Setting Yourself Up for Success: The Easy Way to Keep Your Closet Under Control

published Jun 6, 2016
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(Image credit: Vivian Johnson)

You’ve made it! Through sorting and straightening, mixing and matching, you should come out the other side of our two weeks together with a cleaner closet and more organized way of thinking about your wardrobe. Through the processes of decluttering and rebuilding, you hopefully have learned a bit more about your style and what suits you, have pulled together some outfits you like and have a better idea of what you need to add to make even more good looks. But, before you pop the celebratory champagne, you have just a a little more to do…

Get those bags and boxes full of things you set aside to donate, donated!

Today is a key moment. It’s when we clear out all the stuff we’ve decided we no longer need, which is not only a great feeling; it’s an important mental and physical step in your work toward getting your wardrobe under control. I know Mondays can be hectic, but if you can manage to fix this in today, do it. Crossing this chore off your to do list is not something to delay – it can be tempting to stuff the donation bags somewhere to take care of “later” and before you know it, you’ll have been living with them for half a year!

If you truly are unable to fit in making the donation today, please take the time to at least make a decision about where you are going to donate. Check their hours and process and get a drop off (or pick up if it’s available!) date on your calendar for sometime in the next 7 days.

And if you are planning on selling, start your research on the where and how so you can start making some money back.

If you are planning to consign or list some of your clothing for sale (the “sell” bag or box), get started on that project today, too. Do your research to figure out the “where” and the individual processes for getting that show on the road. Find out times for drop off at the consignment shop or figure out what you need to do to set up an online account at wherever you choose to list them – and good luck!

Then, all you need to do is follow through when you have the time in the coming weeks. Good luck to everyone who is going the sales route – I hope you make enough to buy yourself a truly lovely item or two to replace the ones that no longer work well for you.

And, finally, the most important step in the Closet Cure to keep your things under control…

Set up a new, permanent “out” bag, box or basket in (or near) your closet and then make a a commitment to yourself to spend one hour a month, each month moving forward, doing light maintenance to keep up what you’ve created. If you stick to that 60 minutes-or-so-each-month schedule, your closet will be far less likely to get out of control or overcrowded again.

In that monthly maintenance hour, you can:

– Do a quick sort, pulling out anything that you just aren’t wearing, enjoying or feeling good about anymore, and consider putting in into the out box you’ve just set up today. You can try it on or if you are sure, just pop it in for now. Once the outbox, basket or bag is full, you can spend part of your monthly maintenance hour to pack it up and then set the process in motion to donate or sell the items.

– Pull out anything that needs dry cleaning, repairs or alterations and set them next to your front door for the next time you are running errands in the neighborhood.

– Peruse your socks, undies, tights and other hardwearing items to see what needs to go into the rag bag, and add a replacement reminder to your shopping list.

– Straighten the hangers, turning them all in the same direction, zipping and buttoning hanging items as you go. Refold anything that’s gotten stuffed into drawers or stuck on shelves in a messy manner.

– Pat yourself on the back for creating and keeping up a clean, organized wardrobe!

In the meantime, I know we’d all love to hear the final updates and success (or in process!) stories. If you can take the time to share your thoughts on your Closet Cure process and results in the comment thread (for example: how you are feeling about your wardrobe now, how your closet is looking and feeling and maybe even how much you donated/are donating), it would be super fun for everyone to read.

Thanks again for all your energy and help to me and each other during this Cure. Enjoy the fruits of your closet labors and keep up the good work!