the magic of decluttering and organizing

3.24_Community_Spring_Cleaning_Tips_postI love to go to the gym but I hate getting ready to go to the gym.

It turns into a process of finding clean clothes and trying to find a pair of socks. I try to go within 10 minutes of getting home from work because if I sit down for just one minute there is a 99% change I am not getting back up! But lately getting out of the house and to the gym has become a hassle because I cannot find anything!

I have the worlds worst closet. I really do! My house was built around 1900, during a time that closets did not exist. My room was redone to make a closet so now it is a big closet but you can’t actually reach anything in the back because of the way it is built. Space wise, it is great because it holds a lot of boxes, practicality wise, it is awful. I have two closets and two small dressers to fit everything. After laundry day there is no room in my closet or dressers to fit one more thing!

On Sunday night I decided to start The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I have not personally bought the book but I have read about these cleaning and life changing techniques online so much lately I got inspired.

In the post grad life we have once again moved to another house. Whether it is to another apartment or you are back with mom and dad (like me), we now realize how much crap we have! I have always been a sentimental person so I keep a lot of stuff that has turned into clutter. After struggling with keeping my room clean I decided it was time to purge. I have done this a few times since I came home in May but I wanted to do it correctly so I am following the Marie Kondo way!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Lesson #1: Tackle Categories, Not Rooms

When I usually say I am going to clean my room, my room ends up messier than it did before I started cleaning! Marie Kondo suggests tidying by category. Deal with every piece of clothing in your closet individually or go through each book in your bookcase when deciding to tidy up or give away your things.

Lesson #2: Respect Your Belongings

Kondo asks that you consider your clothing’s feelings. Are they happy being squashed in a corner shelf or crowded onto hangers? My closet was full of clothes, my dresses had so many clothes in the drawers that they would not even close! I did not respect my clothes and it showed.

Lesson #3: Nostalgia Is Not Your Friend

I am that person who never wears an outfit twice. Okay, I do but I try not to wear the same thing over and over. If I see a shirt I can remember a memory I had while wearing it. A certain dress brings me back to one of the happiest days of my life. Unfortunately now, I am at work 5 days a week and on the weekends I live in leggings and the same shirt. It is smart to stay focused and not reminisce about the old times now when cleaning. I found a picture of an old boyfriend and I while cleaning and the next thing I knew I was Facebook stalking instead of being productive.

Lesson #4: Purging Feels So GoodIMG_5885.JPG

The best way to purge is to put everything of its kind in a pile and then go through each piece individually. I took my entire closet and threw it on the floor. It was now way past my bedtime but now I had to finish a project I started! By individually picking up each piece and putting it back on a new hanger, it made it easier to say goodbye to shirts I forgot I even owned. My closet was a mix of work and casual clothes which made picking an outfit for work difficult because I wasted time looking at casual tee shirts instead of my work blouses. I donated a lot of shirts I had since high school and others that I just will not wear anymore. I took my casual t shirts, folded them and put them on a shelf in my closet. This is my least worn wardrobe and it does not deserve to be hung up.

It started to get easier to toss things. When was the last time I wore this? Was this from my chubby days? What was I thinking when I bought this?? My Hollister and Forever 21 clothes are never worn. I wore them a lot at my old job working retail because I needed to wear clothes I didn’t care if they got ruined. So why did I care that that I needed them in my closet?? I had to cut ties with the sentimentality of a t shirt and let them go to Goodwill and not stay in my closet taking up room.  Also, the amount of white v neck shirts I had was embarrassing. I tossed them all because one nice new one is all I needed. In the end my closet went from overflowing to half full (and many extra hangers).

Lesson #5: Fold, Don’t Hang

Now that my closet was full of work clothes, I needed a place to put my other casual clothes. Marie Kondo suggests folding clothes instead of  hanging them. At the end of purging my closet I realized how few clothes I had now. Everything fit nicely on my shelf and I could see clearly what was there without it getting lost hanging in my closet. I also saved closet space by folding all of my sweaters and putting them on a shelf. I wear them often to work so it makes it easier for me to grab and go in the morning.

For the clothes that are hanging in my closet, they are hanging in a very OCD organized way. Short sleeve shirts then long sleeve shirts arranged by color. I didn’t realize how blah my winter wardrobe was until I saw that everything was black, white and grey!

Lesson #6: The Fold!

I have been a big fan of this folding technique for many years (Thanks, Martha Stewart). Kondo’s vertical folding technique makes everything organized and easy to see everything at a glance. Kondo suggests using shoeboxes or other boxes to keep everything in place. Unfortunately, my dresser is from childhood so it is not built that deep to put in a shoebox!

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Lesson #7: Enjoy your new closet!

Once you have cleared the clutter and put everything in a place it is supposed to be, you can now enjoy your closet. For too  long I have had to force clothes in there because there was no more room. I hated when my closet door was open because it was a chaos inside. Now getting ready in the morning is easy peasy!

Now I know what I have in my closet the next time I go shopping or I am trying to get ready to go out. In a few short weeks my summer wardrobe will be coming out and switching closets will be so much easier now that I have purged.

Now the next time I do laundry I won’t be afraid to put clothes back!

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So far tackling my main closet was a lot easier than I thought- next step is my second closet!

4 thoughts on “the magic of decluttering and organizing

  1. Pingback: #goals : declutter

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