I have too much stuff. As if our home isn’t small enough, at just over 1100 square feet of quirky, Salt Spring building, I have a bit of a hoarding problem. I have been slowly getting better at routinely going through things to remove excess clutter, but I still have a ways to go. Having the little munchkin, now too, with all of the toys and clothes that she is given and outgrows, adds an extra element to this challenge. But it needs to happen, as my mind and my whole life just feels so much more peaceful when I have my ducks in a row, and can easily see and know what items we have in our house. That’s why I included the word “organization” in my New Year’s Resolutions, with the specific goal of downsizing my wardrobe. So here’s how it’s gone so far.
I started with a closet, door hangers, and large chest of drawers, full to the brim with an insane amount of clothing items. My goal was to cut down my section of closet space to only 40 hangers worth of clothing. I’m at 50, BUT that is down from well over 70 hangers, and I did add my “light sweater/covers” collection into the closet from the door hangers, since it makes more sense to have as much as I can together, to really see what I have to work with when it’s time to get dressed. I went through (almost) everything, and chose some of my favourite items to keep for sure, and a few to keep as they actually are quite nice on me but I rarely see them hiding in with all of the excess. When I was done, you would never know that the giant pile of clothing I gathered of stuff to get rid of was only one of many piles I made in purging over the past year.
When a situation – like my overflowing wardrobe – gets to be so much, it’s overwhelming and I have a hard time properly going through and dealing with it. This is how I was feeling when starting out with my little closet project, so I figured out a way to make it easier on myself. With my daughter, she has so many clothes we’ve acquired, many of which are too big and needed to be stored elsewhere than her drawers until they are within the realms of fitting her. At first I had organized her too-big clothes into bins of 3-month increments, but have moved to a 2-bin system of clothing grouped by season – spring/summer and fall/winter. This system has been serving us well with her tiny little munchkin clothes, so I figured it was time to divide my closet into seasonal bins, too. I took out every item in my whole wardrobe that was only practical to wear once it starts to warm up. I didn’t bother to sort through and get rid of anything in the “spring/summer” stock yet. That will be another task for another day. Possibly before the time for digging into those duds, if I’m feeling motivated, but more likely I’ll wait until spring arrives and make choices that will better suit my style and body-size then (change is a constant overachiever in my life). When the time comes, the one large bin I’ve used for “spring/summer wear” will be added to my wardrobe, and the sweaters, sweater dresses, and heavier clothes will go back into the bin to be saved away for when the weather starts to chill off again. I will be forced to re-evaluate my clothing choices each season as I switch the bins, if nothing else.
I’ve already noticed a huge difference in my life, with just this one purging and reorganization. I can SEE my clothes. Clothes I actually like and wear consistently, as well as a few things that I haven’t worn much because I couldn’t even notice them in the abyss that was my closet. This makes getting dressed a much quicker process, with fewer choices and better visual options. It also has drastically reduced the amount of clothes that I try on and discard on the bed/floor/elsewhere in my search for something to wear, leaving our room tidier.
I’m certainly not done yet, but I’m well on my way. It will feel so good to have less stuff, and to have the stuff that’s left more organized.