At the end of my “worst purchases of 2014” post last week, I mentioned that my second book is available. In today’s post, I share more information about the book, as well as the next wardrobe challenge I’ve opted to take on for 2015.
About the Book
My second book is titled “End Closet Chaos: Wardrobe Solutions from an Ex-Shopaholic.” It contains the best of my wardrobe management tips and strategies from the blog, categorized into logical sections related to various closet conundrums. The solutions in the book have all been revised and enhanced from the original versions that appeared on the blog, and some new material has also been created specifically for the book.
You do not need to be a shopaholic to benefit from “End Closet Chaos”! The tips and suggestions I provide are intended to be helpful for anyone who struggles with “closet chaos” of any kind. You can read the book from cover to cover or use it as a reference to tackle your individual wardrobe challenges.
“End Closet Chaos” begins by addressing wardrobe size, which is a subject that is on a lot of people’s minds. My “What is a Normal-Sized Wardrobe? ” post is my most accessed article for a reason! After exploring frequency of wear and closet “set point,” I delve into some general wardrobe management tips, closet organization, wardrobe tracking, and how to pare down your wardrobe. I also include suggestions for taking care of your clothes, tailoring, packing for travel, and defining and enhancing your personal style.
The book closes with a bonus section of tips for smarter shopping. These solutions are a curated selection from my first book, “UnShopping: Recovery Solutions from an Ex-Shopaholic,” and are included because smarter shopping will assist you in keeping your closet chaos at bay.
Table of Contents
Section One – Wardrobe Size
- How Many Clothes are Enough?
- Optimal Frequency of Wear and Wardrobe Size
- You Don’t Need a Large Wardrobe to Be Stylish
- Do You Have a Closet “Set Point”?
Section Two – General Wardrobe Management Tips
- How to Organize Your Closet
- Spend Some Time “Shopping Your Closet”
- Wear Everything in Your Closet
- Don’t Save Your Clothes “For Good”
- Your Clothes Should Make You Smile
Section Three – Wardrobe Tracking
- Why Track Your Wardrobe?
- The Nuts and Bolts of Wardrobe Tracking
- Reasons for Wardrobe Benchwarmers
- Addressing Your Wardrobe Benchwarmers
- Why You Should Do a Closet Inventory
- A Different Type of Closet Inventory
Section Four – Paring Down Your Wardrobe
- Why Do a Closet Audit?
- How to Do Your Own Closet Audit
- Answering the “Keep or Purge” Question
- How to Pare Down a Very Large Wardrobe
- Make a Game Out of Paring Down Your Wardrobe
- Take on a “Dress with Less” Challenge
- Paring Down a Large Jewelry Collection
- What To Do With Your Closet Castoffs
Section Five – Taking Care of Your Clothes
- How to Make Your Clothes Last Longer
- The Power of Alterations
- The Bright and Dark Sides of Alterations
- “Make it Work” Transformations
Section Six – Personal Style
- How to Determine Your Style
- Style Discovery Questions to Answer
- Outfit Photos and Identifying Common Themes
- How Journaling Can Improve Your Style
- The Pros and Cons of Uniform Dressing
Section Seven – Additional Solutions
- Get Dressed Easier with Closet “Cheat Sheets”
- Tips for Packing Prowess
Bonus Section – Tips for Smarter Shopping
- Set a Clothing Budget
- Create and Use a Shopping Priorities List
- Sometimes “Cheap” is Really More Expensive
- Questions to Ask Before Buying Anything New
- How to Successfully Shop a Sale
- How to Shop Smarter Online
Questions You May Have
Q. Where can I buy the book?
A. The book is available via the Amazon Kindle Store.
Q. What if I don’t have a Kindle or other e-reader?
A. My book can also be read using the Free Kindle Reader App for your PC, Mac, iPad (or other tablet), iPhone, or Android phone or device.
Q. Why are you only selling the book via Amazon?
A. I originally had my first book for sale via several other channels, but almost all copies sold were through Amazon. So I decided to keep things simple this time and sell “End Closet Chaos” exclusively via Amazon.com.
Q. Is this book available in print format?
A. No, it’s a digital book.
Q. How long is the book?
A. The original MS Word version of the book is 163 pages long with a total of 50,674 words (the number of pages in e-readers varies based upon font size and other settings). The best part about the book is that you can start anywhere by selecting the particular section or solution that’s most relevant to your individual needs.
Q. What’s the difference between this book and your first book, “UnShopping”?
A. “UnShopping: Recovery Solutions from an Ex-Shopaholic” focuses on smart shopping strategies, including accountability, tips for before you shop and while you’re in the store, resale shopping, shopping with friends, shopping during times of transition, and dealing with holiday shopping challenges. Conversely, “End Closet Chaos: Wardrobe Solutions from an Ex-Shopaholic” centers on the topic of wardrobe management, as shown in the Table of Contents above.
My Next Wardrobe Challenge
Back when I started this blog, I was definitely struggling with what could be considered “closet chaos.” I had twice as many clothes as I have today and much of what I had was rarely or never worn. Although my wardrobe is in far better shape than it used to be, I still feel that I have too many clothes, shoes, and accessories for my lifestyle. I work from home, my activities are very casual, and some days I don’t even leave the house, other than to go for a walk or to the gym.
I don’t believe there is a wardrobe size number that is right for all people, but I do believe that I have too much for me at this point in time. Ideally, I’d like to be wearing what I have far more often and I also want to absolutely love everything in my closet.
Sure, I could opt to do another round of Project 333, and I believe it would help me to pare down and better use what I have. But I have decided to do something different – and to my mind, simpler – this year. Instead of selecting a capsule wardrobe for the next three months and switching things out each season, I’m going to gradually build my optimal closet based upon what I actually wear.
How My New Challenge Works
There are very few rules for my new challenge, and I like that it will be easy to do and won’t require too much of my time and energy. While it’s important for me to keep honing my wardrobe and style, I ultimately want to spend far more time on other pursuits (you know, that “full life” I’ve written about) this year.
So here’s how it works:
- I will designate a “working area” of my closet by means of colored hangers (alternately, you can tie ribbons or scarves on your closet rod to separate things out).
- Everything else will either be moved to another closet or will be pushed to the far left or right sides of my main closet (I don’t have enough room in other closets to move everything out and don’t want to pack everything up like I did for my first round of Project 333).
- After I wear a given item, it will be hung up in the working area of my closet (between the two colored hangers).
- If I wear something and find it uncomfortable, fussy, or no longer my style, it will be put aside for donation or consignment.
- I will wear only what I really want to wear, even if that means wearing the same things over and over again.
- I will only buy new things as replacements for worn out favorites or if I find myself continually wishing I had a particular item to include in my outfits (I make these types of notes in my outfit journal).
- In each of my monthly accountability updates (yes, I will be continuing these through 2015, but there will be some changes), I will share the number of items in my “working closet,” as well as a photo.
The Goal of the Project
The goal of this project, which will continue through the entire year of 2015, is to curate the optimal (or as close to it as possible) wardrobe for my current lifestyle. I’m not sure how many items I will end up with by year’s end. The number may be a lot lower than my present closet inventory (to be shared shortly) or very close to the same. I don’t have a particular target number in mind.
My only real objectives are:
- To wear what I love (those “8”s or higher on a scale or 1-10).
- To have the right types of clothing, shoes, and accessories for my life.
I’m sure I will write more about this in the future, but I’m keeping things pretty simple as I get started. I’m going to do my initial closet set-up over the weekend, but I’ve already been using “the hanger trick” to keep track of what I’ve been wearing so far in January.
I’m including shoes and accessories in this project, but I still need to figure out how I’m going to keep track of my jewelry. I’ve already been moving my jewelry pieces to distinct areas of my jewelry armoire as I wear them, as I laid out in this post. Perhaps I will start that process over again as of January 1st and opt to let some pieces go that haven’t been worn since September (when I started tracking my jewelry wears). I will figure this part out and will share it in my first update on the new challenge (I’m open to suggestions if you have any).
Your Thoughts & Does Anyone Want to Join Me?
It would be great if some of you decide to join me in my new wardrobe challenge! If you have an extra closet in your home to house your wardrobe as you get started, that’s the ideal. However, you can also improvise as I’m doing and the process will still be effective. You don’t need to overthink things. Just wear what you feel called to wear and move those pieces into your “working closet.” Over time, you’ll see your optimal wardrobe take shape. You’ll gain a clearer sense of what you love and wear, and any shopping you do will be better informed.
If my challenge isn’t your cup of tea or if you don’t feel the need to take something like this on, I’d still love to hear from you.
- What has helped you to manage your closet and curate a wardrobe that works for you?
- What types of wardrobe challenges are you taking on this year, if any?
- If my plan intrigues you but you’re scared to jump in, please share your trepidations and I’ll do my best to address them.
My goal is for all of us to shop smarter, have workable wardrobes that we love, and fuller overall lives. More on that last part in future posts… I’m still figuring it all out as I go along, but I’m always happy to share my process and what I learn along the way. I’m very happy when you let me know that my posts have positively impacted your lives, and I hope that will continue to be true through 2015!
Have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be back next week with my December accountability update and yearly budget and item wrap-up. I’ll also be doing another closet inventory and recapping my wardrobe “all-stars” and “benchwarmers” for 2014. I want to powerfully close out 2014, take in all of the lessons from the year, and then forge ahead with new goals, projects, and challenges for 2015. Stay tuned!
Thank you for reading! If you liked this post, please share it with your friends and subscribe for free updates by email.
I also invite you to join the End Closet Chaos private Facebook group, where you can interact with others about the topics discussed here.