During the extremely steep learning curve incurred during the first few years of child-rearing, most of us let little bad things happen. We let the house get dirty, the dishes pile up, and some of us ban bed-making altogether. This is a generally awesome parenting skill that has helped me in many other areas of life, because it has allowed me to focus on the big things that matter.
My closet was not one of those big things.
As I color-coded my toddler’s t-shirt drawer, my own closet eroded into a jumbled dumping ground that ended up costing me time when I had to wade through it every day.
That is when it became a priority. Anything that costs me time drives me nuts. I turned to wardrobe and style experts, as well as productivity gurus, to come up with an easy closet maintenance system that would only cost me a few minutes a day.
To get started, I recommend first decluttering with a Closet Outbox.
This little tool becomes the filter for anything you’re unsure about discarding along the way. Think of it as the liver of your closet (a gross, but effective visual), so it will be living and changing with you.
If the image of a human organ isn’t working for you, maybe think of it as a growing, breathing garden that has a few weeds crowding out the good stuff. (That’s much nicer. I should have said that first. Oh well.)
(This is important because it’s hard to organize at all when your closet is too crowded.)
Before you donate your clothes, use a paper notebook, a notes app, a Google Doc, or the free MySize app to record:
Now use these measurements as an easy guide for shopping for a replacement. Just keep a measuring tape and your notes in your purse, and refer to these measurements the next time you shop.
Final Step: Enjoy Your Finds!
Anything that’s left should go back in your closet. Consider each one a find you forgot about. Treat it like something new.
If you like the Closet Outbox idea, each week you should clear your outbox of one clothing category (tees, blouses, skirts, etc.) and fill up on another. You’ll be through all your clothes in a few weeks with your sanity intact and a supremely uncluttered closet.
If you get stuck, here is the full “Sane Closet Cleanout” Series:
Step 1: The 5 Minute Closet Cleanout
Step 2: How to Declutter Your Wardrobe with the Closet Outbox
Step 3: Donate Your Clothes, or Don’t: How to Decide What Goes
Step 4: How to Organize Your Closet in 3 Steps
Do you have additional ideas on how to declutter your closet? If so, please leave your suggestions in the comments section below.
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