Closet Cleanout – at it again!

Do you know what I like about cleaning out my closet? Practically nothing. However, I happen to love the results, so I make myself re-evaluate my wardrobe ever few months. I’ve been pretty diligent over the last year about getting rid of clothes I don’t wear anymore. I think I had cut the amount of items down by more than 1/3. Here were a couple of my methods:

-I had done the ‘hanger trick’ and turned all of my hangers around. If a hanger was still turned around at the end of the season, that meant I hadn’t worn the item and I had to get rid of it.

-I had tried every single item on and asked myself “Would I buy this again right now?” If the answer was no, away it went!

-I realized that there were a few things that I had been hanging onto that I loved but had a stubborn stain or irreparable tear. I made myself weed these items out because, though I may have loved them, I would always notice the ‘problem area.’

These methods got me pretty far in my purging. Yet I still felt there was more I could do. I had found the website of a very popular Japanese professional organizer named Marie Kondo who has an intriguing way of looking at possessions and of paring them down. She is insanely popular in Japan and elsewhere in the world. While some of her methods might seem overly strict, there is a great basis to the way she works. She asks you to evaluate every single item with the question “Does this spark joy?”  The theory is that everything has the potential to bring you joy….or not. When you honestly ask if an item brings you joy, often the answer is no. Why do we hold on to so many things that don’t bring joy into our lives?

I decided to go through my clothes again using this method. Even though I thought I had gotten rid of the things I didn’t like, when I asked if each thing sparked joy, I realized a lot of things brought me nothing positive at all. I was able to get rid of 50 more items from my wardrobe. 50!

I also realized that my drawers were out of control and needed to be re-organized. For several years, I have rolled the clothes in my drawers because it makes it easier to see more of them. But if you still have too many clothes, they tend to pile up. I knew I needed to go from this:

Konmari and Clothes 1To this:

Konmari and Clothes 2And in the drawers, they look even better:

Konmari and Clothes 3I plan on using this method to clean out my clothes a couple of times a year. Then I’ll know that everything I wear brings a little joy to my life.


The Green Sweater and the Art of Letting Go

I have been slowly going through all of the clothes in my closet. I did a big purge about 6 months back, but now I am making sure I wear everything that is left. I wanted to give myself this challenge because sometimes I get too comfortable with my favorite shirts and jeans and I don’t wear other things, even though I know I love them. As I wear things that are ‘new’ again, I find myself inspired or facing the day with a little more confidence. I am also finding things that are, well, not so good. Case in point…..

There is a green striped sweater that has been haunting me for a couple of years. It was cute, super soft and a little different. But I knew it wasn’t really me. Every few years, I will buy something that has a traditional ‘preppy’ look because I like it. What I never seem to remember is that I always end up giving those clothes away because I don’t feel like me when I wear them. Well this green sweater was one of those ill-conceived purchases. It stared at me, daring me to put on a visor, a pleated skirt and grab my tennis racket and flounce out the door. That clearly never happened. I just can’t pull off that look. So I decided to try the sweater with a cute tank top and a pair of jeans. I was going to Pull It Off! I asked my husband what he thought of the outfit before I left the house. I said “Babe, what do you think of this sweater?” He burst out laughing and said “It’s cute if you were 5.” Hmmm.

Somewhere deep down, I was completely expecting this reaction, because this is the reaction I vaguely had as I looked in the mirror. But getting someone else’s opinion helped me to come to terms with my own opinion. If I had truly loved that sweater, I would have worn it no matter how someone else reacted. But I didn’t love it, still don’t, never will. And coming to terms with that let me change into a better shirt and toss that sweater straight into the donate box.

I have realized that it’s ok to ask for help or opinions. Just be prepared that you might not always get the reaction you were hoping for. Look at other’s opinions as a way to gauge your own feelings. Look at them as inspiration, as advice, as a non-emotional view. You don’t have to follow every piece of advice that people give you, but others can often give you valuable insight that you might be missing through the clouds of your own emotions. An unattached, unbiased, unemotional look at something can help release you from unhealthy attachments. Like a green sweater.

So try to look at your situations from the outside. What is best for you? What is holding you back? What can you let go of?



T-Shirt Organizing Inspiration

Thank you to Kelly at Cobwebs, Cupcakes and Crayons for inspiring today’s post. She is currently doing a Clutter Buster Boot Camp on her blog where she assigns new tasks every week to keep the de-cluttering manageable. The first clothing assignment was the t shirt drawer. She had a great tip on how to roll your t shirts so that you can actually see them.

I’ve since missed a few assignments (I was always a procrastinator in school), but today I went to my t shirt drawer and completed task #1. I don’t feel so bad about missing the assignment on work out clothes because, let’s be honest here, I’m not known for my athletic prowess. And pretty much anything in my t-shirt drawer would undoubtedly double as workout clothes if an actual workout was ever on the horizon! My shirt drawer is pretty much for anything I wear around the house. Everything that goes out in public hangs in the closet.

Anyways….Here is the before picture of my t-shirt drawer:

I must say that the before picture looks pretty neat and organized. Here’s the problem. How many shirts can you see? 4, right? Well how many shirts do you think I wore out of this drawer? Drumroll….4. Yes, I only wore the 4 shirts I could see.

So I followed Kelly’s tips for purging, folding and rolling. My favorite tip is to roll the shirts from the bottom up. This is helpful because a lot of t-shirts have emblems or wording at the top and folding from the bottom up still allows you to see exactly what the shirt is.

The purge actually involved only a few items, but included a ridiculous item from an old Halloween costume and a Snuggie. I won’t bore you with pictures of me in a Snuggie, but here is one of my dogs in Snuggies:

Yes, I have dog Snuggies. And Yes, they were free. And No, I did not get rid of them. I’m feeling more embarassed for myself even as I share this with you, but a little humility never hurt anyone, right?

So, I rolled all my shirts and put them back in the drawer. They still didn’t fit all on one level, but most of them did. Here is the after photo:

Now when you compare the photos, the ‘Before’ picture actually looks a lot cleaner. But organizing is not always about looks, it is also about processes. Now I can see 14 shirts, compared to the previous 4! That’s 10 more shirts that actually have the potential to escape the drawer for a day!

I also got rid of a few items, moved a few other things to more practical locations and realized that I have a very strange collection of shirts. You can’t see it very well, but the one on the bottom right pictures a moose with one antler and it says “Is that your final antler?” It’s one of my favorites. :)

So, thank you to Kelly over at Cobwebs, Cupcakes and Crayons for the inspiration yet again!