Welcome back to 31 Days of Life Simplified! It's a grey, rainy day here in Ohio...perfect for turning up some music and emptying out a closet ;)
Yesterday, I showed you some dark and scary places in our home. Places where order is absent and piles run amok. We all have them and we can all be paralyzed by the overwhelming task of dealing with them. The key is to simply start. Pick one area, one zone. Maybe its something small like a single drawer or one pile. Or maybe it's the area causing the most stress.
Wherever you decide to focus your attention first, commit to dealing with it to the end. If you do it right (more on that in a minute) it tends to get a little worse before it gets better. But it's so worth it! Be prepared for a little panic, and commit to sticking with it to completion. I'm rewarding myself with pumpkin cookies after we deal with our first task...because rewarding kids and adults with sugary goods is totally healthy. #kidding #sortof
I decided to start with our master bedroom closet because it doesn't involve a ton of manual labor or reworking. It really just needs a good clean out and better organization.
It's a jam packed closet that stares back at me with "nothing to wear". Which is false. There's just so much shoved in there that I can't actually see what I have and what fits.
It's also a really small area that you must walk into in order to access. Meaning when things get out of control in there (especially on the floor space), the claustrophobia sets in. Friends, we. are. there.
So, how to start? When it comes to clothes closets, this is my approach....
1. Unload it. I know you don't want to, but clear the whole thing out. I mean everything. Empty every shelf and drawer. Take the out the hanging clothes...the shoes...the bags...the nail polish (??)...until you have a completely blank slate. This allows you to truly see what you have and see the space through fresh eyes.
This is also the terrifying part. I grammed this shot of my room today after unloading my side of the closet:
I had to walk away from it for awhile.
2. Purge. When it comes to our clothes closets I try to stick to the guidelines I used when I went down to a 30ish piece minimalist wardrobe. I know "minimalist wardrobe" rates a snort-laugh-scoff based on the photographed evidence above....I got away from it as I gained some weight and then pregnancy knocked at the door.
So, this closet is full of various sizes in both maternity and non-maternity. The only things going back in are the things that currently fit me or that will during this last trimester. The rest is being stored in bins....but not before it goes the through the "keep" check list:
-Does it fit and flatter my body?
-Quality over quantity. Is this the best of the three black shirts I have? If so, ditch the other two.
-Do I love it? Cute on the hanger doesn't cut it.
-Is it a versatile piece that can work with at least 3-4 other items I already own or be worn a number of ways?
-Does it meet my personal modesty/taste level?
-Have I worn it in the past 2 months?
I think the most important thing is to part ways with anything that doesn't fit your current body, is in ill repair, is very similar to something else you wear more often, and/or that you simply don't like anymore.
For some reason we tend to want to cling to it all, but I promise that you will love your closet more if you let go of all the blah. You can find lots more details on how to create a pared down closet you'll love (with free printable checklists) right here.
3. Clean. Take the opportunity to give the space a thorough wipe down and vacuum while everything is out.
4. Categorize. This will look differently for each person. Simple categories like blouses/tops, pants, dresses, t-shirts, intimates, pj's, etc. are a good place to start. Then, think about what needs to be hung and what can be folded in a drawer.
Also create a pile for out of season clothes. Don't put those back in your closet! Find an alternative storage solution so they don't take up precious real estate or block the view of clothes in the current season. Many use a large tub stored in the garage. We use shallow bins that are stored under the beds.
5. Reload. Think about how you actually used the space before. Were any of your most accessed items like shirts in one of the bottom drawers? Can you move them to a better spot? Were there any items that got lost and forgotten? Is there a way to move them to a more prominent area? Can bulky items like jackets be moved to a coat closet?
It may take a few attempts but try to reload your closet in a way that works best with how you actually get dressed.
6. Organize within. A basket placed inside a drawer can help keep socks and other items separated....using bins to corral items on a shelf can keep them from floating all over....adding a few hooks to the wall for items like robes, hats, or bags can come in handy...adding a simple bin on a shelf or floor to catch any items to be donated can keep them from going right back in the mix. Shop your house and see what you can find to help contain things a step further.
Tomorrow I'll show you a few tweaks we made to the built-in system before we reload our own closet. How do you approach/organize your closet? Any rock star tips to keep it from getting out of control? Do tell!
*You can catch all the posts in this 31 Days of Life Simplified series right here!
Thanks so much for reading! We would love to hang out!