I am finally (almost) recovered from the cold I inherited from one of my little people (who knew ribs could hurt this much from coughing?) I have a few New Year’s resolutions in process, but the one I am focused on right now is organizing and de-cluttering my surroundings. Some psychologists believe that living in a state of chaos (clutter) causes anxiety, and feelings of being overwhelmed that cause stress and procrastination towards change (oh dear…). Some even go so far as categorizing the clutter areas and what they represent (it is a scary read….) I will not get into all of the details here, but suffice it to say that I have started a total home do-over beginning with my closet.
There are a few things I have discovered so far with this process – the number one rule of de-cluttering a space is THROW IT OUT. You have to let go of the sentimental stuff – I promise it is exhilarating and liberating. The one excuse I hear from clients (and myself) is – “I might use it one day.” The truth is if you haven’t worn it in three years, you are very unlikely to need it in the future (and if you do need it three years from now, you can buy another one at that time that also fits well and works with current fashion….food for thought.)
As I started on my own closet – the first step is to take everything out. I mean everything. The entire space (closet and drawers) should be completely empty. This gave me the opportunity to wipe everything down and to take a full inventory. I made piles of all the clothing and then divided it into areas. I divided all the items into three categories – keep, donate and give away. I determined what went into each pile first by asking the question – DO I LOVE IT? If the answer is yes – then I asked the second question – DOES THIS SUIT ME? There are sub-categories to these questions: 1) Do I feel good when I wear this? 2) Do I actually wear this item? Does it fit?, etc. You have to be brutally honest with the answers. If it still has tags on it and dust – then donate it to a great cause (or if it was something you spent a lot of money on and can’t part with it, then consign it.) This is really the hardest part of the entire process. If you can’t make these decisions then have a friend come over and help you (or hire someone who will be cutthroat.) You will thank them for it.
Another tip to make the closet more organized is to use the same type of hangers – it gives it a more streamlined look. I like these here.
Another great way to keep culling items is to hang all the items back in the closet with the hangers facing out. As you wear an item, you can turn it to start facing in – hence if there are out-turned hangers in a few months, you can remove the item and give that item away or consign it.
I like my closet to be organized by color (I rotate my closet between spring/summer and fall/winter). For example: my closet is divided into several areas (top hanging and bottom hanging) so I put all my long sleeve shirts in one area and color coordinate them. I then put all my short-sleeved tops in another area (also color coordinated), and so on. The color coordination makes it much easier to find items in my closet, and if you can find it easily then you are more likely to use it. I am not a huge fan of drawers for the same reason – I tend to forget the items in the drawers. To alleviate this problem I have designated my drawers for more practical items – workout clothes, cycling clothes, socks, undergarments, tank tops and sleep wear. My daily clothing is all where I can see it easily hanging in my closet.
At the end of this process – clients tend to become a bit scared when they see the bags of items which are full. But this is the perfect time to see what is missing in your wardrobe and also to use the remaining clothes that you couldn’t even see before to create new combinations of OOTDs! Let the creativity begin.
Up next – accessories….
Have a great week!