You may be craving the feeling of control that comes from being in an organized space. If you find yourself having some extra free time, why not use it to declutter?
Our closets are often a lot more cluttered—and a lot less organized—than those we see on TV or in magazines. Because they serve as storage space, closets have a tendency to fill up with miscellaneous items without a proper home, clothes long outgrown or out of fashion, and forgotten shoes and accessories buried in the mess.
Just as a clean home can improve your mood, a simplified, organized closet can ease the stress of getting ready in the morning. It’s great to know at a glance what you have and what you might need, rather than rummaging around for a piece you think you remember. To that end, you may even rediscover an old favorite.
Decluttering Tips You May Not Have Tried
Be Truthful with Yourself
We often hold onto clothing we no longer need for emotional reasons rather than logical ones. This is especially true for anyone who struggles with weight fluctuation or a changing body. Sometimes the memory of how we once looked in an outfit overpowers the reality of how it fits now. Similarly, we may have purchased something an idealized, fantasy version of ourselves would wear, when in actuality, we would never feel comfortable wearing it out of the house.
Try on each item in your closet and ask yourself:
- Do I need this?
- Why do I own this?
- Do I love this?
- Is it flattering?
- Does it fit properly right now?
- Would I wear this tomorrow?
Be as honest as you can with your answers. Just acknowledging the emotional attachment is often enough to help you accept letting go, but if you’re not ready yet to say goodbye to something, that’s okay too. Try again in a few weeks or a few months.
Pick a Number, Any Number
Try this method adapted from a popular minimalism challenge: Pick a number and pull that many items to get rid of or donate. Use a random number generator online, draw numbers from a hat, or take suggestions from a friend or family member. If you really want to embrace the minimalist spirit (and you have a lot of clutter), try the month-long challenge as intended: Start at the beginning of a month and each day remove the number of items from your closet that corresponds to the day of the month (one on the 1st, two on the 2nd, etc.).
Turn It Into a Friendly Competition
Make decluttering a game by challenging your kids or spouse. Each of you has to find 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 items to put away in their proper homes. (You can always modify the number to suit your situation.) Whoever finds the necessary items the fastest wins bragging rights—and a cleaner closet!
Make It Easy to Edit Frequently
Does purging your closet all in one go seem completely overwhelming? Keep a box, hamper, or bin in or near your closet and add clothes or other items you no longer need or want whenever the mood strikes. Once it’s full, pack up everything inside and bring it to the thrift store, shelter, or other donation site of your choice, then start again.
Embrace the Feng Shui Benefits of Decluttering
The traditional Chinese practice of Feng Shui uses the idea that everything has its own energy to create harmony in a space—even if that space is out of sight. Turn your closet into a place you enjoy. Add a fresh coat of paint, make sure the lighting is warm and inviting, and add some decorative touches like photos, crystals, artwork, or even neatly displayed jewelry. Allow yourself several sessions to pare down unwanted or unneeded clothes. In feng shui terms, you’re opening up space for energy to flow.