Monday, July 30, 2012

How to organize your closet (in a meaningful way!)!!!

One of the most popular posts to date here on good life has been the post from about a year and a half ago featuring my closet.  You can find the post here - and in it you will find (amongst blurry pictures) lots of tips and tricks on how I organize my closet.

This past weekend my husband (yes, you read that right) helped me purge my closet.  First of all, let me  say it wasn't planned or even on my radar of things to do.  But I feel about a million times lighter this morning after it is all done and over.  While the previous closet post was mainly geared towards how to organize a closet... this post is going to be about the process of purging or "making under" (as Jess would say) your closet.  This post is about how to organize your closet to bring it back to a place where it completely reflects you and your life.  And let me tell you - this is an amazing feeling!

This whole closet over haul started with a dare from my husband to get rid of (donate) three pairs of shoes.  I needed to take the existing shelf out of my closet, the one holding all the shoes, and put two smaller shelves in it's place.  My husband was helping me move furniture and we quickly realized that the new shelves in the closet would make the closet appear bigger, but would actually serve as less storage space.  I resented it and found three pairs of shoes to get rid of.  Then I realized how good that felt - why was I holding on to those shoes that didn't fit me great, didn't fit my lifestyle, or that I didn't even really like any more?  Seriously? Why? I couldn't answer that question.  I think some of it had to do with the fact that as a "style blogger" I was nervous that my closet wasn't GOOD enough.  (Or that, gasp, even I wasn't good enough)  So I thought - if I have plenty of shoes (and clothes and purses and belts)... well... that makes me something. Right?  Wrong.

After the shoes we moved on to clothes (which I had already recently purged, but found I needed to do again), to scarves, to jewelry/accessories, to belts and to handbags.  In the end I probably emptied over half of what was in my closet.  I bagged it up and sent it all to the Salvation Army.

My husband was seriously my guide in this project (because I do think you need accountability when doing an overhaul to this extent).  He asked me some really great questions and I got down to the nitty gritty with asking myself questions too.  And my answers were kind of lame.

  • When was the last time you wore that? (um, I can't remember)
  • When is the next time you will wear that? (uh, I don't know!)
  • Does that fit you? (kinda?!)
  • Does that piece make you feel good? (not recently)
  • Does that piece fit your lifestyle? (I was keeping old suits from when I worked outside of the home - no!)
  • Is this piece a part of your future or your past? (whoa! good one! A lot of pieces I realized had nothing to do with the current direction of my life)
  • Would you re-buy this piece today? (errrr, no)
As I look to start my fall shopping (and shopping for the rest of my life)... it is my goal to make wise investments on clothing pieces that I know I will love and cherish and that hopefully in 6-12 months from now I will look back on and say "Yes, I would buy that again!" or "Yes, that was worth the money!" or "Yes, that piece made me look and feel great this year!"

My husband also had one really great point at the end of the whole project... after I had vacuumed and dusted and cleaned and put everything back in the closet just so - he said: "Now think of how great this closet looks now... when you go shopping ask yourself: 'Is this piece worthy of entering this beautiful and inspired place I have created for myself?' " - Whoa, right!? (he's a keeper!)  So I technically consider the closet pictures from the previous post as my "before" and these photos below as the "after".

In the end... there is still plenty of shoes, purses and clothes in my closet. I didn't "sacrifice" anything that I loved.  This over haul has given me permission to invest in new pieces that I love in seasons to come that follow the direction of my life.  It gives me permission to replace things that I once loved that are worn out (there was quite a few instances of this with worn out shoes).  And even better it gives me a pure view of my wardrobe.  The items I loved were being overwhelmed by the items I didn't love giving me a "I don't have anything to wear" problem every time I walked into my closet.  Now I walk in and feel inspired and invigorated by my clothing choices.  I don't feel guilty looking at pieces I haven't worn in a while or at shoes that are falling apart. I just feel freedom to look and feel my best!

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