How to Downsize Your Closet Without Going Nuts

by: Kelly

I recently gleaned an idea about downsizing on stuff by throwing one thing away a day.  While I think that is a good idea, it doesn’t really work for me.  Here’s why… I usually get caught up finding stuff, start going through the entire house, and the next thing I know, everything is a wreck.  So, my suggestion would be to start in one place, whether in one room or in one category.  So, say, like the bedroom, or the cupboards, or the pantry, or closets.  For my example, I will use bedroom closets.  

 If you choose one closet @ a time, you will make less clutter in your house while you sort.

 First sort in categories of : shoes, winter coats, winter clothes, workout clothes, handbags, hanging clothes. 

Boots- I put boots on lower shelves toward the back of the closet since they are used less often.  I have 2 pair:  1 hiking, and 1 rainboot. (Some folks might like these on higher shelves, but I prefer nothing falling on my head.)

Shoes dressy, casual, hiking boots, and rain boots.
House shoes   1 pair (Go on bottom of closet, or on the door shoe organizer.)
Dressy shoes   3 pair   
Flats          1 pair Black and Gray    
Oxfords    2 pair   Flats   1 Pink, 1 Red
Clogs         1 pair   Low heel  slip-on, Tan
Workout   1 pair Reebocks  White 
Flip Flops  3 pair Gray, Brown, Black

Winter Coats         2     Wool Brown 1, Trench 1
Winter Sweaters  1     Turtleneck  Gray sleeveless
Winter Gloves, Hats, Scarf      2     Black  Scarf  Black
(My theory on winter gloves, hats, and scarfs is buy the same color, so if you lose one, you still having a matching set). I buy the stretchy ones, because I invested in a nice suede pair, and then lost one. Because I was so disappointed by that, I haven’t decided to do that again. I still keep that one glove under my car seat and wear it to pump my gas, when it’s really cold.
As for winter clothes, I keep whatever I have all in my closet- a sweater, and my thermal shirts, since  I don’t like accumulating too many clothes. I don’t want to dread what I hear from friends who have to “bring down the winter clothes from the attic” since there are no winter clothes for me to bring down.  And unless, you are a person who works outside, most places I go are heated, (thankfully) so if I were to wear a winter sweater… by the time I left the building, I’d be too hot and sweating.
The hard part for me is getting rid of some of  my jackets. Hoodies and jackets seem to multiply. I don’t need that many, but still can’t part with my  blue, corduroy, FFA high school jacket with my machine embroidered name on it, it reminds me of Agri club @ Bruno School, and the sacrifice my parents made to buy it for me. We were dairy farmers and I knew money was scarce. But they bought it for me anyway, which meant alot to me. That memory makes me hesitate to give that jacket up.  
And then there are workout clothes.  The t-shirts. They also multiply in the drawer! We all love them, think they are sooo important, and those seem the hardest to part with!  For example, I love my Air Venture Flight School shirt, because it reminds me of that feeling of flight, that I enjoyed tremendously- and all the great people I met @ Air Venture, and while taking my Aerospace class!  So, I have tried to par them down to seven. As I finish with them, I don’t donate them to Goodwill, though, since they make great cleaning cloths.  I mean, why buy cleaning clothes @ Target, or wherever, when you can just use an old T-shirt! 
Socks-  The same goes for socks. They are great for cleaning or padding in packing dishes, or knickknacks. I don’t really need more than 10 pair, do I?
Other undergarments-And I guess the same is true for workout bras, or other undergarments  in general, right?
After organizing by color, I like using hangers that are all the same color. It makes your closet look cohesive.

 So what about you? Do you have any hanging clothes that you haven’t worn in 2 years? Find a home for those, or figure out why you still have them. (I have a few items of clothing my mom made, and I kept to pass down to my daughter, but it seems my daughter doesn’t want them and I still keep them. So.. hopefully I can begin to give those away too.

Do you have jeans, you can’t wear, or pants?  Call a friend who you think could wear them, and see if she wants them and give them to her. Give them with the understanding that if she gets tired of them she will pass them on and NOT return them to you! Goodwill would love to have them.  And if you can’t quite part with something, give it six months, and if you don’t wear it, downsize it! 

As weird as it sounds, it will be a freeing experience.   I prefer to give to Goodwill, rather than wait for the Salvation Army to schedule a pick up time. Once I mentally decide to purge I want it out of my sight! This is why I choose to go to  Goodwill.

My home staging expert told me to she always suggests clients use the same color closet hangers. So I took her advice,and like the cohesiveness that has brought to my closet organization. Now I love that feeling of peace I get when I open  my closet door!
I hope this article helps you in your quest for more organization! Please subscribe, and tell us your stories or dilemmas!

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