Update: View the slideshow of this closet purge on Flickr! http://bit.ly/8XD93h

My friends Sophia Daly and Shanna Trenholm threw down a challenge I couldn’t resist: Purge your wardrobe of the things you don’t love and don’t wear, and then spend only $100 on clothes, shoes and accessories for the rest of the year. They call this the $100 Wardrobe Challenge.

(Sound intriguing? Go to the their website and read more).

Money’s tight these days – hi there, I’m unemployed, how are you? – so I’ll take any incentive to spend less. I also liked the idea of shedding the psychic weight of “stuff.” I set to work purging and sorting through the contents of my closets and dressers, and jotted down some tips for those who want to do the same. Mind you, these tips don’t make the process painless, but they just might save you enough sweat to get you through it, and have a laugh while you’re at it.


Do the purge on laundry day.

Clothes you need to wash are ones you actually wear, so they automatically count as keepers. While those are sorted elsewhere into piles of darks, whites, and delicates, you can concentrate on applying your keen and ruthless eye to the rest.


Deduct as you donate.

Before the first blouse goes into the Goodwill bag, crack open your laptop and go to itsdeductible.com. Then as you give each item the boot, note what it is in your record of donations for 2010. It’s Deductible will automatically record the item, calculate its value, and (if you use TurboTax) deduct it properly from your taxes when you do them. If you don’t use TurboTax, just return to It’s Deductible at tax time and enter the amounts. Easy-peasy, and it’s free.


Take pictures of your most ridiculous items.

Because you have to laugh! Here are mine – a green feather boa and a nun’s habit. Believe it or not, I used to store these right near the closet door in case I needed them quickly!



Don’t use your husband/boyfriend/significant other as your “objective friend.”

They’ll make you keep all the lingerie, even if you hate it.


I looked like crap in this.



Take “before” and “after” pictures of your closet.

There’s nothing better to convince you that the challenge was worth it! Here are mine.





For me, the result of all this purging was:

  • 14 trash bags of donated clothes sent to the Goodwill.
  • Estimated savings of $697 on my 2010 taxes.
  • A walk-in closet I can actually walk in.

Now, are you ready to lighten your load and give your most-loved clothes a little breathing room? Excellent! Visit the $100 Wardrobe Challenge website, follow @100DLRwardrobe on Twitter, and let style trump consumption!