I'm a little nervous to expose myself the way I am about to in this blog post. Yes, I have had a problem - it probably has some deep psychological roots that go back to being bullied in third grade, but the results are what I'm sharing today - I have too many clothes. I love clothes, I love pretty things, I love to shop, I love a good deal... but this has led to TOOO much and it's a problem.
Most of you have probably heard of the international best selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I haven't read the book but have read enough about it that I feel like I have read it. A lot of it is over the top and a little weird (no, I'm not talking to my socks) but I was fascinated by one of the principles in the book which is to declutter and organize by category, not by area, and to keep only the things that bring you joy. Rather than just organizing a closet, you declutter and organize every single piece of clothing you have.
This week I decided to do it! Here's where the embarrassing photos come in...
We live in a Cape Cod style house built in 1947 which means that it has very small closets. Our bedroom has two small closets that I use - one for in season clothes and the other for out of season clothes. My husband uses the closet in the guest room. To do this over-whelming task, I emptied both closets, every drawer, every shelf, and every storage tub into piles all over the room - I have to tell you that when I looked at the piles, I almost cried over the shame I felt that I have so much, when I know that there are others who have so little, and over where all this money could have been better spent. The only thing to help explain it a little is that this is an accumulation of many years - some things in these piles are 15 years old or more, but I truly acknowledge the problem (God and I had a talk about it!)
As I went through each category of clothes I sorted them into different piles - those I love (that bring me "joy"), those that could be sold at a consignment store, those that could be donated, and the ones that were garbage. I also in the end filled two tubs with clothes that I'm going to reevaluate in the spring when it is the right consignment time for those summer clothes.
This is the pile of dresses. One of the situations is relevant for me is that I travel and teach frequently, and I have to have clothes that span across multiple seasons - there might be three feet of snow where I live in January but I could be going to Florida to teach and need to have summer clothes handy. I need dresses for many different situations. I wear dresses most often... they are easy to pack and easy to layer.
This is the pile of shirts and blouses - just ridiculous! This is my least worn category of clothes and where I got rid of the most.
I started with the dresses and added them back into the closet - with a little help from a mischievous Buddy! I organize them by sleeve length from sleeveless to long sleeve - these are all of my dresses - no more having some scattered here and there.
Progress! I seriously felt like my clothes could breathe again!
The shoes sorted and reorganized. See all those shoes with the hole in the heel? Those are Skechers Go Walk 3 shoes - they have been an absolute lifesaver in the recovery with my feet. I wore the solid black pair all over Paris last week every day and my feet never were the slightest bit sore. They are like walking on pillows! I don't wear all the rainbow colors of shoes much anymore but I'm not ready to get rid of them - I need to make a point of wearing them!
All my pants are in one place - (except a couple pairs of white capris that are in the off-season closet) - yes, that is a lot of black and navy and I probably could get rid of some more but each one has a different function and there are two of some things so that I have a clean pair when I travel.
When I sorted my t-shirts, I discovered that I had 27 white tees! How ridiculous is that! It's shocking when you see them all in one pile - when they are scattered here and there in drawers, it doesn't seem so bad! That includes camis, short sleeve round and v-necks, long sleeve round and v-necks, etc. etc...
Here is the newly reorganized single drawer of all my solid color tees. I whittled down to fifteen white tees from 27, and then the gray and the black and navy... within each color I ordered them from cami to long sleeve to turtleneck, so hopefully I can find what I need.
I sorted pajamas and winter scarves and sweaters and even clothes I had saved to paint the house in... it feels so good to let a ton of things go!
In the second very small closet I have heavy sweaters that I'm not needing yet and some jackets and blazers.
I'm going to see how things feel and go back and sift through things again in a few months. I have a feeling that there is more on its way out eventually. Now I have piles of things to take to donate and sell - it feels really good!
I'm sharing this, hopefully to motivate someone to let things go, so you enjoy what is left more and to hopefully keep myself accountable. I think it will be a great time saver to have fewer choices and to see everything in one place.
Once I got this done, I was back at work, finishing the class samples for the new classes that I'll be teaching soon. My friends are close by...
Are you feeling the urge to clean out and declutter? Have you read the Tidying Up book? Please share any hints of what works for you!
Have a great weekend! xoxo