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30-Day Clutter Challenge – Week 5: Clothing Optional May 2, 2015

It’s the fifth and final week of the 30-Day Clutter Challenge and this week we’re addressing our closets. As the title suggests, it’s “clothing optional” week around here. That means two things: 1) clothing – we all have a choice when it comes to what we wear, and sometimes we have too much choice, and 2) our closets are for more than just clothes.

That’s why this week we’re addressing the clutter in our closets.

Clearing out our closets can be a challenging task, and it’s handled differently for clothing and other items. Let’s address the clothing first.

Have you ever stood in front of your closet staring endlessly and hearing the words, “I have nothing to wear,” come out of your mouth. You’re not alone. Sometimes too many options can be overwhelming.

ClutterTo begin, you’re going to need to make piles. Something we like to do to make it easier is to actually designate areas in the room we’re working in. Perhaps the bed is for the “keep” items, while the laundry basket is for the the “repair” items, and some big grocery bags or even garbage bags are for the “donate” items. So, to get started, you’re going to have to designate your areas.

Next, you’re going to have to systematically go through your closet one item at a time. You can do this methodically, by either going in a direction (L to R) for example, or by going through types of clothes (pants or skirts). You choose what works best for you. To do this, you’re going to need to ask yourself three questions about each piece:

  1. Do I like it?
  2. Did I wear it in the last year?
  3. Does it fit?

If the answer is yes to all three, move the item to the “keep” area. If the answer is no to at least one question, ask yourself why you have kept it.

  • Is it a special occasion item?
  • Is it a designer piece?
  • Do you have nostalgia attached to it?
  • Are you “hopeful” it might fit one day?

Why we keep things varies from person to person and item to item. A general rule when cleaning out the closet is to let go of anything that no longer serves a purpose in your life and makes you feel good when you’re wearing it. It’s a simple concept: if you like everything in your closet, and it all makes you feel good when you’re wearing it, you’re never going to stand in front of it feeling like you have nothing to wear.

There’s one more question you can ask yourself to help you let go of an item that you’re feeling somewhat attached to, but no longer serves you:

  • Can it be a blessing to someone else?

There are many organizations that accept donated items for those who are less fortunate. There are even organizations that specialize in types of clothing, such as business attire, to help individuals get back on their feet in applying for jobs and being appropriately dressed for an interview. Could your blouse be a blessing to a woman who only has t-shirts and needs to find a job? You bet it can!

Once you have sorted through each item in your closet and separated it into the keep/repair/donate piles, it’s time to reorganize things. Life is easier if you have things grouped according to type and then according to color. (It also might help you weed out some redundancies you previously missed.) Put things back in your closet in categories. Within each group, sort your items by color. This way, when you get dressed in the morning, you will find yourself saying, “I have SO much to wear, and I love it all!” It will also be easier to find that white blouse and blue skirt combo you love donning.

Finally, we have to address the “other” closets in your life. They can be a little less daunting than the clothing project, but that doesn’t mean they’re not equally important. Using the same method and criteria, address each item in your closet as you take it out.

Decide what to keep, what needs to be repaired, and what can be donated or needs to be tossed. Before you put everything back, organize it into categories, and make sure you give the closet a good wipe down. Now you can put things back by type, which will help you readily find things in the future.clutter2 clutter3

Whether it’s clothing, linens, or family board games, clearing out clutter in our closets can be incredibly rewarding. Even though it’s an area that’s easily overlooked (you can close the door), it is important to the health of your home to keep things stored properly. More importantly, though, it’s important to your psyche to clear out unnecessary clutter. You’ll feel better for having done so. As I said at the beginning of this 30-Day Clutter Challenge, I know I do!

All my best,

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