Friday, January 20, 2012

A Lesson in Closet Organization

For a long time now I've been dreading cleaning out my closet. I know I have a "shopping problem" (I'm looking at you, Kohls clearance rack), and I assumed cleaning out my closet would be this excruciating process so I put it off.

Well, folks, I finally did it this weekend. Here's what I did:

1. I procrastinated a little more by reading lots of blogs about closet organization. They all said the key is not having too many clothes to fit (whatever that means for your closet size). I searched in vain for an article that would tell me how to magically fit more clothes in a smaller space, but such and article did not exist.

2. I read about how many clothes I should own. For example, the average woman has 8 pairs of jeans. Well, I had over 20 before my closet clean-out, so that gave me an idea of how many to get rid of.

3. I made a list of how many items of clothing I needed in different categories. That way, I'm deciding what to keep instead of what to get rid of.

4. I recruited my mom to help, and headed to the closet. I started with jeans. I picked out my favorite 9 pairs: 3 skinny, 2 bootcut, 2 dressy (1 for flats and 1 for heels), 1 holey, 1 for painting/doing projects. All the rest went in the "bye-bye" pile, and I wasn't even sad to see them go, because I had 9 pairs I love that I am keeping.

5. I continued on in this manner, trying to shoot for an appropriate number (for bottoms) or an appropriate amount of closet rod space (for tops). Some decisions were easy because the item didn't fit, others were easy because I never wore the stuff anyway. I can honestly say, in 6 large black trash bags worth of clothes and shoes, there was only 1 item I had a hard time getting rid of. It took two days to finish it all, so it was hard in the sense that it was a lot of work, but not hard emotionally like I had feared.

So there you have it folks. You won't believe it until you try, no matter how many times you read it. But it's true nonetheless: The key to closet organization is having the right amount of clothing.

Going Forward

To keep the closet monster from returning, I am challenging myself to stop shopping when possible. Here are my goals (for as long as I can sustain it):

1. Only purchase items that I both need and cannot make (purchase 2nd hand if feasible).
2. Make items that I need and am able to make.
3. Make cute items so I still feel updated every once in a while (it turns out sewing is a lot slower than shopping!)

I'll post every once in a while how I am doing with this. Currently, I've followed these rules since January 6th (I shopped second hand just for funzies on Jan. 5th). In that time, I have:

1. Determined (from the closet clean out) that I needed socks, black dress boots for work, and a brown shrug or sweater.
2. I made the brown shrug.
3. Purchased socks and dress boots from WalMart, so they weren't too expensive.
4. Made some cute items (which I'll post about soon!)