If you’re anything like me, sometimes your closet gets you down.
It’s not my closet’s fault, of course. After a while, my wardrobe just seems a little…blah. Favorite items that once served me seem boring or out of date.
Even as a professional organizer, my instinctive solution is to go shopping. A quick fix, easy Band-Aid answer to my “I have nothing to wear” woes. HOWEVER, as an organizer, I also know that this first instinct is also not going to completely fix my problem. Not in a way that will bring me permanent happiness, anyway.
When an item or area of the home fails to “spark joy”, as Marie Condo says in her bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, it’s time to reassess and decide if it deserves the space it is taking up in our lives. This story is no different in the closet. As the starting point for our day, the closet should reflect positivity and optimism. Simply adding to the volume in your closet will do nothing to eliminate those items that aren’t adding value and will simply add to clutter, contributing to negative energy – not a way to start the day.
So, before you rush to the stores, give your closet some love! Assessing what you have and what you can get rid of will set you free – and doing the work gives you permission to splurge a little as a reward.
Here are some great tips from our Professional Organizers here at Organizers Northwest to get you started!
Ask yourself the following questions as you review each item:
- Does it fit?
- Does it make me feel good?
- Does it fulfill its function and purpose?
- Do I like the feel of the fabric?
- Have I worn this in the last year?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, then move it along! Or at least put it in a “maybe” pile to decide at the end of your cleanout.
Here’s what professional organizers suggest:
Keep in mind that the 80 / 20 rule applies in the closet. Many of us wear 20% of what we have, 80% of the time. Does this apply to you? Take stock of that 20% of your wardrobe that you wear most often, and jot down some notes about your style and preferences. Keep it in your wallet to remind you of what not to buy when you are next tempted by that floral onesie.
Perform a Quality Control Check. Are there items hanging in your closet that need to be ironed or mended? What about those that you don’t wear simply because they are a little faded or old? Start a donation pile, along with a pile for items that need ironing, mending or dry cleaning. These pieces can sometimes live for months in a closet and are completely unwearable until action is taken! Carpe that Diem, baby.
Consider Consignment. A great way to clean out your closet AND treat yourself to some shopping time is to consign your items. Keep in mind that stores usually take clothing from the current or upcoming season, so you may have to put off-season items aside to consign later. Review consignment stores in your area and try to pick one that carries a similar style and labels to those you own. Many consignment stores will donate unsold items to a local shelter or charity. Check out our donation resources!
Host a Clothing Swap. Clothing swaps are a fun way to unload your old items and get some new ones in return! Plus it’s a fun opportunity to see friends and have some fun. Check out The Joyful Organizer’s blog for some great tips on hosting a clothing swap.
Remember that in order to really feel good about your closet, or any area of your home for that matter, it is important to give it the time and energy it needs so that it can give back to you. So jump in and give yourself something you really deserve: a stress-free morning and an organized wardrobe you can feel proud of.