Friday, February 3, 2017

Closet Cleaning 101

The beginning of a new year is always a great time to reevaluate things and clean out....mentally and physically. I love the chance to make goals and plans for another year and to simply take an inventory of my life and my family's lives and see what can be changed for the better. This general "new year resolve" also makes it a natural time for people to want to clean out and make changes in their home as well. So I thought we would start off the new year with a basic closet cleaning "class."

Cleaning out your own personal bedroom/closet is actually pretty tough for most of us. Why? Because it's your OWN's a scientifically proven fact (I'm sure someone has done a study somewhere, right?) that it is at least 10 times harder to get rid of your own stuff than anything else. After all, you're more emotionally attached to your own personal things. Most of the time that includes clothes and shoes as well. We make purchases, we receive gifts, and we wear the clothes to appointments, parties or engagements and create feelings or memories while wearing them. Sometimes the clothes can even spark intense feelings--which are not always positive but fierce none-the-less. Suffice it to say, whether we realize it or not, there are sometimes deep emotions and feelings attached to our clothes and so it can be hard to get rid of some of the things we should get rid of in our closets.

Thus, I've created THREE "college courses" on the subject that I'm hoping will help.

The first is:

In college, remember how the first tier classes for basic freshmen were in the 100 category? The same holds true for these college courses. If I were teaching someone the basics, or the most simple and easy way to dejunk their clothes closet, I would give them this popular but effective trick:
During one of the first few weeks of the year, turn all of your hangers around backwards.

Every time you wear an article of clothing (and launder it?) put it back in your closet with the hanger hanging frontwards.

Like this:

One concept that needs to be talked about that is quite imperative to the cleaning out of  one's closet and that I think would make this exercise even easier is called "The Pareto Principle." You can read all about it here. It's fascinating really. It can be more complicated but basically The Pareto Principle, when talking about STUFF, says that we use 20% of our stuff 80% of the time. Translation in your closet? (and I probably don't need to tell you this) you wear the same 20% of your clothes 80% of the time.
True? Yes.
Surprised? You shouldn't be.
We all have our favorites, right?  If you're like me, you occasionally just strike it rich when clothes shopping and find a really cute piece of clothing. It fits perfectly on your body and looks great with things you have. Every time you wear it you get compliments and you feel like a million bucks. So naturally you are going to be more prone, even subconsciously, to pick that thing out of your closet to wear again and again and again.

And that's what Closet Cleaning 101 helps you see, with hardly any effort from yourself. Some people say to keep the hangers hung backwards for 6 months, some say do it for a 1 year. And then at the end of that time, the things that you haven't worn (as in their hanger is still backwards, even after all that time) are plucked out of your closet and discarded.  Personally I recommend giving it a year because some articles of clothing are worn more in different seasons and should be given enough time in the long year to "prove their worthiness." This  might be a little different for someone who lives in a more constant climate. Where I live can be 10 degrees in the winter to 110 in the summer, and that's not an exaggeration. Others who live in southern California maybe, could have a more constant temperature range and thus they should realistically be able to wear through their closet in 6 months. Either way is fine with me...just make sure you set a time span you are going to work with and then stick with it.

Another thing I really like about this method of cleaning out the closet is that it helps us constantly be aware of what we are choosing to wear and perhaps reminds us to give other lesser-worn pieces a chance. I'm really not all about "equality for clothes." What I like about it is that when we choose to wear something we don't normally wear, we sometimes see pretty clearly what it is that is wrong with that piece of clothing and why we don't choose to wear it subconsciously.  After just an hour or two of wearing something, you might find yourself starting to think:
"This sweater is so itchy!"
"I'm constantly having to pull this skirt down."
"Wow. When I walk by\the mirror I look so LARGE!"

OR we can find the opposite to be true too:

"This jacket is both warm and comfortable! I need to wear it more often."
"Four different people complimented me on this blouse today. It must look pretty good?"

And remember, you don't have to wait to decide to keep or get rid of something until the 6 month or 1 year mark is up. If you give something a real "college-try" and wear it and it ends up being a negative experience, for heavens sake come home and put it in the Goodwill bin immediately.

Up Next:  Closet Cleaning 224

No comments:

Post a Comment