Simplifying My Closet

When I am stressed out, I like to clean. Cleaning gives us control over some aspect of our environment. Makes us feel productive and distracts our mind, if only a little, from our problems. When I got home from work this morning, I felt extremely overwhelmed by my bedroom. As usual.

When you work as much as I do, tasks like laundry and dusting take the back seat to sleeping and showering. That combined with my need to craft often, my room was a disaster zone.

Today I decided to tackle my closet because I'm moving and my next closet is about 1/3 the size of my current closet. My current closet is already full. Meaning I need to get rid of 2/3 of my things. So I got to work on it.

SIMPLIFY

Simplify your life. Simplify your closet. Here are 3 steps.

 1. Go through all of your jeans. Make three piles. 1) Keep 2) Give away 3) Maybe. Try on everything in the third (maybe) pile and put each item in either the "Keep" pile or the "Give Away" pile depending on how you feel about it once it's on your body.

 2. Go through everything hanging up in your closet and things in your dresser. Leave it hanging if its a "Keeper." Take it off and fold it into a nice pile if its a "Give Away."      

 3. Go through all of your shoes, bags, and accessories.

RULES FOR DECIDING

1. Do you wear it often? 
Clothes are only worth their cost if you wear them often. If not, you don't need it.  Its taking up precious space. Get rid of it. If you haven't worn something in the last 6 months, you aren't going to wear it again. Its a "Give Away."

2. Does it fit well?
I have an issue with clothes. I always buy jeans that fit great in the fitting room, but after wearing them for a couple of hours, they loosen up in the hips and are constantly dragging down. Time to give those ill-fitting babies away. The third picture above, is my pile of "Keep" jeans. Believe it or not, I had twice as many before dividing these up this morning. I kept 19 pairs of jeans. 

3. Is it comfortable?
I don't care if its the cutest pair of heels or jeans that make your butt look amazing. If its not comfortable, it needs to go. If its not comfortable, you won't wear it often. And when you do wear it, it makes you miserable. Hollister jeans for example are very low cut and tight in the knees. Every time I sat down, my butt hung out and the undersides of my knees hurt from the tight wrinkled fabric. Those babies have got to go.

4. Do you have room for it?
I used to think my problem was not having enough storage. I needed to be more clever with how I organized my items. This is not your problem.The problem isn't your lack of space; its your  overabundance of stuff. If you don't have room for it, if you can't store it in a manner that's appealing to the eye and makes everything easy to find, you need to get rid of it. Live within your means and space.

5. Did you have plans to reuse it?
I had plans for a lot of my old clothes. Fun headbands from old t-shirts. Tiny hole in my boots from my dog can be fixed by bedazzling them with metal studs over the teeth impression. The dress that was a little too big could be sent to my sister. Here's the truth about plans. They are the enablers of procrastination. If you have had "plans" to refurbish an item for more than two weeks and you still haven't done it, it needs to go. If you didn't have the time to make it a priority in the last two weeks, you won't anytime soon.

 6. Is it a Maybe?
This is very important. If something has landed in your "maybe" pile even after trying it on, it's a "Give Away." You may like it alright but you don't love it. You won't choose it over the other items you are keeping, meaning you will pass it over every time you get dressed. Don't be fooled into thinking you need it. If its a maybe, its already a "no."

HOW TO "GIVE AWAY"

It's always easier to get rid of things if you get paid for them, so that's where we will start. Here's how to prepare your clothes for sale.

1. Make sure its clean. If any stains appear to soil the surface, use soap and a nail brush (the kind used to clean under your nails in the shower) to lightly scrub the surface. If the stain hasn't lifted within a minute, there is no need to soak it or continue scrubbing. Toss it in the trash. Of the 7 items I found small stains on this morning, only one had to be tossed. The soap and nail brush is an awesome duo. It also works great to clean up shoes. Clean the tops, sides and bottom of shoes you're giving away. Put items in the dryer after you've scrubbed them so they can dry while you continue.

 2. Use a lint roller on every item. Seems little and mundane but I promise this makes a huge difference in how your clothes are perceived by the person whose considering buying them. While you're taking a lint roller to your clothes, if you notice any threads hanging, use scissors to cut it. Never pull the thread. When people see a thread hanging, it gives them the impression that its poorly made or kept. This is often not the problem at all. Threads happen, make yours disappear.

 3. Organize by color. After you've done steps one and two, fold your give away items. Then stack them by color. It displays your clothes in the most visually appealing and sellable way. Notice how fab my give away items look when stacked this way! Together they look so great, I considered keeping them ;)

4. Take your items to the store! I went to Plato's Closet because its the only place in my area that I know of that buys back gently used clothes. It helps that I love brands like F21 and AEO so a lot of the clothes I gave away were right up their ally. And once the not-name-brand clothes were mixed in, in the nicely folded, color coded stacks, they blended right in.

 5. What they don't buy, immediately take to Goodwill or your thrift store of choice. Don't give into the temptation to take the clothes back home and put them back in your closet. Somebody else could greatly benefit from your donation. I highly recommend CHKD Thrift Store. Helping sick kids while simplifying and de-stressing my home? Yes, please.

When I went through my closet and took my "give away" pile to the resale shop this month, I got the largest check I've ever gotton for selling my clothes. Almost $150 for clothes I needed to get rid of. I loved it!

AFTERWARDS

The most important thing to remember afterwards is that this is a way to simplify your life. It is not meant as an excuse to go fill your closet back up! I used to always do this. Sell then buy, sell then buy. Don't. Only buy what you need, when you need it.

If you're getting rid of it, you don't need it, you don't need to replace it :)

Remember this very important, relevant to this time of the year, quote- "Thankfulness is about wanting what you've got, not getting what you want."

Now I need to work on going through some of my craft supplies before I head back into work for the night.

Happy Closet Cleaning!

xoxo, Laura