I love fall—the colorful leaves, the chill in the air, apple picking. Even though it’s still scorching in Boston I can feel fall right around the corner, which means it’s time for fall clothes. Before the fall clothes, however, comes the fall closet cleaning ritual.
I’ll be honest, I clean out my closet so often that people use the term “obsessive,” so it’s not like my fall closet cleaning ritual is that different from my spring ritual, or my summer ritual….But since I’m something of a self-taught expert in the closet cleaning/closet reorganization/decluttering area, I think I can give you some advice.
I know the state of our closets is frequently not at the front of our minds, but I’m a firm believer that our environment affects how we feel. I can’t relax if I’m in a house full of clutter. I may be more sensitive to this than many people due to some serious neuroses acquired growing up in a cluttered environment, but I think everyone is negatively affected by clutter to some extent. Even if having your closet in perfect order isn’t necessary in order for you to be happy, you have to agree that it’s easier to find your clothes if your closet is shipshape and fall is the perfect transition time to make this happen.
Now, how to begin the fall closet clean out. The first and most important rule is to pick only ONE part of the closet to work on at a time. Do it section by section. If you try to tackle the whole thing at once it will be too much and you will be overwhelmed and give up. Trust me. OR you will end up with piles of clothes on the backs of every chair in the vicinity and they will remain there for weeks.
So pick a section of the closet, or a category of clothing, to work on first. I start with shoes because they feel like the easiest to handle. I separate them into categories—tall boots, short boots, flats, etc. I look through each category and make sure I still like everything. This is the part that I have to really concentrate for. It’s too easy to just throw something back in the pile even though I don’t love it and never wear it. I have a tendency to save things because I feel like I might need them or should keep them just in case, even though I know I haven’t worn them in years because they make me feel frumpy.
For those of you doing the Make It Real! Makeover Challenge, this advice is going to seem a bit premature since we haven’t finished our vision boards yet. Without having done that, how can we possibly know what our final style is going to be? What if we throw something out and then realize it was perfect for our new style? If you are doing the challenge, use this time to clean and organize your closet. I know how easy it is to throw things on the shelf and say you’ll fold it later, but later ends up being a long way off. So take things out, clean the shelves, organize the clothes. If there’s something you know isn’t right for you, now is the time to finally let it go.
Whether or not you’re doing the challenge, fall is almost here. It’s the perfect time to clean your closets. Just remember to take it one step at a time. Once you’ve done one section, look at how organized it is. Appreciate how everything there is something you actually love to wear. Then when you feel refreshed start on the next. If you break it down into small steps you’ll be done before you know it, just in time for all of those fabulous fall clothes. Since I’m doing the challenge, my closet will be finished just in time to see the results and analysis of my vision board. Perfect timing, so I can fill the empty closet space with perfect pieces that I know are right for me.
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