There is a lot of work to be done here. While it’s a small closet and relatively ok in terms of organization, I have a ways to go. I started the week off on a good foot by taking the door off. And that is just part of the problem. I’ve got a door on one side that takes up a third of the space on that side of the closet, a door that goes to attic storage plus a slanted wall that means I can’t put any storage there. I’ll only have 2 walls that I can use for hanging and shelves.
Your closet should not cause you stress when you open the door. There is enough to challendge you on a daily basis that “fighting” or “fearing” my closet should not be on your radar. It seems like a simple notion but I guarantee that if your morning dressing routine is easy, the rest of your day will be better. Or put another way, if your morning routine gives you anxiety, the rest of yoru day is going to be a serious challenge.
The first task in any organization project is to get rid of what is extraneous. That could be trash, donations, or things that just don’t belong this space. So I’m asking myself these questions about each item of clothing:
- Do I love this?
- Do I wear it?
- Does it suit my current lifestyle?
- Do I need it?
If the answer is “no” to any of the above then the following questions are then asked to determine what to do with it:
- Is there someone else who can use this?
- Could I try to sell it?
- Should I donate it?
This is where a lot of people lose steam and give up. Going through each item in your closet, trying them all on to see if everything fits, and then just thinking about what to do with the rejects is massively overwhelming. If this is how you feel, don’t worry. Most people do. Making decisions is hard and when you factor in an emotional attachment to clothing (I wore this on our honeymoon, I used to be this size, I was a runner at one time) it makes the purging process that much harder.
You have to remember that time passes and your circumstances change. For example, You may no longer be working in a corporate job so you probably don’t need as many suits anymore. Even if you go back to that type of work, those clothes may or may not fit you. Let someone else who needs them NOW use them.
Or maybe you were a smaller size a few years ago and you’ve been working on getting back to that size. Those smaller clothes are a reminder of where you are not. Let someone who is that size NOW use those clothes. When you get to that size, you can reward your efforts with a new replacement.
Another hurdle is holding on to the reminder of a previous lifestyle. Maybe you were an athlete in college, or participated in some fun activities like swing dancing or ice climbing a while back. You worked hard and should be proud of those accomplishments. But getting rid of those clothing reminders doesn’t mean you are closing the door to that time in yoru life nor does it erase the memories. Take pictures of these items or even frame them if they are so meaningful. But you can pass them on if they are no longer part of your lifestyle today. It’s ok. You’re still a rock star/ athlete!
80% of the time, you should probably just donate the item but there are cases where a relative or friend might be a good recipient for something that doesn’t suit or fit you.
Sometimes you can sell the item if it’s relatively new and not worn. You can consign at a local store or use an online service like Poshmark or ThredUp. You can also post items on Facebook selling groups to sell locally. My caveat for trying to sell is to think of the time and effort you have to put into photographing, listing or posting, and responding to inquiries. You will find that your time is much more valuable than the item you are selling. Not always, but frequently. Our perception of the value and what the market will bear can be a wide canyon.
Once I’ve purged the excess, I can move on to the next phase: Measure. I’ll measure the height and width of the walls first to know how much space I have to put rod and drawers on the walls.
Then I have to measure how much space the various types of clothes take up. This is fun! No, seriously. I’ll measure for the following figures:
- Short hang: shirts, skirts, pants, jackets
- Long hang: dresses, long skirts, coats
- Folded items: includes t-shirts, shorts, jeans, workout clothes, pajamas, underwear
- Shoes: how much linear space do they take up
- Other shelf requirements: purses, tote bags, hats, etc.
Purge first then figure out what you’ve got to work with. I love it!
Have you looked at the other transformations going on? Click here to look at the others participating.