Alright, I don’t know how horrified you were at my ‘before’ closet photos, but let me tell you, I had friends coming up to me commenting, “You have SO much stuff!” It was pretty bad, you guys. I spent two whole days rummaging through old things I’d kept, including schoolwork (and artwork) from kindergarten on. No one needs to keep that much stuff about themselves – I’m not sure whether it was vanity or just some sort of emotional/nostalgic attachment, but most of that stuff had to go. Basically, the closet was one of my more intimidating obstacles to tackle: both cleaning it out, clothes-wise, and cleaning it out, all the other crap-wise. So here’s how I did it.
First things first: it feels good for me to cleanse my wardrobe, and I usually do it pretty regularly. The only issue is that, over the past few years, I was throwing away less and keeping more. We all do it: the “I’m sure I’ll wear those pants again” dance with ourselves, in order to justify keeping something. Well, guess what? If you haven’t worn it in the past 1.5 years, chances are you’re not going to. Now, sometimes, I would justify things such as “But there were a few times that I re-discovered something and wore it a lot again!” Unless it’s super high quality, classic, or very sentimental, TOSS IT. You don’t NEED it. My girlfriends and I get together and do a massive clothing swap (the last one had around 30 people coming in and out – you should have seen the piles of perfectly awesome, cute clothing, for free! So smart – I recommend you start one with your friends!), so I always have an awesome place to give them. If not, I feel great donating them to local charities. Your clothes can do good in other places. Long story short: clothing was properly disposed of, and I’ve gotten down to more bare bones approach. There are still a few odds and ends that I can get rid of as time progresses, but I’m overall much happier with the quantity and quality of pieces I have left.
Next up: a shoe rack. I picked a cheap, neat, tidy, and simple one from Jysk. It doesn’t need to be fancy; it just needs to display the shoes you have in an appropriate fashion. This was the only time I’ve ever had all my shoes in one place; usually they are strewn about my room. It is beyond easy to now pick out something to go with my work outside for each day, as – novel idea – they’re all right there in front of me. I can’t go wrong.
I also hated the amount of space that was chock full of crap during my closet. It made everything look way messier, and was just a buildup of so many things accumulated over my lifetime. I went through a really difficult cleansing process of getting rid of certain things (goodbye, seven of my Grade 1 stories) and keeping more treasured mementos (such as this letter from my 14-year-old self to my 24-year-old self). I pared it down until it could all be kept in one smaller box. I also folded my jeans for easy access and to see what I had available, as well as some storage for my beloved Anderson wool blanket from Scotland. Lastly, I keep my great-grandmother’s shell collection up where I can see it as it’s extensive, not to mention beautiful. These are things I hope to showcase at another time, perhaps at a new place when I’ve got more room.
That’s about it! Have you cleaned your closet out recently? Was it as daunting for you as it was for me? What works best for you?