Wednesday, January 10, 2018

New Closet, New Mindset

If you saw my last post then you’ll already know that I’m making some changes and adding different kinds of content to Beautiful Basics. One of those topics is organization and it seemed like the only proper first post of the year, right?

I've been tidy and organized for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a little girl I spent hours upon hours the week leading up to Christmas organizing my room and decluttering. And then, in the week after Christmas, I like to do it again to give all of the beautiful gifts I received a proper home. Maybe it's OCD, maybe it's just being super diligent about having what I need and loving what I have. Either way, I really enjoy it.

This year, in my stocking, I received Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up. I was familiar with it and its basic principals before I opened it up since it's wildly popular but I'm super excited to actually own it. I devoured in a few short hours and while some aspects of the book are downright bizarre a lot of it is so helpful. It is kind of life-changing because it provides a new frame of mind.

In keeping with my own tradition, I went on a heavy organizational/cleaning/decluttering binge right after Christmas keeping the principals of the KonMari method in mind but also using my own organizational theories. I wanted to get everything in order before the clock struck midnight on New Year. I was so desperate to get it all perfected before we welcomed in the new year and somehow, I managed (with help, of course) to get it all done.

I did this in all aspects of my home. I kept only the makeup I enjoy using and that I will use. I kept only the books that I really love.  I got rid of the pans that no longer work well (we actually got a whole new set). I got rid of all of the pieces of jewelry I don’t wear and only kept the pieces that mean the world to me. I got rid of any beauty products I don’t really like. I decluttered everything. I organized everything.

I am (still) so tired, truly beyond exhausted, but I’m proud of how much we tidied up our lives. It feels great to have no unwanted things cluttering my home or being part of my life when they didn’t need to be. I feel lighter, fresher, and ready to tackle whatever comes my way in 2018!

Anyway, this post isn’t intended to be about the KonMari method but I highly recommend the book to all of you. This series is going to be about how I organize things and tips for you but this post, in particular, is about my closet.

I bought my Mom some velvet hangers (these Amazon Basics ones) for Christmas after she mentioned in passing how much she’d like to change out her hangers one day. I was a little worried it wasn’t going to make a great Christmas gift but she loves the effect they had in her closet. It decreased the volume of her wardrobe by at least half, just because of the thinness of the hangers. And, of course, we got rid of a few articles of clothing she no longer loved along the way. I loved what it did for her closet so I ordered some for myself.

My closet has never been messy. Well, not in the past 7 or 8 years, anyway. My high school and college closets? Let’s not talk about those because I was a huge fan of the floordrobe back then. I now pride myself on keeping my closet clean, organized and very tidy. I have a nice, large walk-in closet and I regularly go through my clothing by taking each piece out of the closet and trying things on and making sure they’re still in good condition. I now hate the idea of having a lot of excess stuff that I’ll just never wear. I’m one of those people who wear the same 10 pieces over and over again so why do I need 100? The answer is, I don’t.

This is proof that I've always enjoyed decluttering (and especially more so when I have the help of my little furry friend). This is my declutter from 4 years ago. I've done it since but haven't documented the journey.

So, I decluttered and switched hangers. Of course, it wasn’t just as easy as that.  I went through and removed each item from my closet, took it off the hanger, and played it all out on my bed. I made two bags, donate and trash (these both ended up being more than just a bag each, but you get the idea). I picked up each piece of clothing and asked myself the following questions:

-    First of all, is this in good condition? Any stains or tears?
-    Does this fit me? And does it fit me well?
-    Do I actually like this item?
-    Do I wear it and will I ever wear it again?
-    Do I like the way the fabric feels against my skin?
-    Do I feel good about myself in this?
-    Does it make me happy?

Here is the before. Although, this is after I decluttered some. I just really wanted to show you the difference the hangers made in my closet.

I forced myself to be completely honest and if I answered no to anything above then I got rid of the item in question. I only hung things back up that I know I want to wear and that I love. I donated the things I no longer like, the things I hate the feeling of against my skin, and the things I have never worn and tossed out the items that were no longer in good condition. I kept only things I will wear right now, with my body as in (no keeping things for when I gain or lose weight), with my current personal tastes. Instead of keeping items that I thought I could one day wear in a certain setting (like a fancy top or a skirt) I got rid of them. I did, however, keep my nice dresses. They’re stored in another closet.

I got rid of all feelings of guilt, thanked them silently for their service (this is a KonMari thing, and it sounds insane but it actually helps allow me to get rid of things without feeling bad), and kept the things that I truly love and will use.

And here's how it looked after. 

Having a closet full of clothes I like and want to wear is really great. I can go to my closet and pick out any item and know that I’ll love it. They all fit me and feel great. Liking every piece that I own makes it so I don’t ever feel like I don’t have anything to wear. Have you ever opened up your closet and felt that way? It’s the worst.

By the way, I also organized by color but you can do it however you want. I think organization only works when it works for the individual. The book also suggests keeping all clothing in your closet, even if it's not in season, but I chose to keep shorts, rash guards, and bathing suits in my dresser. That's what made the most sense for me.

Doing this whole thing has also kept me from shopping much. It’s made me realize I don’t really need clothes, with a few exceptions here and there. It has made me a much smarter shopper and much less impulsive. Let's be real, I don't really need anything so I have been taking my time to decide if an item I want actually adds value to my closet and/or to my life. I have decided to keep a handwritten list of items that I've found and would like to buy. I'm going to keep going back to the list and making sure I actually want whatever the thing is and if it's still on the list after a month then, and only then, can I buy it. However, I also believe that life is too short to not spoil yourself something.

Oh! And one last thing I want to talk about is not saving items you love for special occasions. I’ve done this in the past and refuse to do it ever again. For example, I wouldn’t wear my favorite jeans or sweater because I wanted to save them for nicer occasions and I didn’t want to “waste” them. The only waste is them not being worn. Life is short, wear your nice clothing.

So, that was it. The first post of the new Beautiful Basics, but not the last. I’ll be posting more about organization in the future and showing you how I organize and declutter all other aspects of my home, as well. Anyway, let me know if this post was helpful in any way. How do you organize your closet? Do you have any tips you want to share?


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! I've managed to keep it that way so far!

  2. Such lovely criterias on how to decide whether to donate away clothes or not
    Have noted these
    p.s. your cat is ADORABLE <3


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