get organized

pre-holiday closet cleanout

If you’re on the east coast (like I am) it’s officially Fall. That means pulling out the thermals and finding all of those leggings you forgot you had. And it’s the perfect time to clean out your closet. I’m definitely guilty of keeping things I don’t use and I could use a pairing down of things about every 12 weeks or so. In honor of cleaning out my closet this weekend, I thought I would share some of my tips and tricks for cleaning out the closet and keeping only the things you need.

BRING YOUR HARSHEST CRITIC. I’m really good at justifying things to myself. It seems that I’m always able to come up with some reason or another why I need to keep something even if I have another one just like it or if I haven’t used it in five years. That’s why I usually like to invite my sister over when I’m going through my closet. She keeps me totally honest and asks the tough questions that make me end up getting rid of things that I don’t need. I just make sure to spring for dinner/wine to thank her for all her opinions

GROUP LIKE THINGS TOGETHER. Sometimes I get clothing amnesia. I have a pretty consistent taste. Which is how I can easily end up with three extremely similar dresses. Generally I find it easier to look at what I have when I look at all similar things together and find the winner. And trust me, there’s always a winner among the group– that thing that you’ll wear over and over again.

THINK OF THE NEXT OWNER. I am much more likely to get rid of something if I know that it will be appreciated and loved. Ok, I’m weird, but it helps me to think of the next person who will get my old things and hopefully find some enjoyment out of them instead of them sitting in my closet. That person might be a friend, family, or a complete stranger but no matter who it is, they will probably enjoy it more than I do when I have to squeeze it in the back of my closet due to overcrowding.

CREATE A DONATE BIN IN YOUR CLOSET. Ever try on an outfit and then decide to change before leaving the house? Of course! Instead of just putting those discarded clothes back in the closet (or worse, in the hamper) take a few seconds and decide whether you really want to keep the clothes. There’s a reason you don’t want to wear them today. Sure, maybe it’s the weather or you forgot that you’re going to be doing something that requires pants. But if you changed because you didn’t like how you looked, it’s time to give that outfit a cold, hard look. We all have those “in 10 lbs” clothes that we insist will look amazing after the weight loss. But unless you’re proactively working to lose weight, those clothes will likely languish in your closet. Why not give them a new home?

INVEST IN PROPER STORAGE. While I will readily admit that I froth at the mouth when near a Container Store at the sheer organizational possibilities, it is important to invest in the right storage solutions for your space and things. Not only does it help when you are looking for something in your closet, but it also helps protect your things. And since you’ve already reduced what you own, everything in your closet should be near and dear to your heart.

SHOP FROM A LIST BEYOND THE GROCERY STORE. While this isn’t specifically an organizational tip, it is related to reducing unnecessary purchases. I used to sometimes view shopping as a sort of sport where winning is based on getting the best deal. While that does certainly create excitement in your life, it’s bad for your wallet and creates clutter/excess in your life. I keep a Pinterest board for things I like and want to buy. It helps keep my spending in check and make sure I avoid impulse purchases that I later regret.

What are your favorite tips for staying organized? How often do you clean out your closet?

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