by Susan von Suhrke of Timely Transitions
So what IS it about closets? Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em!
Seriously, if you have clothing lying around in your bedroom on the backs of chairs, tossed on the top of your dresser, or even being held hostage in a laundry basket with other clean clothes… quite possibly that’s the stuff you wear the most. What might be taking up the space in your closet are things you don’twear! Why not give yourself the gift of stress-free dressing and take a couple of hours to spring-clean your closet? If you’re procrastinating, get a “fashionista” friend to help - it will go faster and be more fun.
As you change out winter couture for warm weather wardrobe, take some time to become reacquainted with what’s in your closet. Have some boxes, bags or laundry hampers on hand to sort discarded items by destination. Putting donations into clear garbage bags will prevent you from accidentally tossing them out with the garbage. In Maryland, Giant Foods carries an in-house brand of clear garbage bags. And any damaged, stained clothing can be given to Goodwill IF it is separated out and marked “Salvage.”
Before you begin, I highly recommend:
- Ditching (recycling) the wire hangers. Do your clothing a favor and invest in decent hangers. I personally prefer heavy dutyplastic hangers; available at Target in both regular size and XL (ideal for size 16+).
- Catch up with the laundry AND pick up the dry cleaning. ALL of your clothing needs to be in one location.
As you begin pulling items from your closet, put similar types of clothing into stacks on your bed (skirts, tops, jackets, slacks, etc.) “Sort Like with Like” is one of the mantras of Professional Organizers and it applies nicely here. As you pull items, “file” anything you’ve not worn (or can’t currently wear) into separate piles for “Donate/Gift” or “Salvage”. If you find things you’d wear but have nothing that matches, then jot down what article you need to complete the outfit.
The standard "rule of thumb" for outsized clothing is to keep one size up & one size down. Personally, I recommend storing non-current sizes somewhere else. If it’s too small for you, why have that negative reminder slapping you in the face every day? If it’s the next size up, well, that’s just inviting trouble, isn’t it? Either way, non-fitting clothing should not be taking up prime real estate in your closet. Put out-sized clothing into containers; label it with the size and date. Then store it elsewhere. In a year when you haven’t retrieved any of the clothing, cut yourself some slack and donate the container, contents and all!
We have a saying in Feng Shui: “Release the Old to Embrace the New.”
If your wardrobe is out of control, then you may have “embraced the new” without having gotten rid of the old! Your unworn clothing can be put to good use by someone else and your life will be so much simpler with a manageable closet… so what are you waiting for?
Ready? Set? SORT!!!
© 2012 Susan von Suhrke, Timely Transitions. All Rights Reserved.
Susan von Suhrke is a Certified Relocation & Transition Specialist (CRTS) and the owner of Timely Transitions, serving clients in Anne Arundel and Prince George's Counties. She is a member of both the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM); having recently been inducted into NASMM’s “Circle of Service.” She specializes in residential organizing, relocation planning, and unlike 95% of the general population, she loves to speak in public.