Bags, Boxes & Big Plans: Getting Ready to Get Organized

Bags, Boxes & Big Plans: Getting Ready to Get Organized

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Janel Laban
Sep 9, 2015
(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Today is the day to get ready for the big closet and wardrobe cleanout that you know you are going to be so happy to be on the other side of. And you know that anything worth doing is worth doing well. And you know that the best way to do something well is to have a plan in place, prepare what you need to follow that plan and then just do it (and don't give up; but of course, you aren't going to do that, especially if you are prepared!). So today is all about the plan and the preparation. Tomorrow, we'll get into the "just do it" part.

Here's the plan: I'm going to send you 9 more emails. Each one will have an assignment and as you complete them, you'll be creating a pared down wardrobe, cleaner closets and drawers and will have far less of the clutter that is currently getting in the way of you looking and feeling your best.

I'm going to break the big job down into specific bits; some small, some bigger, some that might apply to you, some that won't. But, no matter how much or how little you need to do, at the end, your closet will definitely be in better shape than it is right now. For much of the Closet Cure, we're going to work our way through sorting the pieces in single "sections" of our wardrobe. each time using the same process, one section and one step at a time. Here is the process, in a nutshell. We're going to:

1. Take all the stuff from that assignment's wardrobe "section" OUT of wherever it is. I know, its messy to take it all out, but its just one section, and sometimes you have to make a little mess to ultimately end up with a less of a mess. Trust me: worth it.

2. Sort each item that you've taken out into one of the following places

  • back into the closet or drawer
  • into a temporary "maybe" bag
  • into bags for dry cleaning, alterations or repair
  • into a bag for selling (or swapping)
  • into a bag for donating
  • into the rag bag or trash

3. Recognize that some things are going to be easy to sort. Your favorite dress is going to be a keeper. That sweater that is suuuuper itchy is going to be a no. Many other things are somewhere in between. I want you to be tough and remember, you will be happier, look better and will thank yourself if you full on DO THIS THING now, once and for all, so really think about each piece and don't be on autopilot for the decision process. It can be exhausting and even emotionally jarring, but we're going to do this step by step, together, so remember you're only going to have to deal with one section at a time. It's important that you don't try and do it all at once.

Ok, so for all of these things that you aren't 100% yes! or 100% no!, which is going to be (should be!) lots of them, you'll put them through a specific sorting process, which I will outline for you tomorrow.

In addition to the sorting part of the Closet Cure, we'll build in time for the dry cleaning, repairs, donating and all the rest of that good stuff. We'll also look at ways to reorganize and optimize the space in your closet and drawers to make the trimmed down wardrobe that you end up with neater, cleaner and easier to manage.

Today's Assignment:

Let's get those boxes or bags ready to roll for your first wardrobe section sort tomorrow. You will want plenty of boxes or bags, enough to have :

  • a "maybe" bag/box
  • a "dry cleaning" bag/box
  • an "alterations/repairs" bag/box
  • a "shoe repair" bag/box
  • a "sell/swap" bag/box
  • a "donate" bag/box
  • a laundry basket
  • a trash bag

Ok, that is...8 in total. And, if you have lots of stuff, you might need multiples of each type, so plan accordingly and have extras on hand. Procure, secure and otherwise do whatever you need to do to get your bags and boxes together today, so you'll be ready to go tomorrow, no excuses. If you are using garbage bags, grab some masking tape and a marker to make labels and just go for it. For paper bags, shopping bags, or boxes, simply label them with your marker.

When you are done gathering and labeling your first bunch of bags or boxes, STOP. Don't start sorting. Don't stress about sorting. Don't even THINK about sorting. Don't get discouraged or start worrying about the fact that you have too much stuff. Just get your supplies together and be happy you took the first step to curing your closet. GOOD FOR YOU.

PS - I'm sure everyone is curious about the rest of the Closet Curers this time around. If you'd like to introduce yourself, share thoughts or suggestions, requests, tips, etc in the comments below, please do...and welcome!

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