Clients often grumble about their lack of closet space. It’s among the most common of complaints we organizers are apt to hear. This is not surprising. Closets are well documented hotbeds of C.R.U.D. infestation. No matter how much an individual is willing to fork over in installing custom organizers, she will never have the wardrobe repository of her dreams unless she is willing to let go. When it comes to garment reduction, not all clothing is created equal.
Some items hang on for eternity, in significant volume. In this case, we refer to the category known as outerwear. Outerwear includes coats, raingear, vests and jackets. Have you taken an inventory of your own family’s collection lately? If you live in a part of the world where there are four distinct seasons, you are well aware of the percentage of closet real estate devoted to stocking jackets. In the winter you need outerwear capable of repelling the elements. You have medium-weight ones to take you through spring and autumn temperatures. The summer requires the occasional windbreaker or lightweight jacket for those early ‘Tee’ times. Now factor in the team sportswear, leather jackets for riding motorcycles and those you wear for winter sports like skiing and snow-shoeing. Who among us does not possess a jean jacket? Or two? Or three? Have you counted in the trench coats and Gortex creations you rely upon for walking the dog in a downpour?
Keep that calculator handy because you are not finished. Jackets can be in any room in the house. They hang in triplicate over the backs of chairs. Hooks in the garage furnish a home for jackets that get too dirty to bring inside the house. Fur coats, jackets and stoles remain holed up inside ancient quilted garment bags in the basement, emanating a resignation associated with death row inmates awaiting the inevitable. For our purposes, we won’t even look at your blazers, hoodies and suit jackets.
Come on, you say. You need all of those jackets. Hardly. Employ a modicum of objectivity here. Go back to your hall closet. That is where the lion’s share resides. Haul everything out and toss any of the following: anything that would catapult you to stardom on a makeover show; any jacket or coat that has been handed down so many times the original color is completely undetectable; jackets with broken zippers, large bloodstains, pockets with holes, missing buttons, belts or ripped linings. You should also include any jacket still hanging in the closet in a size you cannot remember wearing since your freshman year in college.
There is another compelling reason for sorting through this category. Before you throw or give anyone away be sure to check the pockets. Sure, there will be lots of wadded up tissues, dry cleaning slips and expired bus passes, but you are bound to make major discoveries as well. Maybe the long lost key to your safety deposit box is tucked in a pocket of that old pea coat. These are great places to find loose change, cheques that were never deposited and punch cards from your favorite coffee house entitling you to a free cup of java. This activity will be well worth the effort.