Black Hole Closets

(Übersetzt ins Deutsche unter Blog-D)

In my house are five used closets. I share one with my husband, the kids each have their own, then there is our jacket and workout closet. We do have another one in our guest bedroom and I always make sure that this one is empty- because it is supposed to be for our visitors and not a storage shed.

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I know that there has been a lot written about clearing your wardrobe and really, once you have done it and you stick to some rules, you should be good to go for the rest of your life. Here is my method and how I help my clients clear their closet nightmares. I am not into purchasing bins, rolling shirts or labeling- I simply simplify.

Pick a day where you have time to complete the task to go through one closet and make four piles: # 1 for keeping, # 2 for selling, # 3 for donating, # 4 for throwing away.

Before you pick up every garment in there, be very clear with yourself that the things you have not worn in the past twelve months will go, and everything that does not fit will leave the closet, as well as anything you do not really like. Include socks, belts, underwear- basically anything that has been sitting or hanging in there. Be honest. If you can’t let go of things, have someone else take each piece out for you and just answer with YES (worn in in the past twelve months) or NO (have not used it in the past twelve months). All NO answers will be placed in the according pile.

Once done with this part, clean up the piled stuff right away.

Toss the # 4 pile.

# 3 pile is all put into bags and placed in your car for a drop off later on. If you do not have a vehicle, ask a friend for help or schedule a free pick up by a charity. But very important, make sure these things are out of sight and planed for.

# 2 pile is likely to be more work, but it is important that you get to it right away or chances are that you store or clutter the garments somewhere else. There are several ways to sell your items. You can take pictures and sell them online; but this is quite a bit of work and often gives you very little profit- don’t forget, time is also money! You can bring them to an consignment store, or rethink the whole process and add it to the give away pile, only keeping what is really worth selling.

Now you can concentrate on your # 1 pile. Clean the shelves, air it out and reorganize! Fold what goes back on the shelves and the clothing being hung, place on nice hangers. Give your creativity some space and organize by color, season, Feng Shui or whatever suits your style.

Just a little minimizing hint- I have no longer a linen closet in our home. Each bed has only two sets of sheets. One set is in use and the other cleaned and stored. Therefor we have room to stock the stripped linen and even an extra blanket in the appropriate closet.

The big goal is to never accumulate clutter so you don’t have to do this again. Keep putting your clothes away immediately instead of letting them sit in a laundry basket or elsewhere. From now on buy only clothing to replace another one and live by the rule, “one comes, one goes”. Next time you are at the shopping mall, do not buy anything out of obsession. Try it on, take a picture of it and wait until you are home. Most likely you do not need it and in case you do, it is very probable that you can find it online. Buying only what is needed saves you money and time. Be kind and purchase fair trade and ethically sourced clothing- this way you cover a range of issues such as working conditions, the environment, exploitation, sustainable production, and animal welfare.

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I don’t know how many closets you have, just pick one at a time and stick to your new rule! Be patient- it took you a long time to accumulate all that stuff and it will take some time to get rid off it.

If you have growing children, go through their clothing every six months and replace what they have outgrown. Let your family and friends know, if they want to make your child a present on what to get them; too often gifts are the opposite of needed. There is a lot more to say about toys and the kids rooms, but I feel that this is a subject on its own.

Try to life with the motto “less is more” and start creating space by letting go and stop adding! If you have a hard time with getting your chaos back under control, don’t hesitate to get help, because sometimes it is just not possible to handle everything alone.

“The reason to get rid of what you do not need, is to see clearly what you do need.” – FRITZ Space Maker

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