Coming out of the Closet

No, not that kind of “Coming out of the Closet,” more like the “Cleaning out” kind.  We all have them, those closets that seem to be spilling over, the kind we can’t shut because we are just too lazy to bend over and move that shirt that’s blocking it.  Well, I tackled mine this week and I thought I would share how dealing with closets and the space can improve your life and your relocation. So, let’s begin!

Ask yourself, can I close my closet?

If not, you may have too much stuff or you may just be lazy like me, and not want to “unblock” it because you are too busy.  Whatever the case may be, it’s time to open it and evaluate what needs to be moved and what needs to go.  Before even taking one item out, stand back and really LOOK at it.  Look at the clothes, the shelves, the shoes, and get a clear picture of what you are dealing with.

Next, ask yourself, what do I wear the most?

Sometimes it can be easier to just pull out what you wear the most, and then bag and box up what’s leftover in your closet. Do you REALLY need that Prom dress from 20 years ago? How about that bridesmaid dress – is your closet like the one from “27 Dresses?”  I do understand saving the wedding dress, although I didn’t save mine, but there is no need to hold onto the rest.  Whatever stage of life you are in, I am sure you have come into your own style, what you feel most comfortable wearing. I am a t-shirt, shorts, jeans kind of gal.  You won’t find me in high heels ever, and I look for comfort more than what’s “in.”  Clothes are for getting around in, and on occasion, I will dress up for church, a wedding, etc..  I found it incredibly easy to go through my closet and pull out what I was going to keep, and what was heading to the garage sale bag.

When Do I Start to Clean? Timing is Everything.

Meaning, how much time do you or will you need to clean them out?  This pertains more to relocation, but I feel if you get past a certain season, you can pack or sell early for your move.  Since we are HOPFULLY approaching Spring soon, although I think Punxsutawney Phil is a dirty liar, I began pulling out a lot of the winter clothes I own.  I know I will need some of them  in Florida, but most I can wave good-bye too.  Summer clothes from  last year I got rid of mostly because the kids will enjoy some new stuff in a new state, and with how much they grow, it doesn’t pay to hold onto them anyways.  I say, purge your closets as early as possible.

Do you have emotional ties to certain pieces of clothing?

I know I do- a certain sweater I wore with my Mom to an event, or a shirt I have had since the kids were born, but I am learning that the MEMORY is so much more important than the ITEM it’s attached too.  I think we all fear that if we get rid of the item, that we will forget the memory.  It could happen I guess, but that’s what pictures are for. Take a picture of the item, keep it on a CD or your computer, and you have access to it whenever you want.  I did pause at certain items of clothing and had a tear or two, but it’s freeing to move on from them and know that I will get to wear something different where I am heading.  There was a quote once I read that said something to the effect of “Don’t be sad it’s over, be happy it happened.”  That motto is getting me through my emotional days.

Do You Get Rid of It? Bag it, Box it, Get it Out of the House ASAP

It happens all the time- you are so proud of yourself that you have finally cleaned out the closet, but the box you put all the stuff in, or the bag, sits somewhere forever until the kids or yourself starts to look through it for something you want back.  Out of sight, out of mind.  If you are donating it, take it THAT day to the place you are giving it to. If you are having a yard sale with it, put it in the garage so it is on its intended path.  Everything these days in our home is headed to either a clear bin for moving, a box for the garage sale, or one of our vehicles heading to a parent’s home for storage.  I have learned that if it stays in my home for too long, it will find its way back into my closets, somehow, some way.  Not anymore!

Do You Spend on the Small Stuff? Be Aware of Future Purchases

I have said it before, I will say it again.  When shopping over the past year, we have all had a different attitude towards it. Long gone are the days of “We will find room for it” or “Isn’t that cute? I have to have it!”  The shopping days now consist of “What do we NEED to get through the next 87 days?”  If the kids have to have it, the agreement is that if we don’t have room for it, it is being sold in the garage sale. So basically, you have less than 2 months to enjoy what you just bought… it’s funny how much they DO NOT want to buy it then if they have to say goodbye to it so quickly.   I do buy the kids new clothes, Jessie has been growing like a weed these days, getting very tall- Belle too!  But the days of toys and endless “stuff,” seems to have ceased, and I am quite the happy camper about that!

Do you have a hard time keeping your closets clean?  Don’t Fill Them In!!

If you have now emptied them, keep them empty. As a society, I feel we can’t keep a space “empty.” We are constantly finding ways to keep it filled, watch the show “Hoarders” and you will see what I mean.  Once it’s clean, leave it alone.  Looking at that empty space should give you a sense of pride in your steps of moving forward.

I hope this helps you clean out your closets… have a wonderful day!

3 thoughts on “Coming out of the Closet

  • Amy, this post literally inspired me to go through my clothes.

    I gave up an AMAZING dress I wore to my Sophomore homecoming that I will NEVER wear again. Have been holding onto that for like 5 years. I also gave up a pair of teeny tiny jeans that I could wear as a Freshman in high school that I don’t think I will EVER fit in again! That was very hard to let go…I had always saved them for they day that I might fit into them, but size 0 isn’t really realistic for most of us…!

    I am taking my things to a place called Rag-O-Rama that gives cash or store credit for clothes that you bring in. I hope to make a little extra cash!

    Thanks for a motivating post!

  • For those prom dresses or wedding dresses, I recommend finding a charity to donate them to. After our wedding, I found a charity that sells the dresses and uses the profits to fund wishes for women with terminal breast cancer. Not only do I not have a huge dress in my closet (that I know I will never wear again), but I have the joy of helping someone.

    For anyone who is thinking about doing this, also ask your dry cleaner if they will clean the dress as part of the donation. Mine did, which saved me the cost of cleaning it.

    I also kept the veil and shawl from the dress – I liked keeping something small for the memory, and I have been able to use the shawl again. The fabric in it matches the fabric used in the dress, so it is a great memory.

  • Another job well done! 🙂

    I saw that show Hoarders once. It made me really sad. I couldn’t believe people really live like that.
    In the show that I saw they had two cases and one was from an old guy having a yard full of junk.
    The poor man was crying and said he would die if they take away his stuff.

    I never saw the show again, made me too sad…..

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