Seasons change, lifestyles change, waistlines change, interests change. Whether you are moving off to college, into your first apartment, or onto the next phase of your life, change is inevitable. Consider embracing change by clearing away the clutter that naturally accumulates as we evolve from one place in life to another.
Focus Phrase: “A place for everything, everything in its place.” – Ben Franklin
If you saw the first Sex and the City movie, you may recall the scene where Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha gather together to help Carrie pack her closet and move into a new apartment with Big, her soon-to-be husband. (Well, not super-soon, but by the end of the movie anyway!) They make the chore of packing up years’ worth of clothing accumulation into a party. I wouldn’t model too many of my life decisions after Sex and the City, but this scene has some good takeaways.
Takeaway #1 -Develop a System: Charlotte gets things organized by pulling out the Post-it Notes and proclaiming that PINK is TAKE, PURPLE is TOSS, and YELLOW is STORAGE. I would add a fourth – GREEN for DONATE.
Whether you are moving or just organizing, I suggest emptying the entire closet. Then sort all your items according to a keep, donate, or toss type system. Seeing the closet empty will help you embrace how much or how little room you have before you move the items you are keeping back into the closet or pack them in a box to be moved or stored. While the closet is empty, give it a deep cleaning and consider the best way to arrange what you are keeping.
- keep everyday clothes separate from special occasion clothes
- hang/fold clothes by kind and color to make dressing and pairing separates as simple as possible
- hang/fold shirts by sleeve length and color (camisoles, sleeveless, short sleeve, 3/4 sleeve, long sleeve)
- hang/fold pants and skirts by kind (denim, casual, work)
- hang/store dresses and jackets by length and season
- Jewelry – sort and store earrings, rings, bracelets, and pins in a jewelry organizer or a divided drawer; hang necklaces on a bar to keep them from tangling
- Shoes – sort them by kind and season
- Belts, scarves, hats, miscellaneous – be creative with hanging these items or putting them in bins and baskets
CAUTION: Immediately remove items to be tossed or donated from your home! I have caught myself on more than one occasion sneaking these items back into my closet – Bad, very bad!
Takeaway #2 – Invite Friends: Helping hands and honest input make decluttering much more successful and certainly more fun! In the movie, these friends happily sip champagne as they take a walk down memory lane. Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha hold up TAKE or TOSS signs to weigh in on the outfits Carrie tries on as “Walk This Way” (performed by Run-DMC) plays in the background.
So gather your friends, pop open the bubbly (or beverage of your choice), and cue the music. Some of the clutter in your closet is just outdated and needs to go. If you haven’t worn or used it in a year and your friends aren’t urging you to keep it, then put it in the toss or donate bin. We tend to hold onto things for various reasons which often results in more clutter and emotional baggage than we have room to store! I encourage you to visit Apple and Pear Wardrobe Design where Jennifer Mackey-Mary shares five reasons why we can’t cut the clutter.
Takeaway #3 – Clutter-Free (For Now): As this scene comes to a close, Carrie and her friends have one last group hug in her box-filled apartment. You hear her voice over the scene: “It took four friends three days to put twenty years into thirty-eight boxes.” Finally, Carrie takes one last look around her empty apartment and smiles as she closes the door. End of scene—but not the end of the movie by a long shot. Things lead to other things, and she finds herself in another empty closet trying to sort through a bunch of emotional baggage with the man she loves—you’ll have to watch the movie for all that.
Sometimes this is how decluttering life can go. You sort everything into neat piles, and you make deliberate choices about what to keep and what to toss. But somehow the clutter comes creeping back. The key is knowing that change is inevitable, and we should embrace it. If you grew up in the 80s, you are glad hairstyles and fashion changed, but it was hard letting go. Sometimes you have to let things go to make room for what suits you best in this season of your life. There is a time and a place for everything.
I wish you all the best and thank you for visiting Consider It. I hope to see you back here soon. Please head on over to my Contact Page if you would like to see posts on specific topics or would like to inquire about my freelance writing and editing services. I would love to hear from you.