant & young toddler out to the park from a second floor apartment in heels and skirt anyways?!)

 

My closet is full of way-too-nice clothes for the spit up and mess my 2 boys make all day long. My mama close are simply cotton t-shirts and sweat pants, which I wear all the time. Here is my dilemma: what do I do with all the nice & expensive clothes from my previous lifestyle?  I can't see myself getting rid of them. I really liked many of those clothes (and still do), but I just don't know when to wear them. By the way I thought I could keep some of the nice clothes for going out with husband but we haven't gone out on a single date since baby#1. What are your suggestions?

 

The reasons it's so hard for me to get rid of them are:

1) I spent a lot of money on them, would hate to just get rid of them

2) and I actually liked them (and still do)

3) certain peices my husband really likes them (or likes me in them), certain clothes bring sweet memories when he sees me in them & bring good memories for me too, from not that long ago actually. I'd like to keep them even just to wear them because he likes them but I don't ever get the chance.

4) sometimes I think, just because I'm a mama doesn't mean I need to dress crappy (like I currently do). I can still dress nicely and attractively, couldn't I?  I do want to be an attractive mama still. Well, then I already have the clothes to dress nicely and attractively.  But every morning I wake up I put on t-shirt and sweat pants and off I run.

5) They are all very new, and in great condition

 

I don't have anyone to give them to who would actually fit, find use, and take good care of them like I do. Certain ones I could sell (say, on craigslist) but the thought of taking photo, uploading, and posting is too big of a project for the limited time & energy I have now. (By the way, on that one, is there an easier way to sell used, well conditioned clothing?)

 

Along with the closet decluttering question is a side question - how do I dress attractively, nicely, but comfortly and practically as a mama of young babies?

 

Would appreciate any tips on this one!

post #2 of 9

8 years ago I was in  your shoes literally. My previous life required suits and heels plus all the trimmings for my job. I became a stay at home mom. So after my dd turned 1, I went thru the entire closet and donated all my suits to a local charity that used them for preparing women for entering  the workforce. There was about 32 of them. Plus 5 pairs of  very good condition shoes. Add 4 packages of unopend panty hose...

 

Most were in excellent condition and since heel styles change, its better to let someone get some wear out of them now since if you pull something out in like 3 years, it could appear dated. Your life has changed and you are in a different seasonn. Besides it sounds like you enjoy nice things, that are up to date and after all this time with two small children, you might want to treat yourself to something new and make  you feel better about yourself or just to do something for you. Make sense?

 

ETA, I forgot to answer your last question: I enjoy wearing a heel, so I choose boots, I get made up, carry a purse (still fits after two kids LOL) buy casual shirts in the latest colors they are showing, and use mom jeans only for those bad days. Yoga pants only get you so far. I have never been a sweatshirt jeans and gym shoes  kind of gal, so no need to start now.

post #3 of 9

Do you have any cool consignment shops in your area? If finances are an issue, maybe you could browse the shops and see if there's new stuff you're drawn to. Then if you are, you could trade in the stuff that you don't wear anymore for stuff that suits your current lifestyle.

post #4 of 9

How about mixing up the dressy clothes with more casual ones, like for instance pair dressy slacks with a casual top and some cute comfy shoes? That way you still look stylish but you are comfortable as well. From what you describe you are not quite ready to give up on your dressier clothes. Maybe box them if you really need the closet space and wait a bit until you are sure either way.

post #5 of 9

When I left corporate work for SAHM, I kept things for a while, but then ending up donating a lot of my professional clothes to Dress for Success (you can get a tax receipt for your donation).  They provide clothing to women in need who are entering (or trying to) the workforce (if you have a Dress Barn in your are, they sponsor collections for the organization, and one is coming up Feb. 24-27, 2011).  Selling them at consignment is also a great idea as someone else mentioned.

 

I found that once my youngest reached preschool, I have more opportunities to get dressed up a little & do my hair/make-up even if it's just to go to get my hair done or go out to lunch with a friend.  And date nights became easier as the kids got older.  

 

I would keep items that you really feel can be timeless and not look outdated in a few years and that you know are still going to fit correctly or can be tailored if need be.  Personally, I do like to "dress up" a couple times a week (during the day that's usually a nice pair of not-my-everyday jeans, heeled boots, a nice top/sweater/scarf) but it doesn't work for me to do it everyday, and it was much, much less often when I was still BFing and my kids were in diapers.  I do think it helps get you out of the Mommy Zone to make that effort for yourself when you can!

post #6 of 9

I too have a stash of professional clothes.

1. Your closet is for clothes that you wear. Other things should live in other places. I love button down shirts, but they don't work for nursing in, so they are not hanging in my closet. It only took me two years to realize this.

2. What is you life going to look like for the next couple of years. What do you need for that? For me mostly mama messy clothes with a few nice things for special occasions.

3. If/when you get back to your professional life, will they still be stylish?

 

I would keep the stuff you wear for special occasions and the most sentimental. Depending on your answer to #3 consign them, donate them to Dress for Success or store them out of the way.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeighPF View Post

I too have a stash of professional clothes.

1. Your closet is for clothes that you wear. Other things should live in other places. I love button down shirts, but they don't work for nursing in, so they are not hanging in my closet. It only took me two years to realize this.

2. What is you life going to look like for the next couple of years. What do you need for that? For me mostly mama messy clothes with a few nice things for special occasions.

3. If/when you get back to your professional life, will they still be stylish?

 

I would keep the stuff you wear for special occasions and the most sentimental. Depending on your answer to #3 consign them, donate them to Dress for Success or store them out of the way.



Really? I love button down shirts for nursing in. Although I don't mind the extra fleshy look LOL

 

I have donated most of my professional clothes. I really have no use for those kinds of clothes anymore and most were not wearable while I doing a back carry. If you have the room, just pack them up and put in storage, or take them to a resale shop for some extra cash.

post #8 of 9

I second donating some of the clothes to Dress for Success.  It is an awesome organization and then the clothes will be worn by working women!  How awesome is that?  I would go through them and pick a few outfits out to donate to this organization.  Just something simple like that is a good way to start. 

 

And then you can evaluate-- usually when I make the leap I find that I don't really miss the stuff... and it is easier to keep going.  Just start somewhere.  :)

post #9 of 9
I'd get rid of the heels and things you know you absolutely will not wear but keep a few of the nicer shirts and skirts for date nights or special events.
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