Organized

Seven steps to closet HEAVEN

So, you should be in the car and at least four miles down the road and instead, you are on your knees hurling shoes behind you not caring whom they hit and maybe even hoping for contact. You’re frustrated and late and if you’re like me … SUPER annoyed that you’ve started sweating and now curly hair is now a complete fail.

Life with a cluttered closet is like that.

So, you decide to make a change. Maybe you take over the closet in the hallway, or by the front door. You could even take over your husbands closet or his space in your shared closet at least. (Let’s be honest – he has too much of it anyway. How many hobby t-shirts should one person own anyway?) Your shoes are DYING to breathe.

Ok, you you could do that – if you haven’t already OR you could do this:

begin with the end in mind

1. BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re never gonna get there.” 

What does your perfect closet look like?

I’m serious, what does it look like? If you don’t have a clear idea about what you want, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you will never get it.

PICTURE YOUR PERFECT PLACE

Are all of your shoes displayed? Are your sweaters neatly folded? Can you see the floor and the walls? Do all of the hangers match? What is hanging in this perfect closet of yours? Does everything fit? Is everything wearable?

Once you’ve seen the future, prepare for it!

2. TAKE EVERYTHING OUT

 

Everything.

 

 

HANG ON!

Even these?

Temptation: Should you remove these hangers? I mean, they are good hangers. Someone could use them. It seems like a waste to throw them away or not to use them. What am I, too good for unmatched hangers?

Truth: In this closets vision we saw matching hangers, so these need to find a new home. We gave ours to a relative who recently moved into their own place.

Getting the closet ready is part of the process of putting it back together. 

Closet 14

The canvas is ready. Let’s pick out paint!

      FIND ALL YOUR CLOTHES, ACCESSORIES COUNT!

By this time you have moved everything out of your closet and into a pile in a different room. But, unless you never store an out of season item anywhere else, you’ll need to make the pile bigger before we can sort it out.

Find your winter jackets, summer flip flops – anything that you have stored in another room or a different place. Closets, drawers, attics, basement, your sisters closet, your car…  Whatever, where ever. Find it, and pile it.

TIP* if you have a bin of winter clothes, take the items out of the bin. If you have shoes in the box, take them out.

3. TOUCH EVERYTHING

If you see a shirt and touch it. Do you love it? You may realize, it’s not the shirt you love. It may be what it represents.

I recently gave away a pair of shoes that I’ve been carrying around for 13 years. They were a sentimental pair of men’s size 13 shoes and I didn’t love them. I loved the person who last wore them.

If you love it, it stays. If you don’t LOVE it, it goes.

Sort shirts with shirts (I love you, I love you not), pants with pants, shoes with shoes, etc.

If you have never done this with your closet, your piles should be about the same size when you are finished.

 

4. FOLD, FOLD, FOLD

If you’ve made it this far, you’re in the home stretch and this is getting fun!

Fold all your foldable clothes. We chose to add containers to this closet to use every inch of space. Each container holds anywhere from 3 pair of jeans to 15 t-shirts. All folded and easy to see.

I try to encourage a kind of folding that will keep things neat for years to come.

Watch my mentor explain the art of folding.

 

5. HANG, HANG, HANG

Hang anything that needs a hanger now. (And these should be the first items you put back in your closet!)

closet-15.jpg
PROGRESS!

You may find a few items that you don’t LOVE on second touch. Discard them immediately.

Do not give space to anything you do not LOVE.

You might be tempted to quit, or put things on hold about now. Please keep going!

The biggest killer of progress is lack of momentum. If you are rolling, keep rolling. Roll right over that finish line!

 

6.  PUT THINGS AWAY!

This is my favorite part of any organizing project. I love finding a home for each item I have decided to keep.

Closet 10

In this closet, you may notice we had to add a shelf. (Hey, sometimes you need to do that!)

The purses are full of purses and  the shoe box is full of out of season shoes.

In this closet we found space for:

Winter clothes, summer clothes, summer shoes, winter shoes (including boots!), winter jackets and coats (there are 3), shorts and leggings, and those are just the things you can’t see!

There is nothing in this closet that is not in consistent use.

Imagine how much time you would save not scrolling by those items you scroll by every day…

Before you crack the champagne, remember the last step:

7. MOVE ALL DISCARDS OUT!

Why is this part of the closet? After all these items are not longer residing in my closet…  Adding this step to your list ensures your won’t have to touch the bags, boxes and piles again. It also ensures you won’t make a different decision about the items in a moment of weakness.

Keep the momentum going and get the discards gone.

Be sure to move the discarded ple out of your home as soon as possible. If you are able, take it to the donation center today!

You may feel compelled to give a few items to friends or family members.

Before you do, consider this: Is the item something they need and will LOVE?

If you can’t say yes to both of those questions, you might be doing them a bigger favor by discarding the items yourself.

I have a sister that is very sentimental. I am careful about what I give her because I know that when the time comes to discard it, she may be riddled with guilt because I am her favorite sister, and she loves me so much and I “gifted” this item to her…

If you love someone, give them a gift they need and will love. Otherwise, can you even call it a gift?

Closet 8

Here is the final discard pile, it left with me and was donated within 24 hours.

 

 

If you can dream it, you can do it.

Just be sure you make your decisions with the

finish line

in mind…

Organize.WNY

 

 

 

 

 

Organized

More Boxes

More Boxes

For years my passion was easy to explain and clearly defined. I was on a corporate track motivating and inspiring people to a greater existence of sorts. It was always easy to fill out the section of any questionnaire that asked “what is your passion?” No matter what the flavor of the company’s quarter was, for me it was always people.

So, when I took the leap and made a career change, it took me a hot minute to find the same level of passion once again. Is it still people? Is it organizing? I mean, I went from a team of 50 to organizing closets. Lets’s keep it real, it was a bit of a crawl compared to my previous heart racing hustle. I kept wondering, would anything I do in a closet really make a difference? Could I really motivate and inspire people? On any level?

For a few weeks I wondered if I was even close to the right path. But somewhere between deliberating about a number of hens (not kidding) and looking for a place to store pens, I found zen. And I get it. Well, I got it anyway. My passion, my proverbial “reason for this season”. I got that “click” that information seekers like myself live for. And here it is:

When an estate is in order, life quickly follows.

                                                                                   Unfortunately, the opposite is also true.

I have never been able to sit down at a cluttered desk and work to my best, most productive potential. I mean, I can work – don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a mental block about a pile of old magazines and coffee cake crumbs on my keyboard. I’d just rather not. You’re more likely to find me cleaning the space first, then sitting down and quickly taking care of business. There is something to be said though for starting a project in an organized space. It’s not just nice to look at, it truly is peace.

When all of my tangible possessions are in place, I am so much more free then to organize the intangible parts of my life that DO, in fact leave clutter and cause chaos.  

Have you ever needed to make a decision about something but just can’t? Maybe it’s a family trip or a work related issue or even dinner. Do you ever find yourself making seemingly rushed (and possibly poor) decisions when you really needn’t be rushed? I have truly come to believe that some of that can come from the clutter we have lying around our lives. Whether it be inside your home or inside your head, I believe if left unchecked it can become debilitating.

When the outward environment is in check we are forced to look inward.

On the other hand, unmasking our clutter and freeing up our minds to conquer our lives can be somewhat daunting, I’m sure. Consider the extreme case of the woman who won’t part with her 1,562 empty jars of peanut butter. When she finally has nothing but a clean, streamlined space to sit in, what then? What to think of? What to do? When the outward environment is in check we are forced to look inward. And, I am guessing that whatever makes us hold onto 1,562 empty peanut butter jars is a pretty big something. Quite possibly something we’d rather not deal with at all.

But, what’s the alternative? Every professional organizers least favorite words of course,  “more boxes” !!

After all, it’s much easier to buy a box and then proceed to buy the contents of that box over and over again when you need and can’t find them. More costly? Absolutely. But, without a doubt, easier.

And so it is with our mind too, isn’t it? If we grab a new and shiny box and put all of that mental clutter (for me it has been things like grief, unforgiveness, jealousy, self pity) in the new box, well then of course we wouldn’t have to deal with it. We could put a top on it and store it neatly away, keeping up the appearance of a tidy free zone. But, nothing is ever that simple.

Nothing is ever “just a box”. 

When we choose to put that stuff, all gnarled up and rancid, in a box to rot we inevitably lose out on the lessons to be learned from dealing with the contents of that box. And so without the lessons and the growth (however painful) we would have gained, we just… well, do it again. And again, and again and again and again. But here’s the thing… and these are my questions:

There’s still a rotting pile of junk we need to sift through holding up a mountain of more and it wasn’t built to be a foundation, right? Do we eventually notice the pile teetering? Will that first big box of issues someday just collapse under the pressures of failing repetition? Will our failure to act, in fact be the death of us?

I keep thinking back to an extreme case of hoarders in which a husband and wife were found quite literally buried alive in their own home due to the things they piled around them for so many years. They were well into their 70’s and had spent too many years walking over, around and one fateful day, under too many boxes they didn’t have the strength to sort through.

Learning is uncomfortable. 

I would imagine that when faced with the real, deep down issues of that piece of paper we just can’t part with and the toppling tower of terror it will surely become if we don’t, we might get a little uncomfortable. But, an old friend once told me that “learning is uncomfortable” and if that’s the case I’m right on track, because my closet seems a little cramped right now and I should probably absolutely apologize to my husband for not noticing that he cleaned the kitchen earlier this afternoon.