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time to inventory the closets!

November 19th, 2005 at 04:50 am

The weather finally crossed over from summer to freezing cold, so it's time to put away the summer stuff and pull out the winter stuff.

It's also a great time to "inventory" the closets before the holidays! A HUGE savings tip I have learned for the holidays.

Moving from California to the East Coast, going from being grad students to executives to retirement, we have all accumulating clothes. It SOUNDS really good, but one day two years back I realized hubby and I were wearing the same clothes constantly, and I was always saying I had nothing to wear, even though the closet was packed. And I was constantly buying jackets, coats, and other clothing at great deals (75% off of 75%), spending on things I didn't realize we already had or didn't need.

So, here are the tips. First, I went through all the suits and gave away all the ones I did not like, kept the expensive nice ones, but put them in protective bags and moved them to the back of the closet. All the winter gear, boots, hats, coats, jackets, got moved into the guest room closet or packed up. This allowed me to see what I actually had for summer.

Then I went through everything for size, stains, HATE IT, and weeded out things I would probably never wear. Hard to give up these "investments", but worth it. For example, I always thought I needed a new pair of khakis. In the back of the closet I found 5 pair! One was way too small, one was out of style and looked UCK, and one had a stain, but two pair were great. So pitched three, kept two. Same with shoes, etc. At the end of the day, I had stored winter clothes and "hope to wear again some day when I lose 20 pounds), and had a closet that only contained things I could reach in and wear NOW.

When winter arrived, I put away the shorts and sandals and other things I couldn't wear in the cold, or moved them to the back of the closet, got rid of the things that I hated, and found a really nice wardrobe of things I CAN wear. Found a few things I actually did need, and asked for those for Christmas.

This year my husband FINALLY took the plunge and cleared out his "cave" closet. Between all the changes in our lives, the sizes, the things that just didn't fit right, etc., he dumped twenty large garbage bags full of perfectly new clothing to Goodwill. And, I realized he had TWENTY fleece jackets and some really nice sweaters, more than he can wear. He realized he really did need new socks and running shoes (they were ICKY), and now he also can see what he has to wear. And after our best searching, we did indeed find 15 unmatched gloves, so he can stop telling me he doesn't need any becuase he has 15 pair.

So, instead of wasting money on GREAT VALUES that we already have plenty of, we can both find and wear the clothes we do have. Those great buys just aren't great if we don't need them or won't use them.

It seems like such a silly thing, but we saved $1000 last year by actually evaluating what we had instead of just buying more of the same!

The hard part is, those were "easy" gifts to think of. The fun part is, we actually thought of what we needed. With the black ice around here, even our collective 10 pair of Bean Boots don't cut it. But, we each got YakTrax for our gift, a tread for ice you can pull over any shoe, and they were AWESOME. $29 for a tread we can add to any boot, versus the yearly $100 or more to find a shoe with a better no-slip tred that still slips!

You get the idea.

This year...not a clue yet. This weekend, we will bring out the winter, put away the summer, and ponder what we REALLY need. My luck it will be new snow shovels. BLECH.

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