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Cleaning out your closet can be stressful and overwhelming. I follow these eight simple steps every time I reorganise my clothes.
Looking at my closet stresses me out. It’s got so much stuff crammed into it that I can’t even see each individual item of clothing. This in turn means I reach for the same five shirts again and again, proving that I don’t actually need half as much clothing as I feel I do.
I’m a bit embarrassed by the sheer quantity of clothes that I collect. Most of it is bought on impulse. I see that “sale” sign and, like the fool I am, leave the store armed with bags full of things I didn’t need. Recently, I’ve been trying to curb this habit. I’ve googled fast fashion, I know that it’s bad, and I’ve made the decision to become a more conscious consumer.
So far, I’ve avoided purchasing things I don’t need. Yet, every time I open my closet door I still feel as though I have way too much stuffed in there. The truth is, to really minimise your closet, you have to be ruthless – and I’m just not there yet. After all, what if I really need that jacket I haven’t worn since I was fourteen?
As a result, the contents of my closet are diminishing in size – just very slowly. I hold out hope that one day I will only keep the items that I really love and need. Until that day, I go through my eight-stage process.
What is the eight-stage process?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
Tired of looking at the contents of my closet with dissatisfaction, I finally decide to do
something about it. I wave goodbye to the ancient pair of socks that should have been thrown out years ago. This time around, I’m only keeping what I really need.
I blast some music – from a playlist I’ve creatively entitled, “Cleaning the Closet” – and chuck all my clothing onto my bed. A mountain appears before me, but I will not be deterred. I’m playing motivational music, after all.
I sort my clothes into three piles – “yes,” “no,” and “maybe.” I try not to look to closely at the items in the “no” pile. I am determined not to second-guess myself. Still, feelings of dread and panic begin to grow. I choose to bottle up these emotions and continue sorting through my clothes. An unhealthy choice, I know.
I stumble across that super expensive dress I bought years ago and never wore. I begin to feel guilty for buying it. Also, how do I have five identical jackets? Why did I think that was a good idea? I put all these items in the “yes” pile. I mean, I might wear them someday. Maybe.
Having completed the task of sorting, I survey the piles before me. I immediately regret a few items I hastily threw in the “no” pile and transfer them to
the “yes” pile. Then I notice a few more items of clothing… Then a few more…
I start putting the “yes” pile back in the closet and place the coat hangers holding the clothes the wrong way around. The idea is that once I’ve worn something, I put it in the right way. This way I can easily find the items that I don’t wear.
I put the “no” pile into a box and hide it under my bed. I don’t want to sell it/give it away/throw it out until I know for sure that I won’t need that jumpsuit I once wore years ago.
I congratulate myself on a job well done and hope to never endure such a stressful experience again. Deep down, I know that I will. I always do.
Q & A (I ask the questions, you give me answers):
- What is your closet cleaning process?
- Have you ever regretted throwing something out?
- Why do we buy so much stuff we don’t need?
- How often do you clean out your closet?