Closet Clearing and Organizing

Amy van Arsdale's ClearedSpaces.com is a lifestyle service committed to providing a more luxurious and smartly appointed living space. Clear your space and you will clear your mind.

March 21st, 2017 No Comments

If you have a cluttered, poorly decorated or somewhat disorganized living space, home relaxation can be virtually impossible! For some, the most challenging tasks we face in our circle of home chaos can be parting with objects and clothes we love that are no longer serving us. Why is this? What is it about clothes, and other possessions, that brings up a palpable sense of loss when we think of separating from them? They are not living. They do not love us back. So what causes this and how can we work through it so that we can reach the peace of a pared down life?  

By spending money on an article of clothing or other items, we’ve traded away the possibility of spending that money on some other thing that we desire now. So choosing to give up an item that you’ve paid for can bring up these very strong feelings of guilt/loss. It isn’t so much the item that we fear losing, it’s the lost opportunities that we ponder.

It might not be easy, but tossing out or donating items/clothes is key to making room in your home.  Take the closet, I advise my clients to donate anything they haven’t worn in more than two years that has no intrinsic value.  I’m not opposed to keeping your “skinny” clothes (and I know we all do) but for goodness sakes, you don’t need to keep all of it.  Styles change, your tastes change, your body shape changes so chances are good that when you get back to that size, you’re going to want new stuff anyway.  Ask yourself if you’d buy this item today, or if it is worthy enough to take up space in my closet?  Like those business suits from before you were a Mom and now wearing yoga pants all day with the kids. Or the sweaters that you’ve had for 10 years that have reindeers dashing along the front.  Ask yourself “Do these serve me now?”

Spring is coming and it is a great time to peel back the heavy layers and freshen up your look. If you’re one of the lucky ones that has a large enough closet with no need to rotate seasonally, then keep jeans and t’s folded from light to dark in a drawer or hanging basket, all heavy sweaters should be folded while lighter sweaters can be hung. For blouses and dresses, I recommend hanging by color rather than length. I also like to start with strapless and go to long-sleeve. Never leave your dresses, or any other clothes, in the dry cleaning or plastic garment bags. The chemicals from dry cleaning attack the fibers of your clothing and cause damage. I like purses out of their dust bags and to have as many visible as possible. It’s hard to change bags if you can’t see them. They don’t generally get damaged out of their dust bags, so enjoy the view. Scarves folded in piles by color and material works best, and makes it easy to pull one out without ruining the organization of the rest. As you purge, make a list of new fresh clothes you may need and keep it in your purse when out shopping.

For hats, I love hatboxes. Take photos of the hats and glue them to the outside of their boxes. I prefer shoes out of the box organized by color and style with the right shoe toe and left shoe heel facing out because it saves space.  I always hide tennis shoes and flip-flops in a basket down below. As for jewelry, I am partial to built-in drawers in one’s closet or dresser in order to keep things neat and uncluttered. It’s also a great way to see what you have and makes it easy to keep hidden from plain sight. Jewelry is also a huge clutter bug.  If you are not wearing it, check out pawnshops or estate jewelers. They usually pay well.  Maybe take the money to buy a new piece that matches your style today?

Remember, just because you have the space for something doesn’t mean you have to fill it. Check your closet. There may be plenty of perfectly good clothes better suited for someone else. If you think you could use some assistance and you’re interested in hiring a professional to help you purge and organize your home or closet, contact Amy van Arsdale at clearedspaces.com/917 626-6919

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