Cleaning out your closet can be a challenge to start with. Taking the time to purge the excess clothing with a whole closet cleanout can be time-consuming. When your closet is jammed packed to overflowing it can be overwhelming. I have a few suggestions for overcoming the overwhelm 30 minutes at a time.
Surprisingly, I have done this for years without the aid of Pinterest, decluttering books, or other blogs. I know that is really hard to believe but it is the truth. Now days decluttering has definitely become a trend. We have bought so much stuff that we, as a nation of excess, border on hoarding. As a nation, we spend 38 billion dollars annually for storage buildings. That is a staggering amount. But that is for another time and another post.
My closet cleanout would usually happen twice a year, at the change of seasons. In Texas, we only have two seasons – hot and cold. Oh, and that can happen on the same day. I didn’t do it as a personal challenge. It just needed to be done so I could move tank tops in and sweaters out.
It has been two years since I have attacked my closet. Why has it been so long? My hubby passed away in May a year ago. Several months after he left, I cleaned out HIS CLOSET. That was as far as I could go at that time. As the season changed from hot to cold, instead of sorting out the good bad and the ugly of my clothes I just moved my hot weather clothing over to his closet. I just didn’t want to take the time to really sort through everything as I would normally do.
It was time to do this. Since it had been almost two years since I had touched it, my closet was definitely a jam-packed mess.
What was so bad was that all three hooks in the LAUNDRY ROOM were filled. It was REALLY time to do this!
I picked a day but decided to experiment on myself to see if a 30-minute Closet Cleanout Challenge would actually work before I shared it with you. And guess what? It did! It actually worked! The reason it worked is that I did one small section at a time. That’s what I want to challenge you to do. Take 30 minutes and work on one small section at a time.
You can download this FREE printable to help you with this challenge.
You know the saying. “How do you eat an elephant?” “One bite at a time.” I have used that quote before and if you spend any time in “My Hall Closet” you will hear it again and again. Because it works. It is the best way to defeat overwhelm. Just start!
Making hard decisions can be hard, so let’s make this fun. How about using the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly as a guide?
Let’s do this!
Set your timer for 30 minutes.
Step One: To start the cleanout, remove one section of clothes from your closet. eg. pants, blouses, shirts, t-shirts, dresses, etc.
I have 3 racks but if you only have one closet rod so that it is just one big section. Simply grab out a section of garments. Lay them on a bed or table.
Note: a great way to start is to make sure all your clothes are washed, dried and hung up. But if that is not a possibility, don’t let that stop you. Just dive right in. Grab that section of clothes and get started.
Step Two: Now sort out the Good, the Bad, the Ugly. Make 3 stacks
The good gets to stay. Donate or sell the bad will be donated or sold. And it goes without saying but I am going to say it anyway – the Ugly is trash.
The Good: How do you know if it’s GOOD?
- You love it.
- It fits well.
- You get compliments when you wear it.
- All of the above but it’s out of season. It still gets to stay.
The Bad: What do I consider BAD?
- It doesn’t fit anymore
- It hasn’t been out of the closet in over a year
- It is no longer in style.
- All of the above but you still don’t think you can remove it from your closet. You are the boss of your closet.
The UGLY? What is the ugly? I bet you already know.
Stack the ugly on the floor. DO IT!!! This is the hardest one but it helps the most. Your closet cleanout challenge is almost complete.
- It might look great but the zipper is broken AND you are not going to fix it.
- It is in style, the color is good but the manufacturer made it with a fabric that pills or pulls.
- You just don’t like the way you feel or look when you wear it.
- You will NEVER be that size again!!!
- All of the above and it’s been more than 5 years since it has been out of the closet.
Step Three: Put the pieces in their place! You are the boss of your closet!!!
The Good gets to stay.
This shirt gets to stay. And even though it is long sleeved and it is summertime, it stays. There are a few eating places that I go to that are always so cold. I grab this shirt on my way out the door. And I do love JUNKIN’ ROAD TRIPS.
Those GOOD pieces go back in your closet. If it’s out of season and you have another closet, put those pieces in a different closet. If you only have one closet, put the out of season pieces to the back of that section.
Section your pieces out by pants, blouses or tops, dresses, etc.
The BAD has to go!!!
Kitty No say, “The bad has got to go!” Give it away, donate it, or sell it! Let it go !!!
Goodwill or thrift shops will take your donations. DO NOT GIVE THEM THE UGLY!!! Don’t give them dirty clothes, either. Think about it. If you were the one to have to handle the donation that you just dropped off, how would it make you feel? If you plan to sell the ugly, get it done. Don’t put it off. Don’t keep holding on to those pieces.
The UGLY is TRASH!!!
These are NOT the UGLY. I am showing you these because of the message.
Let me just tell you, that to conquer the closet overwhelm and finish the closet cleanout challenge, you are going to have to be brave and courageous. You are stronger and smarter than your mess of clothes. They are not helping you. And you have the power over the stack of UGLY.
Get a big trash sack. Get a dark one that you can’t see through. Take a deep breath and put all the UGLY in the sack and take it to the dumpster!!!
DING!!! DING!!! DING!!!
What did you get done in half an hour? Did you do it?
I am so proud of you.
If you didn’t get it done in the time you set for yourself don’t get discouraged. Don’t give up! Finish that one section. Reward yourself. But you might think twice before you reward yourself with another t-shirt.
Just keep going and eat that elephant one bite at a time.
You will be amazed at how good it feels to have the clutter cleared away. You will be able to see and select the clothes you love to wear, the ones that make you feel good about yourself when you put them on.
Just a note – this works in your spiritual life too: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
The Good – “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:14-15
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
The Bad – “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold…” Ephesians 4:25-27
The Ugly – “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice.” Ephesians 4:31
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’til next time,