My first thought when staring into my small but overstuffed closet back home was, “How do I fit all these clothes into my car?” Like so many other girls across the country, I was scared and confused when I began to pack my whole life away for college. My first year away from home and my first year at UF were sure to bring so many great things, but only if I was wearing the right outfit. How could I leave behind my perfectly paint-splattered jeans, my pinstriped linen blouses, or even my leather Frye sneakers? The only logical solution to my problem was to take every article of clothing, every handbag, every shoe, and every piece of jewelry I had ever bought with me to college. After all, you never know when you’ll need an aqua and pale pink paisley shift dress.
Move-in day was not easy. Going from a small closet at home to an even smaller closet in my very small dorm room was cause for buying a standing garment rack for my excess clothing. As classes began and I settled into my routine of never having a routine, I realized I didn’t have time to put together my perfect outfits that included my beloved lavender fringe cross-body bag or my beautiful white Bauble Bar earrings.
My problem of never wearing my favorite pieces in my collection of clothing seems minuscule, but my closet was telling me that my problem was much larger than what anyone could have imagined. The constant power struggle between my weak arms pushing clothing aside and my surprisingly strong sweater collection pushing back at me was enough to catch my attention and alert me to the problem at hand: my closet wasn’t big enough for a lifetime of clothing and my life wasn’t put together enough for my oh-so put together clothing.
Now Fall is approaching, and my mom is sending me my “Fall clothing” box I set aside at home filled with all my favorite cableknit sweaters and the most comfortable maroon and crème cashmere tops. Looking around my itty-bitty dorm room, I don’t see enough hangers or even enough space to hang the contents of my Fall box. Although I love my clothes and I know I want all of them with me “just in case I need to wear them”, I also know when too much is too much. Girls around campus are having the same issue as me. Everywhere I look girls are wearing leggings and workout tops because it is convenient and comfortable. Booties and cropped dark wash jeans are not convenient and are the most uncomfortable when speed walking from class to a quick lunch and back to class. Freshman campus-wide are more than likely staring at the same filled-to-the-brim closet that I look at every morning when I choose between a Chuy’s t-shirt and a Lulu Lemon workout top. Thankfully my dilemma leads me to my solution: three simple steps to clearing out my college closet.
1. Separate what you need and what you don’t
All I had to do was think about what I wear every day and what I hadn’t touched since I had been at UF. Once I identified which items I never wore, it was easy to put them in a separate pile from my necessities.
2. Organize your clothes by season
I needed to think about what clothes out of the pile of clothes I had never worn I was most likely to wear once the weather started to cool down. Due to the extreme heat and humidity, it is so hard to wear some clothing pieces like jeans, sweaters, and long sleeve tops. All I had to do was narrow down which items I would probably wear once the temperature started to decrease.
3. Decide to part with your clothes
I had to go through the clothes I didn’t want to keep and make sure it was the right choice to ditch them. Being sure I wasn’t making a rash decision about any item was difficult but it allowed me to keep a clear mind when clearing out my closet.
I concluded that I really don’t need four black cocktail dresses in college and I definitely don’t need nine pairs of dark wash jeggings. As a whole, my college closet is much more comprehensive to a college student. Being able to get rid of my garment rack and pack clothes into a box for my mom to take back home was a refreshing experience as well as helpful to decluttering my dorm room. As I continue to settle into life as a college freshman, I’ll continue to realize the little things like simplifying your closet to only what you need and a few extras can really be a life-saver.