For some this is a quick and easy process. For others this may seem daunting and nearly impossible. Have no fear there is actually a very easy way to do this, so that it does not seem overwhelming to you.
Depending on the amount of clothing you have, how dispersed they all are, your willingness to make a quick and final decision many of you will need to plan ahead for somewhere between 5-10 hours. This is in part because you have not yet honed your decision making skills around decluttering, you will probably get side tracked (its normal when you do not have a professional there to help), and for many there will need to be some time to collect ALL of the clothing. YES ALL! Seasonal stuff, stuff from the laundry, things hiding in cars, other people’s closets, under the couch, etc.
Well now that you are all thinking I am crazy, talking about all of your clothes… you are probably wondering well how the heck am I supposed to do this??
Before we start we need to set some criteria…
Remember, I believe there are only 3 reasons you should keep anything:
- It brings you joy
- It enriches your life in some way
- It has a specific and immediate purpose
Bonus: You can set some expectations for yourself now, too. Example: I will minimize my number of shoes to no more than 30 pairs. I will donate 2 garbage bags worth of clothing. I will only keep the amount of t-shirts that fit in this drawer. I will get rid of anything bigger than my current size.
Make space to create your piles:
- Keep (bed, couch, or table)
- Donate (Box, or clearly labeled bag)
- Consign (not necessary, but some people like to try and get money back for their items)
- Toss (regular old trash bag works great)
- Action (these items need a new button, to be dry cleaned, or taken in)
- I Don’t Know — This one is important, but you must be sure to NOT over use it (another box, basket, or another small space)
Now that we are ready physically and mentally, let’s get started!
Break your wardrobe down into categories: primarily tops, bottoms, under garments, accessories. If you have an overwhelming amount of clothes you may want to consider some of the following sub categories:
- Tops: tanks, t-shirts, going out, long sleeves, collared, sweaters, sweat shirts, etc
- Bottoms: dress shorts, casual shorts, dress pants, jeans, khakis, pj’s, etc
- Undergarments: socks, under ware, bras, sport bras, tights, stockings, long johns, etc
- Accessories: belts, hats, scarves, belt buckles, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, watches, ties, etc
Take everything from one category (main or sub) and pile it up in the area you have created for sorting. Be sure to take everything off hangers.
Now, one-by-one pick up each item. Yes, you must handle each item! You will make a decision about the item and place it in its appropriate place.
Mindsets to be aware of:
- I spent so much money. Please try to keep in mind how much joy and excitement someone else if going to receive from this new to them item.
- I have not even worn this yet. It is easy to see something with tags on it and regret your decision to buy it or try to convince yourself you will wear it soon. If it does not fit into the criteria above, let it go.
- Maybe I will fit back into this. If you are holding onto multiple sizes because your weight fluctuates be sure that you are restricting how much you hold onto in either direction and that at whatever weight the clothes you keep you LOVE.
When setting up your clothes organization in your closet keep these ideas in mind: (You don’t have to follow them to a T, but they really do make a difference)
- Keep like with like together (long sleeves, dresses, skirts, tanks, etc)
- Longest items on the left of your closet; shortest to the right
- Darker colors on the left side and move right to light colors
EXAMPLE: My closet:
- Business jackets
- Zip up, long sleeved sweaters and tops
- Long sleeved shirts
- 3/4 length sleeved shirts
- Short sleeved tops
- Tank tops
- Sweaters (I hang these special, check out the video)
- Business pants
- Keep like with like
- Try to make all of your clothing stand up vertically, instead of piled on top of each other horizontally
- Put darker colors to the back of the drawer and getting lighter toward the front of the drawer
Be sure to take care of your action items.
- Take the garbage out of the house.
- Put donations in your car to go to your favorite charity place.
- Put dry cleaning in the car to be dropped off.
- Anything that needs buttons or repairs, be sure to put that into action.
Enjoy your new found clothes organization and the benefits that it brings!
- Enjoy more time in the morning
- Love the way you look and feel every day
- Know that you made someone else very grateful because of your donations
- Feel excitement over the ability to bring in new pieces that are right for you
- And so many more!!