Elements of Style: Spring Cleaning for the Overwhelmed STEP 1

Cleaning the Closet: Oh what Fun!
Step 1: Is it time to clean your closet? 
So the weather outside may be chilly, but we all know spring is here. I mean we’re already seeing commercials for Fourth of July so we better start enjoying our spring blooms and cool weather before summer hits. With spring, comes the usual spring cleaning. (oh Joy!)  Now, I clean everyday as I’m sure you do. Dishes, laundry, more dishes, more laundry. Not to mention our rooms, bathrooms, ect. But since the everyday duties often take precedent, the bigger stuff like the garage, the cabinets, tool shed, and of course the closet get left on that infamous “To Do” list.
Unless you have a professional who helps clean your closet weekly, then we are in the same boat. I love clothes. What I dread is keeping the closet clean.
Now, I’m sure many of you have heard of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up…”

It’s a great book and enlightening. A lot of truth in that book and great advice, so I won’t want to reiterate what she already said. Instead, I want to take things a bit slower. For the those who get overwhelmed and have a tendency to procrastinate, (i.e. me) then what I would like to offer is not just empathy but perhaps some tips that have worked with me. 

Doing any big project can be daunting, so instead of facing it head on, some of us tend to fall into the comfortable world of avoidance. But instead of having a magically fairy that would clean up everything, things tend to get worse. So I would back up a bit, and start from the beginning. I once read a wonderful bit of advice from a life coach and she said if you are going to a large task, break it down in small steps. Like cleaning the fridge, do one level at a time per day, or if that’s too much just wipe the edges or clean the handles. 

Now, if we were going to do shirt by shirt, dress by dress, well maybe by Christmas you’ll be done.  Perhaps instead what may work for you is to do it in chucks.  So I divide my into four sections. I have the floor which includes a plastic container for purses, the clothes, a cabinet for all my extra beauty stuff I buy in bulk such as shampoo, toothpastes, or just extra perfumes and some jewelry I used daily.  Then the overhead stuff (this can get really messy cause I throw clothes up there) and boxes. (I love perfume boxes but I have to watch out and not become a “collector.” 

So last Sunday, I began the journey of cleaning my closet and chose the biggest chunk: the clothes. 

Here is what I did….Hopefully it will help any one out there who just is ready to take make their closets into something as beautiful and zen like as their lives. 

1. When do you know it is time to clean? Either you do it every three months or you start noticing signs such as:

  • Clothes are starting to collect and form piles and you notice little piles all along the floors.
  • You’ve noticed several pair of pants and skirts hung up on the same hanger. 
  •  You have begun to notice some of your favorite clothes are missing, lost in the bottomless pit of the laundry basket.  Literarily, you cannot find anything to wear.
  • Your hangers look like crooked jagged teeth. Instead of hanging all in unison, there are some hangers that are sticking straight out. 
  •      When you walk in your closet, you feel a sense of heaviness, of dust like you just can’t wait to get out there. You just close your eyes, get your outfit and run out of there, afraid some type of critter is living in those piles. 
  •      You have had nothing in your “donate to charity” bag for over a year.    
  •     Almost 1/4 or more of your clothes is outdated, or consists of outfits you never wear, are in need care such as mending or are waiting for you to lose that weight. 
  •    Your recent outfits are still in the shopping bags because there are no hangers or no room to hang them. 
If you have answered yes to one or more, then it is time to get your closet in order. Yes, the first step is to admit you have a messy closet, and get out of denial. I know it’s scary, overwhelming….but so is living with piles of clothes on the floor. So take a BEFORE photo if you want, you may want to snap a shot at the end of the process and send your before and afters to me at mswriter@outlook.com

Once you answer these, this i just the prep. We have next to choose a day and time and get a few organizational tips.  
Now, let’s begin.
Part 2 coming up. 
©Gaya Lynn 2016

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