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It’s that time of year again. Yep, closet cleaning time!
If you read that and thought, Yes! I’ve been waiting all year for this. And if you’ve already grabbed your phone to start a list of the bins you’ll need to pick up at the Container Store, you’re good. Go ahead and scroll down to the Our Mission section.
On the other hand, if you got irritated with me for even mentioning closet organization, then keep reading.
If you and I have been hanging out together for a while, you’ve heard this philosophy before.
If not, this will be brand new! Which is exciting.
Women fall into three categories:
- Seasonal purgers – Like at the beginning of the year or in the spring
- Sporadic purgers – Like when the tower of shoes comes tumbling down onto your head, and you’re finally forced to face your unruly closet.
- And finally, the women who never purge and eventually end up on an episode of Hoarders with a dump truck in front of their house. (And do we really have time for a reality show intervention right now?)
Whichever category you fall into, there’s nothing to dread. Because we’re going to take a simpler, less stressful approach.
I use this process myself – of course.
Plus, I share it with all my coaching clients. And they love it! In fact, while it’s the last step in my S.P.A.R.K. style method, they’re typically so excited to get started they jump in before we get to the end.
Feel better? You should. Hundreds of women can’t be wrong. Right?
Plus, you have my pretty Checklist. And isn’t marking things off a to-do list the best feeling ever?
Before we tackle this project, let’s all agree on our goal.
Don’t close your eyes (’cause then you won’t be able to read), but maybe squint and imagine how great you’ll feel when you walk in your closet and love everything inside.
- To know that everything hanging there fits your height and flatters your shape.
- To actually see what you have and be able to grab items quickly to create the perfect outfit.
- To dump the stuff that’s too tight and uncomfortable because of a couple of extra pounds.
- To get rid of past mistakes. You know the stuff. The dress that was on sale and too good of a deal to pass up. But once you got it home, it was not awesome.
Honestly, if an item doesn’t make you feel good, it doesn’t deserve to take up the most valuable real estate in your home. Which is, of course, your closet.
Keep that in mind, and instead of stressful this process will be super motivating.
Other Common Speed-Bumps
I love watching those shows on HGTV or the YouTube videos where the host takes everything out of the closet, piles it high on the bed, and meticulously goes through each and every item.
However, the idea of doing that myself fills me with severe anxiety. And I’m pretty sure the red bumps that just broke out on my arms are hives.
So, let’s take a different approach.
Instead of tackling the entire closet all at once, we’re going to conquer one small category. Like your stacks of shoes, your pile of purses, or your jumble of jewelry.
The whole process will take an hour at most. And you’ll feel successful instead of sad because you can’t find your bed under the mountain of clothes.
Some wise person said, success breeds success, and you’re more likely to continue once you have a win under your dress.
What if I give it away and then a year from now want to wear it? That’s absolutely a legitimate emotion. However, we’re gonna’ slay that concern.
The old way:
Most of us bag up our donations and immediately haul them off to Goodwill or where ever. Then, a week later, you’re looking for that leopard print pencil skirt, and remember you gave it away. And you’re standing in your closet half-dressed muttering, See! This is exactly why I don’t clean the closet.
So, try a new way instead…
Box up everything to donate. Then put it in the garage or a guest bedroom closet or someplace else out of the way. Finally, set an alert on your phone for 30 days and forget about it.
If you actually find yourself wanting to wear something in the box, go and reclaim it. If not, in a month, you’ll know your instincts were sound. And you can donate the box without fear.
This practice will eliminate the fear of purging and help you sleep better.
Even committed purgers change their tune occasionally, and it usually happens when:
- The dress, shoes, handbag, whatever cost a fortune. Even worse, you only wore it twice. Okay, once. But, whatever. So, you’re thinking, but if I give it away, that’ll be such a waste of money!
Tough love moment – The cash is gone. I know. It sucks. Hanging onto it doesn’t change that. Beat yourself up about something else if you have to. But not about a dumb dress.
- The tags are still on it. You haven’t worn it in the year since you bought it. Still, there’s always a chance you’ll visit Canada in January and will need a purple full-length faux fur-lined parka and matching mukluks.
First, no, you won’t. And second, no, you won’t.
If you have to make a 2022 resolution…
While we’re on the subject of clothes with tags, let’s make 2022 the year we commit to returning everything we don’t wear within 72 hours of purchase. Special event wear excluded.
With that best practice in place, we’ll encounter this conundrum a whole lot less in the future.
But for now, a parka/mukluk solution… thrifting!
Ditch your guilt and let the parka go to someone who lives in Canada and can use a parka nine months a year.
And making a bit of money back on the impulse purchase alleviates a bit of the sting.
And no, I’m not asking you to take a pic, pick a price, and then post the item on some thrifting site. If you go that route, you’ll end up wasting tons of time answering silly questions from people who won’t buy it.
Instead, we’re going to use ThredUp.
You can order a bag here. When it arrives, all you have to do is fill it up and leave it by your mailbox. They literally take care of all the rest.
A win for you! And another win for whoever is lucky enough to buy the purple mukluks!
Celebrations all around.
Go Get ’em, Tiger!
Now, it’s time to print out your Checklist and tackle one area of your closet.
You’ll notice the last page is where you track the items you donate. Store the completed lists someplace safe, and they’ll be all ready for your tax prep guru at the end of the year.
By the way, if making room for the new purchases isn’t rewarding enough, check out step six.
Yes! You get wine when you finish! What more incentive do we need?!?
‘Til next week.
Hugs and Happy Shopping.