There is little I love more in life than a good purge. Around this time, every year, I methodically go through every closet in our house, trashing or donating everything that has gone unused or unworn. I usually save the best for last, that being my own closet. Like clockwork, my sister will come to stay with us, one rainy day in April, and together we will take out every piece, one by one. I will think about the last time I wore it, question whether it will happen anytime in the near future, and then toss it to her happily awaiting arms (where she quickly stuffs it in a shopping bag before I can change my mind.) You'd think that having a few bags of clothing leave my life, would leave me wanting more, but in fact I find it to be just the opposite; a more edited closet/ life makes me long for less. Less clutter, less noise, fewer choices. For the few months after my purge, getting dressed every day is such a breeze, and I find myself feeling more confident because I know that I am loving what I'm wearing. Trust me, that goes a long way, in a long day.
When decluttering, I have a few personal "rules" for my closet.
- Always, always, always use wood hangers. If your closet looks like a store, you will be a lot less likely to go in one. Target sells my favorite for $1 each, but Ikea also has some great ones that I think come out to about .30 cents.
- Don't separate in seasons, but rather by color. By storing things away, you are less likely to wear them throughout the year. Besides, most things, with/ or without layers can be worn year round.
- I separate by color, so I can see what I absolutely do NOT need. From this picture it's obvious, I should be dragged in the street and shot if I buy 1) another cream/ white blouse, 2) black blazer, 3) pair of jeans, and 4) patterned blouse.
- I like to keep shoes in their original boxes, it keeps them from getting dusty, and always makes them feel "new."
- This is probably pretty obvious, but I keep pants with pants, jackets with jackets, sweaters with sweaters... again, just to make sure I know what I DON'T need, which always comes in handy when you find the sale of the century, on something that is similar to what you already have. Walk away, just walk away.
- Shelves, storage, more shelves. The container store has some great setups, if you can't/ don't have built-ins. It gives you so much more space, and allows for your clothes to be treated more gently, which means they will last longer.
- If you can, find a loved one to give your "on the fence" items to. A sister, baby sitter, neighbor. I find that I am much more likely to let something go, if I know it will go to a good home. I always think how much better it is for my sister to have something she will wear 60 times a year, than for me to keep it and maybe wear it once or twice. Plus, you know you can always get it back if you are desperately missing something. This I may have done once or twice.
With those rules in mind, this is the current state of my closet. I hope she can stay like this until fall! (Yes, she's her own person ;)
That my friends, is cleaning out your closet!