One of the things that has bothered me most about the way my life has gone off track in the last few years is my lack of organization in the mornings. There are a few places where I'm disorganized, but mostly in my closet. It takes me much longer to get ready for work on my "in the office" days because of the mess in there. I don't wear all that stuff. In fact, the truth is (y'all, don't tell anyone this) I've been known to wear the same black pants all three days I have to go to work. One pair of pants. I should be embarrassed by that, but I'm really not. No one can tell the difference between the same pair of black pants and three different pairs of black pants. Then I get them dry cleaned and wear them again next week. Sometimes the whole week. Why do I need eleventy-dozen pairs of pants if I only really wear one or two pairs?
The answer is simple. I don't. So one of my first steps towards reclaiming my life is to reclaim my closet. If you have the desire to also clean up some part of your life, here's the quick and dirty on how to do it.
1. Be realistic--If it's too small and you wouldn't wear it even if you could wear it, get rid of it. If you might wear it if you could and you are actively working a plan, you can keep it for one season. But if you get to Fall and you didn't wear that cute swimsuit, ditch it. If it's too big, get rid of it. Don't keep around those "fat clothes". Don't give yourself any reason to be okay with skipping workouts or gorging on fudge (are you talking to me?).
2. Be ruthless--If it's uncomfortable (even if it's pretty), get rid of it. If you don't feel good in it (even if it fits), get rid of it. If someone gave it to you and you hate it but you don't want to hurt their feelings, get rid of it. Someone else might love it and that's still good for the world. If it was such a bargain you couldn't pass it up but you haven't worn it in months, get rid of it. You aren't going to wear it, so let it go so someone else can enjoy it.
3. Be relentless--When you get started, carry on. Old sock with holes? Trash them. Underwear you mother wouldn't approve of in case you're in an accident? Gone. Outdated shoes, scarves, stuff in that very bottom drawer you never go into? Get rid of it and make some space for yourself. You'll be so glad you did.
4. Be repetitive--Get an extra laundry basket, line with a garbage bag and keep it near your closet all the time. It'll be easy to toss in things that you no longer need/want, bag it up and take it out on your next trip to Salvation Army. Do the same with books, coffee mugs, office supplies you realize don't work the way you'd have liked and anything your mom gives you that you couldn't turn down but that you realize later you wished you had.
5. Be realistic--Next time you are out (or in) shopping, think first about your newly clean space and whether you really need/want/can use that item you are contemplating. Don't buy right away. Spend some time considering first. If you can't stop thinking about it, it might be a good purchase for you. But if it's easy to walk away, just keep walking.
Maintaining clean surfaces in my home and order in my closet makes a huge difference not only in the time it takes to go somewhere or find things, but also in the way I feel. My stress level goes up in correlation to the size and number of piles. If I can't find a place to rest my eyes from the visual chaos that sometimes starts to encroach, I just don't feel good. These steps improve the quality of my life more than one might think possible. A clean counter top can mean the difference between a good day or a not so good one. A clean closet can mean the difference between being early and being late, a stressed start to the day or a calm one. It's worth it.
It took all day, but my closet is clean. I have one whole empty bin that I'll use for the workout tshirts I can't wear right now. My drawer won't close, so I know I don't need them all, but I want time to see if they'll actually start to fit. If I stop working out, I'll get rid of them, too.
Are you starting the new year with tidier spaces? What are your best tips for keeping things organized? I'd love to hear.
Thanks for being here! Until next time, may the good Lord bless you with just enough.