Too many clothes and not enough space? Don’t worry, it’s not just you; this dilemma has
plagued us all at one point. But this universal struggle is actually easily solvable, contrary to
Your First Move…
Your first move is a complete closet clean-out. That’s right, you read correctly. But not so fast; don’t close the tab to watch a cute cat video (although I highly recommend doing that after). I promise it’s not as hard as it sounds, and it’s so worth the payoff.
I’ve found that Marie Kondo has the best method for a push of the organizational restart button. In her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up she says to take every piece of clothing you own and put it all in a pile. (Pro tip from my teenage daughter: put the pile on your bed to avoid laziness. You’re going to have to find your bed to sleep in it, so you better start going through your stuff!)
The Joy Factor
Pick up each item, and decide whether or not it brings you joy. Sparking joy can mean a lot of different things for a lot of different people. The most objective way to measure the joy factor is how often you use that particular item. But even then, people wear things they don’t like all the time for the sake of convenience. So it’s not foolproof. It’s up to you to decide what’s worth keeping and what’s worth giving away. Do you have some uggs that look like they walked to Brazil and back? Maybe a blouse that is just ADORABLE but has lived in your closet for 15 years and only seen the light of day once. I’d say its a safe bet you can live a happy life without these.
But remember! The goal of your organizing should not be, and I repeat, should not be to get rid of all of your stuff. It’s best to go in positively. Your ultimate goal should be to keep the stuff you want and find a better way to arrange them so that you are getting the full value from your cherished items!
Make Your Clothing Mountain!
So make your clothing mountain, and go through one by one. Appreciate the items that you’re parting with; at one point they were a part of your life! Now rearrange your newly filtered closet and find a place for each thing. You will see a difference immediately, and you will appreciate it so much more when you’re getting ready in the morning and can find everything you’re looking for!
But you’re not done. The key to sustaining all of this is maintenance. There are some simple ways that I recommend to help keep the order that you made, well, in order.
Track What You Wear!
I’m not talking any fancy app or a page in your planner. There is a simple way to track what you wear as you wear it. After you decide what clothes you are keeping, put them back on their hangers, and have the curved side face away from you (as in the opposite way one would normally hang a hanger). Every time you wear something out of your closet, when you put it back, put the hanger in the right way. At the end of the season, you have in front of you definitive proof of what you did and did not wear that season. It can be food for thought: are you REALLY ever going to wear that teeny tiny orange sequined crop top you bought in your sophomore year of college again?
Gradually, you’ll notice your closet will feel bigger, but you won’t feel like you’re missing anything. It’s a great feeling.
Remember – organizing is a journey, not a destination. It’s also totally subjective. You may think something I think is worth keeping is a piece of junk. But hey, that’s the beauty of it. Our items are like small manifestations of our personalities. If we all liked and kept the same stuff, life would be boring! I will say, however, shopping for Christmas presents would be SO much easier. Regardless, if you love it, you should keep it! If not, why waste the space? Clean out your closet and maintain it, and I’m telling you, you’ll LOVE the difference.