Free Your Closet, Free Your Mind

You know the saying about pets and their owners looking alike? Well, I have a modern version of that concept. Does your closet look vaguely similar to your life? Does all look fine when the doors are closed, but open them up and, oh boy! If your closet has accumulated excess baggage, then it is probable that your life has too! Most of what we hang onto is good, but too much clutter in our closets as well as our lives makes us want to just close the doors and hide.

Are you ready to lose the baggage? Closet cleaning is not only great for the obvious reasons, but it is great mental therapy as well. There is a tremendous freedom in letting go of the clothes and other possessions that represent your past. By doing so, you are giving yourself permission to live in the present and dream about a brighter tomorrow.

First Things First:

Make room for 3 piles. You will call these piles Yes, No and Maybe. Sort through your belongings and place them into one of these piles. Everything in your No pile should be tossed, donated to charity, or sold. (Can you say “eBay”?) Next, you will want to re-evaluate your Maybe pile. Take an honest look at each item and ask yourself these questions. Do you really need that? When was the last time you wore or used that? The rule is simple – if it’s been more than a year, you probably won’t ever wear or use it again. Try to reduce your Maybe pile by 50%. Your goal will be to place half of it in your Yes pile and the other half in the No pile.

Remember, your No pile isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The next task will be to sort the No items. Let’s admit it. Some items in this pile have seen better days. It’s important now more than ever to be eco-conscious, so rather than trashing everything, set aside 100% cotton items. Remove buttons and other adornments that may scratch. These will make great rags for car washing! For items that can be passed along, donate them to a local charity. Don’t forget a receipt. Your donation may be tax deductible. Sell items in excellent condition or items with designer labels. Try your local consignment shop or do it yourself on eBay. Who knows, you may be sitting on a gold mine!

Now What?

Now it’s time to put everything from your Yes pile back in your closet. Before grabbing everything and hanging it anywhere, think about how you might want to organize your belongings. Color coordinated, seasonal or perhaps casual/ business/formal – do what works best for your lifestyle. Everyday wear should be easily accessible.

Staying Organized:

After all that hard work, you will want to adopt a new method for staying organized. Unless your closet is so empty now that you can hear an echo, this next rule is an absolute must: If you buy something new, it must be a replacement item. You must get rid of something old! Remember this too – a jam-packed closet means more ironing.

Whew! Now take a break, relax and enjoy the view!

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