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Cleaning Out Your Closet

To keep with the on going theme of "New Year, New Habits" We are going to talk about the one thing you're dreading out that darn closet. I believe in doing a wardrobe inventory every season to keep your closet in order, and to know exactly what you have, instead of continuing to buy more stuff that will eventually end up overwhelming you. I am definitely not perfect when it comes to keeping an organized closet (ask my husband!) but, here are a few tips that I've picked up along the way that help make the process a lot easier.

But first, coffee.

All jokes aside, I have learned that with a French press full of some good coffee, and the right soundtrack, I can accomplish pretty much anything I need to. I have to get myself pumped up to take on any sort of cleaning, but once I'm in the zone, watch out! Whatever that beverage and music selection may be to you, make sure you have it on hand. Plan a day to do this project. Stick to the plan. Have a friend come along for the ride. Bonus points if they're the same size, and want to take what you don't want off your hands. OK, now that we are properly caffeinated and are ready to turn this into a dance party, let's get started.

Pull everything out. Yep. Everything.

Throw it on your bed. You have to finish the job this way! You can't sleep in a pile of clothes! OK, so, I have, but do as I say! Not as I do! As you start to pull pieces out, start making piles. The piles should be as follows:

*KEEP- This category includes your favorite jeans, that great black blazer that goes with everything. Anything that fits properly, that you wear quite a bit, or makes you feel great about yourself...throw in this pile.

*DONATE- These are pieces that you won't wear again. Ever. Maybe it's that pair of low-rise jeans you had in middle school that are so outdated, and will never fit you again. Or, perhaps it's your backup winter coat that still has the tags on it. These items are in good condition, but you will definitely never wear. Find a local charity that accepts these, and pass them along. If the items are vintage (20 years or older) call a few vintage stores in your area. Several will either buy your items, or allow you to trade! I've found some of my favorite pieces this way!

*GIVE TO FRIENDS- I love clothing swaps! If you have something that may be your friends' style, but not yours, now is the time to be a good friend!

*REPAIR- This pile is for the small rips and such. If you have the ability to mend clothing, or know someone who does, throw those items in this pile. If not, maybe it's time you got comfortable with a needle and thread! Friends with sewing machines may also know how to re-purpose something that might be beyond the point of repair, but would look great as something else! We have pillows made out of old concert shirts in the house for this very reason!

*WILD CARDS- These are pieces you bought without a purpose in mind. Maybe it was a trend that you wanted to try, but weren't too sure. Get a second opinion on these. If you are still wanting to hold on to them, go online and look at how others have styled similar items to get inspiration. If you decide it's not for you, then add them to the donate pile.

So now that you know what piles to make, what are some things that you should definitely keep, and some you need to get rid of like a bad habit?

CLOTHES THAT NO LONGER FIT YOU: Maybe they're too small because you have gained weight. Maybe they're too large because you have lost weight. Either way, chuck them. Unless you are on a healthy weight loss journey, having your "skinny" clothes around will do nothing but make you feel bad about yourself. I have had goal jeans come and go, but make sure they don't define how you feel about yourself. That's where it gets dangerous.

THINGS THAT AREN'T APPROPRIATE ANY LONGER: Keep things handy that will fall into the category of work, going out, and running around. In my case, I am my own boss, so can wear what I want. However, I do know that some of the outfits I wore in my going-out days are definitely not how I want to be portrayed in my business life. Ask yourself if the items you are keeping will be useful for your life as it is now.

And now that everything has been sorted into piles, it's time to organize it! This will give you those extra fifteen minutes in the morning to snooze, or to enjoy your coffee before you have to go through the ordeal of "What do I wear today?!"

Our house was built in 1930, so we don't actually have closets. We have these tiny doors that open up into narrow closet like things. But, they actually aren't wide enough to fit a hanger in. So, I turned one of our bedrooms into our wardrobe room. We have a tall dresser for our t-shirts, our jewelry is displayed on hooks, and my husband created a hat wall for us. I like to organize things by type of garment, and then by color, hanging things in groups based on their lengths. Maxi dresses, jumpsuits, mini dresses, shirts, and then jackets. Pants and skirts actually have their own mini closet in our bedroom. Organize in whatever way works best for you. We have an overabundance of outerwear, so that takes up quite a bit of space. We have those on two portable clothing racks that are set up in that room at all times. It looks much like a fitting would for a client! It's not Pinterest perfect, but it works for us! Find whatever works for you! I also recommend the velvet space saving hangers. Having everything on a uniform hanger makes it look neater, and will make you feel like you have it all together...even if you're late for work, and living on dry shampoo and a prayer!

Happy organizing, you guys!

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