A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Clothes Purging Tips via Org Junkie!

Hi and welcome to another edition of Just the Tip Tuesday!

As you may know, for the past 30+ weeks I’ve been diligently working little by little toward getting more organized.

It’s been an uphill battle rife with roadblocks and setbacks. But I’m thrilled to tell you that all those little accomplishments week by week are starting to add up to big results!

Being a bit of a pack rat, a recovering craftaholic, and an oftentimes emotionally unstable woman with impulse control issues and poor decision making skills, parting with old clothes is especially difficult for me. Perhaps you remember my 20 year old cow jeans that were particularly unflattering?


Sorry about that.

Well, I never did finish cleaning out my closet. I just got overwhelmed and moved on to another project. (I did get rid of those cow jeans though!)

But a couple of weeks ago, I came across an incredible post chock full of specific directives on parting with clothes. It was so empowering that I just had to share!

The following is verbatim from my beloved organizing guru Laura the Org Junkie in her brilliant and entertaining post titled: 11 Excellent Reasons to Get Rid of Your Clothes.

Org Junkie’s Tips to Help You Part with Your Clothes

1. If you haven’t worn something in a year then out it goes regardless of condition, price or size. Why a year? Because you cover every season in that period of time. If you haven’t worn it during the year, you probably never will.

2. If you have a piece of clothing that you wear but are annoyed with it every time you do, seriously stop it.

3. If it’s waiting to be mended and it’s been waiting for a long time then enough is enough already.

4. If you hate to iron and your ironing pile sits there totally neglected while you wear all your favorite clothing over and over again, why do you still have an ironing pile?

5. I’m not opposed to keeping your “skinny” clothes (and I know we all do it) but for goodness sakes you don’t need to keep all of it. Styles change, your tastes change, your body shape changes so chances are good that when you get back to that size you’re going to want new stuff anyway.

6. If you absolutely love a shirt but never wear it because you have nothing to wear it with, well guess what, a mate isn’t going to magically appear in the night. Follow the one year rule.

7. Sentimental clothes that you aren’t wearing shouldn’t reside in your closet. Either take a picture of it and preserve the memory or limit yourself to one tote of “clothes to show my kids so they can laugh their heads off at me someday”.

8. Don’t hang onto something that is “just alright” because you don’t have something better yet to replace it. Let it go now unless it means you go naked, that wouldn’t be right.

9. You don’t have to do it all at once. Like I did try it in stages and be motivated by your success. One day you could do shirts, the next day shorts, etc..

10. Try everything on. This one I can’t stress enough. Do not hold something up and say oh this is so beautiful I’m going to keep it. That’s too easy and what you might not remember is that, although it’s beautiful, the buttons gape at the front showing off your woman parts. Nope we don’t want that now do we. Get rid of it.

11. You only have the space that you do. Jamming your clothes into the closet and fighting with them every single day to find what you need won’t make your closet grow in the night. It will only make you grumpy…every single day. It’s not worth it.


Hi, it’s me again, Iris. Wasn’t that great?! I just love her! Seriously, if you haven’t slurped that lady’s Kool-Aid yet, you need to get on it!

I was so inspired by her clothes purging manifesto that I finally tackled the overflowing “Mend” bucket in my bedroom:

I just love how she said:

“If it’s waiting to be mended and it’s been waiting for a long time then enough is enough already.”

That spoke to my soul.

I spilled out the contents of that bucket and discovered a torn t-shirt and a pair of shorts that my daughter had already outgrown (they had been in the bucket THAT long). Those went right into the trash. How freeing! Next up, a very dated fire-engine red full length London Fog raincoat that I bought in 1989. It was really expensive and I thought I would update it by shortening it and changing the buttons. Shoulder pads might come back into style someday, right?

Maybe, but I’d rather have some more empty space in my room. That rain coat had been sitting in that bucket for well over a year. And upon closer inspection, it had some signs of wear and tear that made it not worth the time and effort if would take me to update it. Enough is enough already. Maybe it will make someone at the thrift shop very happy.

Now I only have a couple of things to mend instead of a huge bucket! Much more doable.

And speaking of those buckets…I have one more tip for you today. Those $5.00 buckets also make great impromptu Ninja Turtle costumes…

Whoo-hooo! Just add your own enthusiasm! The camouflage underwear hat is optional. (Gosh I hope those were clean.)

yours truly,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


  1. Alison@Mama Wants This

    Great tips, and I’m happy I already apply some of them, particularly trying on everything. I try and purge my wardrobe once every six months. I also try NOT to shop as often as I used to (oops) . Glad to hear you’re making great progress on the decluttering!

    And funny picture!

  2. Laura

    “Slurping that lady’s Kool-aid” – hahaha…who’s the funny one girlfriend! 🙂

    You’re doing awesome by the way, can’t wait to see your craft supplies.

  3. Didi

    Love it, thank you! I’m one of those organize junkies you hate…. don’t hate me, it took me forever to become one, celebrate w/ me!! 😉

    I found it so liberating literally to finally be able to know where everything is, and what and where I can do w/ it. I still have load of tupperware w/ beading/semi precious stones from my jewerly making days sitting in the basement. But, I say but, they are in my work station, labeled and ready to go… now to finally find the time to do that again… maybe if I get off this pc?? Ya think??? 😉

    You rock Iris!!!!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Girl, I don’t HATE organizing junkies!!! I am one! I’m just not that good at it yet. But I’m getting there! I totally celebrate with you. Cheers!!!

      I think it’s awesome that you saved your favorite crafting supplies (in an orderly fashion!) and intend to get back to it someday. I plan to do the same with quilting…someday…I hope.

      Love you Didi!!!

  4. FiveOGrrl

    Where are did you park your Delorian? 1984?

    • The Bearded Iris

      Excuse me, bitch, but it was a Suzuki Samurai. And it’s parked dahn at the Eat N’ Park next to your scooter.

  5. mrs.frisbie

    #2 spoke to me, and I am seriously going to “stop it.” Thanks for passing along such great advice.

  6. Livin In Duckville

    Hahahahahahhahaa…. Are you changing Bucket-Head’s name to Bucket-Back? Camo-Coife? Funny pics!

    As for the clothes purging…. yep, I have to do that again. That will wait until I change my wardrobe to winter clothing though. I’ve done it once, around February, and recently I did a little more. We’re hoping in January to go to school uniforms (staff & students alike) but, that hasn’t been fully adopted by the school district yet. I’m waiting to see. Then I can get rid of a bunch of ‘school clothes’. Woo Hoo!

  7. Kate Takes 5

    Cow Jeans? Cow Jeans??? I’m actually not sure yet if you have just gone up or down in my estimations. So confused.

  8. Allysgrandma

    I have an entire wardrobe of size 10 petite waiting for me. It is under my bed, bought when Mervyn’s went out of business. I was a size 12 at the time, still losing weight, not sure what happened, but I probably should get rid of it, but it is mostly jeans and Eddie Bauer T-shirts and dang those things are expensive. The clothes are stored in an old bedspread container, plastic and I even put some cedar blocks in them. I think I will give it another year….and then there are all those work clothes even though I probably will never work again….crap why did you make me think about this….

    At this point, not sure if we are evacuating or not……will get in touch if we go to Atlanta.

  9. Mads

    I really like the “you don’t want to be grumpy every single day” comment. Too true!
    I purge the closet every 6 months or so, but I still manage to find things I’ve hung on to for years. Last year I found a pair of lime green cargo capris that were 2 sizes too small. I have no idea what I was thinking.

  10. Gina

    GAH!! I so need to be inspired to organize. I got stuff I have had for 20 years. I don’t know why I hang on to it. Good for you to getting on the stick!

  11. Allison @ Motherhood, WTF?

    Hmm, by these rules, the giant duffel bag full of clothes that I put away when I was first pregnant with S (who turns 2 next week) should just go. The bag is huge, weighs a ton, and has been in storage untouched all that time. But, I keep thinking that any day now I’ll realize that all my current clothes are way too big and I’ll be so happy to have a giant bag of smaller clothes, right?

    And those cow jeans? Pure magic.

  12. Barb

    I just have to comment on the pictures, absolutely hilarious! This past spring I finally managed to purge most of my wardrobe of the items on this list, which left me with enormous gaps which I needed to fill. But I’m happy to say that I’m going through it again for fall and winter this weekend, and plan on doing this again in the spring. It was so hard to do, it took most of the spring/summer, all in all I must have donated 30, yes 30, huge lawn bags of clothing and accessories. So, my plan is to do this twice a year so it doesn’t become a daunting beast again.. and to be very careful about all future purchases. Thanks for the post, awesome and inspiring!

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