What is standing between you and a cleaned out closet?
Imagine Your Dream closet
Imagine walking into a clean, organized closet full of items you love, that suit you, fit you, are in great shape, and the contentment that washes over you just being there. Now I want you to imagine the work it will take to get there. [record scratch]
Closet clean outs are daunting. The current trend is to sprint a marathon and do it all right now, or do it or die trying, but that doesn’t work for everyone. We all want a clean, organized closet full of items we love, but the hurdles between here and there are enough to tempt us to empty our closets, grab the matches and start a bonfire in the backyard! Maybe if we burn it all and start from scratch…
Not necessary! A closet clean out doesn’t have to be painful, and I have 5 tips to make it easier for you to have a successful closet clean out.
Break It Up
It’s so easy to want it done now! But that leads to overwhelm and shut down. How many times have you pulled everything out, made a huge mess in your bedroom, gotten overwhelmed, abandoned your project and slept on the couch for a week because you couldn’t handle it, then threw it all back in there because you just. can’t?
Break the job up into sections or time increments. You can do it one season at a time, one section at a time, one category at a time, or however is logical in your closet. I have my closet organized by season and section, so I can go through my tops for each season, then my bottoms, etc. Or maybe you do t-shirts, then sweaters, then blouses, then tank tops, etc.
If your closet isn’t organized like that pick a time limit and days. For example, 15 minutes every evening before bed. Or 30 minutes every weekend. Or commit to going through 20 items a day. The point is to pick something you’ll actually do, rather than what you think you SHOULD do.
When you choose how to break it up, STICK TO IT. It’s easy to get excited on day one and instead of going for 15 minutes…you go for 5 hours, and you are back to burned out, and scrapping the project altogether.
Choose Your Method
There are two methods of attack, and it’s very individual which one will work for you. If you need a boost, go for the quick win. Pick an easy category like shoes, pajamas, or socks. Pick one that is small in number and isn’t emotionally charged. You’ll feel accomplished and motivated to keep going. That momentum might be just what you need to jump start you!
The second option is to eat the frog. think of the section you are dreading, for me that would be tops because it’s hands down my biggest category. Choose the really awful thing you don’t want to do, the big one, the emotional one, and get it out of the way. That can free you up mentally and emotionally finish the rest when you aren’t staring down the road at what is waiting for you.
Go for the Obvious First
If you have put it on and repeatedly taken it off, it’s a no. You clearly don’t like it for some reason, so do yourself a favor and say goodbye.
Examine each item for rips, holes, stains, fading, excessive pilling, or any other sign of disrepair that you aren’t going to repair SOON. These items aren’t even fit to donate, and can go straight to the garbage.
If it doesn’t fit and you aren’t willing to pay to have it altered or take the time to alter it, out it goes. If it’s more than 1 size too big or too small, it probably can’t be altered. And these days most clothes don’t have the seam allowance to let out clothes. It’s tempting to hold on to too small clothes because you might fit in them…someday, but by then, you’ll want something new. Trends change, and they probably work anymore.
You’ve had it for a few years and it still has the tags on it? You don’t love it. If you loved it, you’d wear it. It’s ok to let it go.
Does it match your lifestyle? I worked in the corporate business world for years, and when I chose to leave that to become a stay-at-home-mom, I had no wardrobe for that, and I kep buying dressy clothes that I couldn’t wear while taking care of newborn triplets. But it was what I knew. I held on to my suits and silk blouses for YEARS. And I wore them…never. I finally purged them because they don’t match my lifestyle.
Give Yourself Permission
Closet clean outs are packed with emotions, and they are often unexpected. Being taken by surprise like that can derail you. Guilt, shame, sadness, anger, it all comes bubbling up during a closet purge, and it’s tempting to keep everything to avoid those feelings. First, it helps to know it’s coming. Second, name them, acknowledge them.
- I feel shame because I spent money on that and 2 years later it still has the tags on it.
- I feel guilty because that was a gift, but I don’t like it.
- I feel sad because my body has changed and that doesn’t fit me anymore.
All of these feelings are normal, and acknowledging them steals some of their power. Once you do that, you can give yourself permission to let them go.
Know Your Style
Maybe the biggest challenge that really trips us up during a closet clean out is not knowing our style. How do you know what to keep and what to purge if you don’t know what you love and what you don’t love? Do I like it, or do I think I SHOULD like it? Does this make me look and feel amazing? Or did I buy it because it was on sale and too good to pass up?
I have a free masterclass that helps with this called “5 Steps to Find the Right Clothes for You” where I help you figure those things out. It comes with a free workbook to take you through the steps. Once you know your style, a closet clean out is so much simpler! When you can see WHY you do and don’t wear and love certain things, letting things go becomes easier.
You will love your cleaned out closet, and these tips will help you be successful!