Okay, prepare yourself, I'm about to blow your mind.
I learned this trick 3 years ago, and it's changed my life. Well my clothing life, which admittedly is a big part of my life.
In my ideal world, I would clean my closet out at the end of Spring/Summer - when I bring out my Fall/Winter clothes, and then again, at the end of Fall/Winter when I switch them back. But it's a HUGE job! So I tend to avoid it, and just throw the Summer stuff in with the Winter stuff, and just resign myself to a crammed closet, knowing the things I love are in there somewhere - if I could only find them!
Then came "The Tip." The tip of all tips! Wait for it!
At the beginning of a new season, flip all your hangers around.
That's it! Seriously! That is the whole tip! You will NEVER have to clean out your closet again! I'M NOT KIDDING!!! Trust me! I've been doing this for 3 years, I've consigned or given away about 50% of my clothes, I don't miss a thing and now I love everything in my closet.
I'm pretty sure I'm wearing the same number of items I did before, they're just not drowning in the over growth of stuff I never wore, which makes the things I do have feel more special. In fact, my closet sort of feels "boutiquey" now. Fewer, more beautiful things, nicely hanging - as opposed to squished like they were before. (I was so excited about this I bought matching store-ish hangers!)
So here's the formula that has changed my life, and the lives of several girlfriends who have also tried this.
Right now, go into your closet and spin every single hanger so that the hook faces the wrong way. See pic.
Wear your clothes normally. But when you put them away, hang them back on the rack, normally. With the arch of the hanger facing you.
Of course things that come out of the wash, get placed on hangers that hang normally, because you've obviously worn them.
Then at the beginning of Spring (because we're currently in Fall/Winter), look at any items whose hangers are still reversed, and ask yourself why. Too small, too big, don't like it, needs alteration? Need something to wear with it? It's more of a keepsake than a day to day item? And decide if you still want to keep it. There's no pressure to get rid of it, if you have an extra closet where you store heavy Winter things during the warmer months, simply put it away with the hanger reversed so you'll remember next Fall to put it into your closet in the reverse position. If it's still like that after a couple seasons, I'm guessing you won't have much trouble parting with it.
(If you don't have an extra closet available, just switch the hangers around twice a year anyway. The systems still works, you'll just have to allow for things that haven't been worn because they were out of season, not because you didn't feel like wearing them.)
The other thing I like about this system is I find I try to choose things from reversed hangers, I often find that I really love certain things, I've just gotten out of the habit of wearing them.
In the past 3 years that I've done this, I now spend about 10 minutes switching out my seasonal stuff. I don't even really look at the things on the hangers facing forward - I know I like them. I just go through the things still reversed and decide if they're worth storing until next Fall, or if I should put them into my consignment bins.
Which brings me to my one last suggestion - since I've started doing this, I've bought myself two additional laundry hampers that I keep in the closet under our stairs. One is labelled "Summer" the other "Winter". As soon as I decide I don't want to keep something it goes into that hamper, then I cart the whole thing off to the consignment store at the beginning of that season. I keep all this money hidden away to buy - more clothes of course!!!
Since I've been doing this, I find I shop differently. I buy fewer, better things that I get more pleasure out of wearing. I don't feel guilty when I buy something, because I know I need it/will wear it, I also find I enjoy my clothes more because they're under control, I know what I have, and I like every single thing in my closet.
This is definitely worth a try!! :)