Tips on Cleaning out your Closet: An Underrated Form of Therapy
Face it, you’ve been meaning to do it for weeks...dare I say months? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there at one time or another. There are mountains of them, some in more than just one closet. It’s no secret that many of us have trouble letting go, especially when it comes to clothing.
They’re all your favorite things; you’ve invested hard-earned money, time picking them out, and emotional text exchanges with friends that asked something like, “should I get it? It looks damn good, right?” But as you add to your collection, real estate in your closet is dwindling and you need room for those better and brighter pieces that complement the present you.
Maybe, you’re just looking to freshen up the aesthetic. Maybe you’re in need of a major rework.Whatever the reason, it’s time for a change and you know it. But it’s hard. The task is looming, and yes, you’re a little bit afraid.
Hear us out and heed the first and most important tip: Accept that you will need to devote some time to the task and change your mindset.
Think of it as therapy. Cleaning out your closet is often seen as a tedious chore but it could be incredibly cathartic. We need to understand why downsizing our options, instead of buying another dresser to store all the things is important. Is this familiar? You’ve got an important meeting to attend or a hot date. You’ve tried on six outfits and with each one you test drive in front of the mirror, the more anxious you feel, and the more mentally exhausted. There are simply too many options, and to top it all off, dressing becomes infuriating and not enjoyable.
Choice overload. First coined by writer and businessman Alvin Toffler explains it easily.
Trust us, cleaning out your closet can help you clear your mind and streamline your life into productivity and effectiveness. We’re clever women, with more important priorities to attend to than feeling scattered in front of our mirror. How do we begin?
1) Let’s start fresh. Do your laundry. Empty out your closet. Place all your clothes, bags, and shoes on the floor or bed. Somewhere you will not impede the traffic in your house too much. Don’t worry about the mess, you’ll work through it, I promise. Now, it’s time to put some music on. You’ve committed. There’s no turning back. Maybe pour yourself a glass of wine. Make it about both the journey and the destination.
2) Time to plan an attack. Get bags or boxes ready, or designate a place for separate piles. Mark one as “Trash.” Have space for “Definitely Donate”, one for “Maybe”.
3) Zoom Out. Put the “Sell” Pile and “Maybe” pile next to each other. These are your clothing’s limbo. Revisit them at the end when you have a solid pile of the items you want to keep and ones you're definitely getting rid of.
4) Assess. When you’ve roughly gone through everything, compare the “Keep” pile with the “Sell” and “Maybe” piles. Experiment with the garments in these piles and see if they work well with the vibes of your wardrobe. Really sort through and inspect these items.
Tattered clothing, those with rips in them or heavy damage and pit stains that won’t benefit anyone, you can put in the trash bag. Pieces that you have not worn in over a year, that you never reach for, that no longer fit or flattery, are silly and can’t believe you’ve purchased, and the clothes that need minor repairs that you do not feel you’ll ever get around to fixing, donate.
Of course, some decisions don’t come easy. For the sentimental pieces, you’ve got to be firm. Things you’ve worn so often that they’re now worn out or breaking at the seam, pieces received as gifts you’ve kept only out of guilt, it might be time to say goodbye. Organization guru, Marie Kondo advises to ask yourself if a piece “sparks joy.” We’ve formed attachments so implement gratitude but recognize that the old relics from the past serve you no longer. We are focusing on the present and the future.
5) Eliminate. Work until you no longer have a “Maybe” pile. Set the“Donate,” and “Trash” piles aside and deal with them accordingly. Tackle the items you keep and organize them back into your closet. Get creative, experiment with the aesthetic, make sure you can see them all and that none of them are hidden behind something else. The drawback of that initial motivation, that image you held to when you first started the project.
6) Revisit the “Sell” pile. If you have the energy, check to see if you’ve changed your mind about any certain pieces. This becomes your new “Maybe” pile. You can try for a consignment shop, disregard them and place them in with the rest of the “Donate” items, or stew on them for a bit longer. Keep them separated from your closet, though, and see if you find yourself reaching or looking for them when you open up your newly minted wardrobe.
7) You did it! Take a deep breath and have a look. We’re proud of you.
By: Sonia Borz