Welcome to my closet.
While I have been blessed with many things, a large walk-in closet is not one of them. It is extra deep, so I love that part about it. It just doesn’t afford me a ton of space.
Really, I’m good with that. After all, it is human nature to want to fill up a space. I’d just end up with more crap that I really don’t need.
See, limitations CAN be good for us. 😉
So anyway, I have a routine I do twice a year to get ready for the upcoming winter/summer season.
This routine serves several purposes: It gives me an opportunity to clean my closet and organize things where I can find them easily. (If you’ve ever head a Closet Crisis when getting ready for work which has brought you on the verge of a Morning Meltdown…you know what I’m talking about.)
Personal time, free time, is at a premium for all of us these days. Whatever the reason, so many hours of our days/weeks/months are obligated to others. It becomes increasingly difficult to find time just for YOU.
My friend Tim said it best: “I bust my [bum] to be lazy.”
Besides giving me a feeling of inner peace, the satisfaction of seeing my space organized and neat just makes me feel good. I know where everything is; I feel pleasure opening the door to all my favorite things!
This is so much better than opening the closet door and the first thing every morning that catches your eye is the outfit you bought two sizes ago with the prize tags still on it. Or that you bought for a special event 20 years ago and never wore again? Or an outfit that you bought which has bad memories associated with it.
For instance, this year I weeded out the suit that I wore to both my parents funerals. It had the added bonus of being too big, but really, do you think I’ll ever wear it again without thinking about where I wore it last? My point exactly.
And if you happen to be considering selling your house, this project has the added bonus of making your closet seem spacious to buyers. Nothing screams “This house doesn’t have enough storage space” louder than one with closets stuffed to the gills.
I’m actually proud of my closet. For a half-wit like me, who knows it and has to plan accordingly, it’s almost idiot-proof. 😉
If you follow these tips, your closet CAN become a friend and filled with all your favorite things.
Don’t feel like you need to do all this in one sitting. I’ve done this so long that I have it down to almost a science. It’s become a ritual that I almost look forward to, closing the book on one season and welcoming the next. I can do it in a couple of hours.
But if you’ve never done it, I don’t recommend that.
Start small. Do a little bit at a time, and eventually you’ll get it done. If you pull everything out at once, you run the risk of getting burned out or running out of time and ending up with a bigger mess than you started with. I don’t want that on my conscience! 😀
1. Examine your closet. Remove anything that doesn’t make you feel happy or feel good about yourself wearing it. (I’m serious!) Let.it.go. If you have a large closet or you haven’t sorted through your things in years, attack this task a few minutes at a time. (You can get a ton done in ten minutes! You’d be surprised.)
While I’ve read you should get rid of something you haven’t worn in a year, I admit I don’t follow that advice. I have things I love that I haven’t worn for a couple of years or more, but I still love them and they still fit.
So I prefer the “I love it/it makes me feel fabulous” strategy. If it doesn’t meet either of those criteria, get rid of it. And if you currently don’t like anything in your closet, I’m sorry. I would suggest trying it another day. Sometimes my attitude makes all the difference!
Anyway, place the things you’re purging in a bag or box. If they are in good shape, donate them so someone else can feel good in them. If they are stained or have holes, toss them. (Yes, really. No one else wants these items either!)
It’s at this point I end up with 3 piles: the “trash” pile, the “needs mending or washed” pile, and the “what the samhill was I thinking” pile. 😀
2. Remove the seasonal items that you know you like and will wear the next season.
Like this sweatshirt I have, for instance. I love it. But so far the only memory I have of wearing it is the day I spurted BBQ sauce all over myself. But that’s another story for another day. 😀
If you’re spacing out this project, work on this a few minutes at a time, pulling out things you love but know you won’t wear again this year.
At the actual time I did this project, there was still some chilly weather ahead. I removed all the heavy winter items, but left my long-sleeved cool weather items to wear through the transition to summer.
I already feel better, just having done this. Honestly, as much as I love some of my clothes, I just get tired of looking at them all the time! I need to be away from them to fall in love again.
3. Swap out shoes. Because my closet is extra deep, (it used to be an alcove off a hallway until a prior remodel) I installed shelves all the way up the back for my shoes. Then a couple of years ago I realized I was getting tired of dusting all my shoes off before I wore them. That was annoying.
I bought clear plastic shoe boxes, and labeled them so I could find the shoes easily. (It saves time and is less stressful.)
My scarves are folded on the upper shelves, and a box with holiday/sentimental/keepsake jewelry that I don’t wear all the time.
Hey, Inner Peace takes work I tell ya. 😉
Because my clothes hang in front of the top shelves, I move my winter shoes up on the higher shelves, and move the summer shoes down on the lower shelves.
We don’t have a traditional dresser, so shelves along the bottom hold folded shirts and shoes I wear daily. (It’s just to the left, mostly out of sight.)
A dear friend of mine lives with several animals, and bad things periodically happen to her shoes. If you have that same problem, this would fix it and certainly lower your aggravation level. AND the cost of purchasing new shoes over and over.
Oh, and check out the super cute shoes I got recently at my favorite retail therapy spot in our downtown. I could hardly wait until it got warm enough to wear them! They are so bright they just scream SPRING!
SQUIRREL! 😀 Sorry.
3. Clean the floor and dust the baseboards of the closet, if you can reach them.
Well that was scary. I can promise you my dogs weren’t in this closet.
And speaking of dogs….
“There was nobody in the room when I started.”
I have lots of help.
And look! Titan was still here, so it’s been a couple of weeks since I did this.
As you can see, he was in a supervisory position and sleeping on the job.
4. Fold everything you are removing from the closet neatly and place it in clear totes.
I store mine in my basement. A climate-controlled storage place is best, as excessive heat may dry out elastic, but it’s not necessarily critical as long as you are careful where you store them. Just make sure everything you store is CLEAN.
This fall, when you get them out again, it will be almost like Christmas! Or welcoming old friends home again. 🙂
As happy as I was to see my spring and summer stuff (especially this year) I know I’ll be ready to see them go again when the time comes.
Within the last year I’ve begun the practice of removing and donating something from my closet I love less anytime I buy something new. Not only does it help me keep from building up an excess of clutter, it makes the purging process easier.
5. Arrange your clothes on nice hangers.
If you are using wire hangers, purge those from your closet. Like, yesterday.
Even if you have to purchase a few at a time, invest in hangers nicer than wire. Wire hangers (like the ones that come from the dry cleaner) are not meant to leave your clothes on. They will create “hanger nipples” in your tops, will stretch out sweaters, and will leave wrinkles in your pants.
Plastic tube hangers will work, these are very inexpensive at big box stores, or the hangers that look like dress store hangers. They will keep your close nicer…and if you’re investing in clothes, you want to keep them nice for as long as possible.
I hang my clothes in groupings by color. You’ll notice I have mostly black, cream, and white, with just a few colored items. Besides being my color preference, it makes packing for a trip almost idiot proof: everything matches! And I always have shoes. 😀
If you hang your clothes sorted by color and item, it really makes getting dressed in the morning so much simpler. Simpler translates to happier. And you’ll love your closet, and your clothes again. 🙂
You’ll take on the day feeling good about yourself! And isn’t that the best way to do it? 🙂