This month’s series is all about Closet Organization. Today we are going to talk about The Great Closet Purge. I have been constantly working on my closet organization project. It has been a process but I am feeling really good about where this is going and how it will impact my life. The first step in this project is the great closet purge.
The Great Closet Purge
Well, before we get to the purge, I want to take you through some mental steps I had to go through to get to this point. Couple years back when I was having health problems I basically shut down. I would not go out unless I absolutely had to. My biggest excuse was “I don’t have anything to wear”. And in reality, that was correct. My closet was full of clothes but I had nothing that would work for my lifestyle and fit me and make me feel FABULOUS. I was getting sad, depressed and shutting down. It basically took my daughter, Anna, to help me out of this blue funk I was in. She basically told me that it was time to invest in myself and that I was worth it.
Time To Invest In Yourself: You Are Worth It
You are worth it! It is time to “invest in yourself”. Time to make an effort. Okay, but where do I start? Goals, yea, I need goals. With that in mind, I sat down and create some goals. My goal was when I went out anywhere, I want to look good and feel good. Feel good part came with a total hysterectomy. Look good, well, believe it or not, was a little harder. I needed a wardrobe that reflected my lifestyle and I loved. Where to start for that? The experts.
Marie Kondo has written a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. This book is a best seller and a new way of thinking about decluttering. In the book, she says you should examine items, asking yourself, “does this bring me joy”. If it does not, get rid of it. In other words, if you love it, keep it, if you don’t, get rid of it. Easy! Right?????
Ask The Question
If it was easy, we would have done this years ago. This is a process and can be a slow one. Many professional organizers have come up with a basic plan to get you started. Three piles: Keep, Discard, Donate. That too seems simple, but when you get into the project you will find another pile- MAYBE. Maybe I will lose weight and be able to fit into this one, maybe this will come back in style, maybe I should keep this because it cost so much.
3 Keys To Closet Purge
First, we are going to deal with the three piles: Keep, Discard, Donate. Research says that we wear only about 20% of our wardrobe regularly. So 80% of our closet space is taken up with stuff. Our goal is to reduce that to 50%. There are some items that we need to keep for special occasions (weddings, funerals, formal event). So with that in mind, we are going to use Marie Kondo’s “does that give me joy” to help us make decisions.
But First Clean
But first, take everything out and clean. You will be amazed at the amount of dust, junk and other things in your closet. If you can’t do it in a day or a weekend, do it in sections. Please don’t skip the clean part. Vaccum out the bottom, dust shelves. Remove anything from the closet that does not belong. In the end, we want your closet to be a happy and clean place.
Rules to keep an item. Have you worn it in the past year and feel good in it? Does it fit properly (no stain, stretched out, tears)? Those keep items will need to be hung neatly back on hangers. I suggest some space saving hangers. Not only will your closet look uninformed and neat, these hangers save space. You can order them from Amazon or get them at Walmart or Target.
Discard items that are worn out, torn, stretched out, out of style, or simple you hate them. Immediately put them in a trash bag.
Your donate pile should only include clothes that are in good condition and are currently in style. If you have professional clothes to donate, check with local women’s shelters to see if they might have a need. Other clothes can be donated to a local organization such as community clothes closets, Goodwill, or Salvation Army.
If you have clothes that are designer labels or well named clothes (especially if you still have tags on them) you can consider earning a little ( and I mean a little ) bit of money by selling them on consignment, Poshmark, Ebay, Shopify, or a new company that I am trying out called ThredUp.
Now to the hardest category. Maybe
Maybe is basically decision you are not ready to make. For whatever reason. You may be losing weight and don’t want to discard smaller size. You are not ready to get rid of that expensive top. Somebody gave it to you and you feel obligated to keep it It is out of style but you are hoping it comes back in. The Maybe pile can be dangerous. Maybe is why your closet is so huge and you don’t have anything to wear. Here is where you need to get honest with yourself and your lifestyle.
Let go of guilt such as I paid a lot of money for that and made up obligations from others such as you need to keep it because so and so gave it to you. This is where you need to listen to Marie Kondo and say to yourself, “does this bring me joy” or “do I look fabulous in it”. If you answer no then GET RID OF IT. Our goal is a closet full of clothes we love and that make us feel good about ourselves.
Rule of Maybe: You can not hang maybes back in your closet. What you can do, is to put maybes in a clean bin or bag and store them until you are ready to revisit the decision. Most of the maybes are things you are just not ready to let go.
I suggest you revisit the maybe bin next year and make yourself make a decision on the items. Your goal is not to have a closet full of maybe bins. After two years, you need to just dump the maybe bins in the donate. You will be amazed at the emotional load it will take off you.
Load Off Your Shoulders
After the GREAT PURGE, you will feel a sense of accomplishment, a burden being removed, and the freedom to make choices that reflect your lifestyle. No more guilt trips. When purchasing new items, make a rule that you can not put it in your closet unless you LOVE IT, WEAR IT, and FEEL FABULOUS IN IT.
Ready for the next step- Closet Space Saving Solutions