August 22, 2011
I just read a really great article on Oprah’s website with the focus of cleaning out a clothes closet. It seems that Oprah talked her best friend, Gayle, into letting some top-notch professional organizers help her clean out and organize her closet. By the way, Gayle’s closet is the size of a small bedroom, the envy of nearly every women on earth.
The organizers put Gayle through the normal discernment of her clothes using three categories; what to keep, what to toss, and they cleverly created a category called “archive” which were clothes that had a sentimental value. (I give my clients an additional category, donate, because there so many people who need clothing due to the current economy, also because donations are a tax deduction).
There was certainly a noticeable improvement between the before and after pictures of Gayle’s closet and everyone was thrilled with the outcome. I noticed, however, that something was missing from the article that would have been of benefit to anyone who has gone through the time and effort to organize their clothes closet. How do you actually decide which category your clothes should fall into.
For those of you who find it difficult to let go of things, the remainder of this article will focus on the steps necessary to successfully de-clutter and organize a space, and the questions you will need to ask yourself when going through the discernment process.
Lets imagine we are de-cluttering a clothes closet.
Step 1. . Get 4 rather large cardboard boxes (8 if you have a walk-in closet) and with a marker, mark each one according to the list below:
- not sure
Step 2: Remove everything from the closet as quickly as you can and lay them on your bed or the floor if necessary. (To avoid a time-wasting trap, avoid touching the items for too long because you could start reminiscing and this isn’t the time for it.)
Step 3: Quickly pick up one item at a time and ask yourself the following “WASTE” questions about each one:
When did I last wear this; Am I able to fit into it today; Is it Stained or Torn; Did I Ever wear it?
- When did I last wear this? If you can’t answer this IMMEDIATELY, or it has been at least 12 months since you wore it, it goes, END OF STORY! Put it into the donate box if it is in good shape, toss box if it’s not.
- Am I able to fit into it TODAY? The answer is either YES or NO, not maybe, or I might be able to. If yes, it goes into the keep box, if no, put it in the donate box.
- Is it Stained or Torn? The answer is either YES or NO, not maybe.. If yes, put it in the toss box.
- Did I Ever wear it? The answer is either YES or NO. If you honestly can’t remember, put it in the not sure box.
Follow this process for your clothes, shoes, purses, belts, hats, gloves, etc. In no time you will have rid yourself of closet clutter.
Stay tuned for more information about how to organize your closet now that it is de-cluttered.
All Content Copyright Barbara Nichols 2011