I am not a hoarder. I am also not a hoarder who’s in denial. My husband and I try to be very strategic about what we bring into our home, and I am one of those people who has “a place for everything and everything in its place”. The first tool I began using was Marie Kondo’s Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I tend to really enjoy organizing and purging things, so this appealed to me. My husband and I did the entire house a couple years ago and got rid of over 20 bags of stuff.
Since then, most of the house has kept order… except one problem area. My closet and clothes.
My closet is always bursting at the seams, and clothes are always everywhere–laundry room, baskets, my chair, suitcases, on the floor, and randomly strewn about my closet. It drives me nuts. When I clean, it’s always the last area I touch, and by then I’m out of energy and just head to bed.
I have many wardrobes, all equally un-fashionable. My pre-baby days, maternity clothes, nursing outfits, and post-baby pieces. It’s a lot. So when posed with Marie’s one question, “Does it spark joy?” I found myself saying, “Sure,” way more than I should. In the moment, I would say it did spark joy thinking back to when I felt like I rocked an outfit. But when going in the closet to get dressed, managing the stress of laundry, and packing for trips, it caused so much frustration. The total opposite of joy.
I’d been looking into this “capsule wardrobe” concept and came across a second tool to help me organize my closet: Project 333. The goal is to get your closet down to just 33 items. That includes shoes and accessories! WHAT? I went at my closet again, this time much more ruthlessly and with a promise to not go buy all new stuff and negate my work. I made 6 piles. Here was my process:
These are my go-to pieces, and I love these. They fit well, and/or I get compliments when I wear them.
These are items that hold some value to me. Either I want to get back in it, or I just can’t quite part with it yet.
I take things for consignment (I’ve never really been into garage sales). What they don’t take, I donate to Goodwill. (If you get a receipt, it’s a tax write-off!) If I have something special or that I really want to see go to a good home, I’ll post it on a Facebook Buy Nothing page. Things that are in really bad shape get thrown in the trash.
4) Say good-bye
This pile was hard. I sat hubby down with me and showed him everything I was going to get rid of, being realistic about not being able to wear it again due to being stretched out with three pregnancies.
I’ll admit, I was still wearing maternity clothes, but this made me throw it all into one pile, nursing bras included, and put it away in a storage tote.
I don’t need my scarves/coats/sweaters in my way for six months, so I moved them all into a tote and put them away. I plan to repeat this approach with spring/summer clothes when I put them away.
Put it all away.
My YES pile went back in my closet. I also had a drawer where I threw all workout clothes and another for sleepwear. I went back through my maybe pile and cut it in half. At this point, I stopped counting 33 items because I was over, but this was a HUGE progress for me, and I accepted it. Another idea to do with your “maybe” pile is to box it up and put it in a closet. If after 90 days you haven’t taken anything out of it, donate it without looking inside.
Stick to it.
All the experts and people that tell you to purge/declutter also tell you to pull it all out and do it in a day. That would definitely be ideal to drop the kids off at their grandparents’ or hire a sitter so you can focus. However, that’s not always practical or easy to do. All in, I’ve been purging my closet, donating, and organizing it for about two months. It’s still not “done” and I don’t know that it ever will be. I have a “stuff pile” in my spare closet where I throw pieces that are ruined, I change out of too often, or don’t like how I feel in it.
Reconsider how you shop.
I go “shopping” but I’m pretty much just browsing. I have a good idea of about three pieces I would buy if I found something that fit and was a good deal. This is dramatically different from how I used to shop. I used to go in a flurry, buy 2-3 of the same thing without trying any of them on because they were on sale. And I would do this store after store.
I’m trying to be more strategic with what I buy, how we launder and care for each item, and the time I’m spending shopping, doing laundry, putting things away, packing, and so on. So far, these steps have helped me a great deal. The final step I’m about to take is to take a picture of all the pieces in my wardrobe, put them into Your Closet App, create outfits, and schedule what I’m wearing. This way, when I go to put everything away come fall, I will just donate what I don’t wear vs. what I think I don’t wear.
There are many methods to declutter and help you organize your closet and wardrobe. What I’ve mentioned here are a couple of many methods and attempts I’ve made. It’s been a long journey for me, but I hope you can take a tip or two away if this is a stress factor for you as well.
If you have additional tips or tricks, I’m all ears! Leave me a comment below!