Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Clean out Your Closet, Then Shop in it!

It's supremely self indulgent to do a post on cleaning out my closet, but I have some rationalizations handy. It's seasonally pertinent (Haven't you heard of "Spring Cleaning"?) and it relates back to my urge to simplify and appreciate what I've already got.

One has to make space for good things in order to appreciate them. Surrounded by quantity, quality evaporates. Think about museums or fancy boutiques or five star hotels. They aren't crowded or cluttered with objects competing for your attention. They are usually spacious and airy. That is true luxury; the space to appreciate.


Not bad really. Just in a bit of disarray. (And, oh dear, yes those are undies on the floor. You got me.) But here's what happened. I rearranged the furniture in my office to accommodate a giant map of the world and ended up pulling out a shelving unit. Since my house & furniture are rented, I can't just cart things off to the Goodwill. I thought, "This piece is a lot prettier than the ugly plastic shelving I've got in the closet. And there's a second one hogging a corner of the guest room too!" So I hauled the plastic pieces out and put the bamboo ones in.


My favorite part is having all my shoes on display like little pieces of art. It makes me happy to admire them every day- even those I don't wear much. And I don't want to add anything second rate to the collection. Anything new that comes in has to live up to the other pieces, you know? That's a great feeling.

Eric never really wears his ties, but now I can enjoy his collection anyway. There is something so wonderfully unnecessary about a tie. It's just for show and a splash of color.

Here's what I love. Stepping into my closet now feels like hitting a boutique for a spending spree. Shopping your closet is easier when everything is beautifully displayed. The big secret here was not buying more stuff, just weeding out the unwanted stuff (lots more than I thought!) and rearranging what I had to make my life a little nicer.

Here are my five favorite closet organizing tips:

1) Use only one color hanger. It sounds really anal, but it makes a huge difference visually. Your eye goes straight to the clothes instead of being distracted by a hodgepodge of hangers. One less thing for your brain to process as you choose what to wear. Definitely a good thing.

2) Sort garments by style and color. I have all my dresses in one section, then tops, then skirts and pants. Putting them in color order really makes me feel like I am playing in a giant paint box every morning.I also sort them further by how fancy they are. The things you use every day should be easy to reach, while special occasion things can go in corners.

3) Don't fall for the myth of more storage! Bins and baskets keep things looking tidy, but you will also forget what you have in them and end up buying more of what you already have. Out of sight out of mind goes double for closets. If you can't see it, you probably won't use it. (If you must, use clear containers. In my office, I'm a bin junkie! The shoe box sized bins are great for art supplies.) The real secret to organization is not the Container Store. It's taking a few trash bags to the Goodwill.

4) Go through your closet every six months. At least. Things wear out, or get pilled or just don't feel great any more. Pass them along to someone who can use and enjoy them.

5) Make room for what is really important to you. Edit out the things that make you feel frumpy or plump or dated. It will make room for things that make you feel good. A wardrobe of choices that you look great in will empower you to be your best.

My closet isn't Mariah's or Oprah's, but a girl has to have something to shoot for, after all. Have you done any de-cluttering this spring? What are you favorite de-junking tips?


~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I've had your post open on my computer all morning! I need some inspiration! I LOVE to organize and I'm always trying to 'fine tune' my clothing and closet. For the past few days I have been trying on a few tops in the morning when I get dressed to see if I want to keep them. I thought this would be easier than having a big day of trying on clothes and it's worked well. I have so many clothes that I never wear...and wonder why! heehee! Have fun! ♥

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

You'll be proud of me! I have a LADDER in my closet right now and I am doing some serious reorganizing! I thought it would take a couple of hours...I've been working in there ALL day! heehee! ♥

The Fab Miss B said...

Fantastic! I'd love to see photos of the finished product! Yay you!

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