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decluttering

a few outfits...

a few outfits...

from the first few weeks of my Project 333:

mindful closet capsule wardrobe
st louis personal stylist capsule wardrobe

Putting the capsule together also inspired mr. mindful closet and I to set aside an entire day (with babysitter) to do a big basement cleaning as well. We donated two car loads of things to the Goodwill, took an old laptop to be recycled, took a bag of baby stuff to the consignment store, and listed a few things on craigslist and eBay. It felt so good!

organizing your closet to reduce visual clutter

organizing your closet to reduce visual clutter

As the weather finally moves above freezing, we're hit with a a natural urge to clean and reorganize our closets. For general purging and closet decluttering tips, see my post on 5 Steps to Wardrobe Nirvana or use the "does it spark joy?" criteria from Marie Kondo's methodAs you're moving your spring and summer clothes in and your winter clothes out, here are a few more tips to make getting dressed a little less confusing:

 

display only what you're wearing right now


Only keep the clothes you wear on a regular basis accessible. If you have other storage space, this is where out of season clothes, special occasion clothes, and transitional clothes (i.e. the pre-pregnancy jeans) should go. Even if you technically have room in your closet for these items (as I do), I recommend keeping them out of your everyday closet. Seeing too many options makes decision making confusing. The fewer items you have to look at as you get dressed, the easier it will be. No need to flip past cocktail dresses when you're getting dressed for work. If you have to store everything in the same space, make sure the things you wear on a daily basis are front and center.

 

 

keep everything where you can see it


When I reorganized my closet last summer, I realized that I had more necklaces that I could see at once. I wanted to have a way to display them all so that I might be more likely to wear some of the neglected ones. Since my closet has more hanging space than I really need, I decided to use some of the wall space to display them. Since doing this (and taking this photo), I've gotten rid of many necklaces, since seeing them on a regular basis still didn't entice me to wear them. The same thing happened with my shoes. And my clutches... (they're hiding up on the top shelf there, in IKEA magazine holders)

 

mindful closet - closet organizing tips

 

use matching hangers


Find a style of hanger you like and spend a few dollars to fill your closet with them. Some people love the thin felt hangers, but I'm lazy and they are hard to get clothes on and off of! My ideal is all wooden hangers, but until the budget allows, I have the basic white plastic ones. Such a simple thing can make a huge impact.

 

mindful closet - closet organization.JPG

 

hang everything


You can't wear things you don't remember you have. Feel free to differ in opinion on this one, but I hang as much as I can, even t-shirts and some sweaters. Chunky sweaters, workout clothes, pajamas, and jeans are the only things that go in bins or drawers. I often see clients with drawers or stacks full of t-shirts, most of which never get worn. Even a t-shirt is a building block of an outfit and requires consideration. Isn't it easier to flip through hangers to see your options than to dig in a drawer or refold a stack? A note: I only have four pairs of jeans in my closet right now, if you have more options, it probably would be a good idea to hang them so that you can easily see your choices.

 

mindful closet - closet organization tips

 

put your shoes on shelves


After trying every possible shoe tree/rack/hanging pocket system out there over the years, I've come to the conclusion that simple shelves are the best way to go. They're easy to get shoes in and out of, heels sit nicely without getting caught on anything, and they look cute (place all pairs of shoes heel to toe for more room). I use cheap shelves like this tucked under closet rods, but check out this super sweet version by Laura Cattano.

Do you have any other tips to share?

book review: the life-changing magic of tidying up

book review: the life-changing magic of tidying up

Marie Kondo's book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, has been everywhere lately. I was excited to read it and,  as promised, it was unlike any other decluttering book I've ever encountered. Full reviews and info on the book are easy to find, but I thought I would tell you about the three points that made the most impact on me.

(A recent outfit made up of all items that "spark joy". How often does that happen? I would say I hope that was our last snow, but I've learned my lesson in years past. We'll see!)

The most famous piece of advice from the book is to ask yourself whether an item "sparks joy" when you're holding it in your hand. If it does, great, if not, it must go. At first, I had a bit of a hard time really feeling this, but over the next few weeks, I found myself evaluating everything in my house by this one criteria. For me, it was helpful to think about moving. If I were packing up my house and moving to a smaller space, would this be something I would take with me no matter what or would it end up in the inevitable pre-move yard sale? This made things much more clear: Cy Twombly art book that was the first gift my husband ever gave me? Sparks joy. The Van Gogh art book I bought to fatten up the book stacks on my coffee table? Does not.

Another great piece of advice Kondo gives is not to stockpile. Recently, I've had several clients who were in the habit of doing this. When we cleaned out their closets, I found things like one sweater in seven colors or five blouses bought months ago with tags still on. When questioned on their motives, the answer was, "I liked one, so I bought a bunch." Of course, the bunch never got used. I'm also guilty of this, and it's one of my own habits I've tried the hardest to break. If you come across something at a great price that you think you might use, isn't that frugal to buy it ahead of time? Not when your style, body, or need changes, and the item goes unused. Then the bargain price was wasted money, and the item takes up wasted space.

Lastly, according to Kondo, things have feelings too. This is the facet of the book that most people have a problem with, but this may have been my favorite part. Kondo says that the items you own were made for a purpose and by not using them as intended, you are in some way letting them down. Instead, it's better to let them go to another home where they can be of use. She also advocates thanking your things on a regular basis, either when using them, or when letting them go. I love the idea of thanking something for what it has taught you. It's easy to feel guilt about letting go of things if you feel as though you haven't used them enough or gotten your money's worth. But what if the item's true purpose was to teach you that you should never buy hot pink blouses? If you look at it that way, you can thank the item for imparting its wisdom and wish it well in its next home with someone who loves hot pink.