i have to tell you...you have come a LONG way with this decluttering project! you prepared yourself for the process by thinking positively and readying your mind, body and space for the task...and then you did the dirty work, and actually decluttered your closet and wardrobe! pat yourself on the back! i'm telling you, that is pretty darn awesome. you worked really hard! *applause, applause!*
but you know, those pesky wardrobes are beastly creatures! they are prone to entropy! you slip up and accidently make a couple harmless, perhaps thoughtless shopping trips, and neglect it by jamming stuff into it without care, and before you know it, that sorry good-for-nothing closet has slipped right back into the sloppy state of yore, the very same state you struggled to stymie with all that sorting and such! it's become a messy monster again!
so, my ears are ringing!! i hear you asking: what tactics can i employ to facilitate the on-going task of keeping my closet clean, useable, and ultimately, making sure it remains a reflection of ME? are there other ways of shopping that won't lead me down the path that ends in sartorial sin?
well, chickadees, i am here to help! to keep your closet/wardrobe in a sweet state, you must concentrate on two simple things: awesome organization and smart shopping!
organization comes first!
-after all of the hard work you did purging those unnecessary, ill-suited-for-you and ultimately rejected clothes and accessories out of your closet, you are likely to have LOTS of leftover hangers. right away, i suggest that you count out a limited number of hangers, say, 20 or 25, and set them aside on the closet rod or place them in your ironing basket. when you start to accumulate new things, you are only allowed to fill up that limited allotment number of hangers...and absolutely NO MORE. to continue and compliment the earth and people-friendly suggestions i offered up in the last post, think about donating the rest of your remaining hangers to a charity or thrift store, family member, or friend. allow someone else to get use out of your discards! it cuts down on clutter too, and hey, that's the point, right?
-once you've tossed those superfluous hangers, turn to the items you still have hanging in your closet and organize them by type, and/or color. skirts go together, pants together, dresses together, blouses together, and so on, and so forth. wanna know what i do, type a that i am? i actually organize my clothes even further by keeping the orange dresses in the same vicinity, the green dresses hangin' together like best buds, and...you get the idea. this system really works for me. i know where everything is because it has it's place. and when i do the laundry for the week, i can slip the clean clothes into their proper place because the organizational framework i created is there. it probably takes about two brain cells more effort to pop the black blouse in the proper closet spot with it's fellow blouses than to jam it into the closet haphazardly. pinky swear!
-apply the same type/color organization scheme to your drawers, if you have them. put bras with bras, socks with socks, jeans with jeans and so forth. when you go to reach for such things in the future, you'll know where to find them. if it helps, get some drawer dividers to corral all the different items and keep things in their proper place.
-try your very hardest to put things back in the places you have set aside for them...end that tossing stuff on the floor or back of the chair behavior NOW! you took the time to sort through your things, right? well, put the same resolve into picking up after yourself and keeping organized. the organization, if maintained, will decrease your stress levels like you wouldn't believe! structural stress sucks...and it's totally preventable.
-when the times comes, purge again...following the same process i detailed in the previous post! purging is a task that you really need to do on a semi-regular basis. you can decide what interval works best for you. every 6 months, every year? if you're super organized and love calendars, you could perhaps jot down a date on your schedule that works for you. just resolve to stick to that date! do it for yourself, for your own mental health. remember that it's a good thing, and healthy for you and your space!
now comes the REALLY fun part...smart shopping!
-before you hit the shops, check that mood board...again! remember who you are, and what you want to express to the world via your own special and unique take on personal style. resolve to only purchase that which you LOVE, to only acquire clothing and accessories that fit in with and your personal aesthetic and flatter your figure. if an item you are considering does not do either of these things for you, you are probably better off without it!
-the purging process, while totally necessary, and healthy, can also leave one with some gaps in the old wardrobe. be smart about the way you will fill these wardrobe gaps from here on out! sit down in front of your freshly organized and utterly lovely closet with a pen/pencil and a pad. ponder what you truly and honestly require to fill in the gaps in your wardrobe. what is missing that could support and enhance what you already have, and take your wardrobe to the next level? be specific. if you know where you think you might find such an item, jot that down as well. you are essentially making a plan for smart shopping that you can later pop in your bag and carry with you when you are out and about in the world. it can serve as a reminder of what you NEED, so you don't fill up your closet with frivolities you DON'T NEED. it makes you accountable and keeps you honest.
so, just got finished cleaning my own closet out last week. i made just such a list, and my list of things to get looks something like this:
-interesting, well-made black flats -interesting, well-made red flats -high heeled sandals with real wooden heels (chie mihara?) -vintage acid wash skinny jeans -leggings in a warm-gray color -good quality black tights -colored tights -hand knit sweater coat (knit by me)
this little list resides in a tiny notebook that lives in my purse...perfect for taking notes of this sort.
-think quality over quantity: tis better to have a closet with a limited selection of well-made, well-designed garments, than a chaotic, jam-packed closet brimming with crappily made, cheap, overly trendy garbage that doesn't work for you and your REAL style and REAL body anyway. people cry and moan like this all the time: "but, i can't afford the *nice* stuff! i can only afford the cheap stuff...and lots of it!" yes, you can afford the nice stuff! especially if you stop buying a ton of cheap garbage that in reality adds up to the cost of one or two REALLY nice things! delayed gratification, people! if you have great stuff you'll be able to and want to wear over and over again, you'll be able to maintain the clean state of closet nirvana you have worked so hard to create of late! and don't forget the thrifts/consignment shops...they can be a cheap way to acquire nice, gently used, high quality garments. finding such garments may take some effort on your part, but remember, anything worth doing is worth the effort, time, and money.
-again, eschew those tedious and often tricky trends. sure, keep your eye open to what's happening in the world, but don't let the masses determine what works for you. don't believe the hype (aka, the marketing machine) that makes you feel like you NEED to have the latest and the greatest. you don't NEED to shop for stuff constantly...you don't NEED to look like a spread in ELLE. cheap, new items may allow you to "save" and spend now, but you'll soon be spending again to replace them...and that's exactly what the stores want you to do! it's a trap! make your closet and your clothes work for you...not the other way around. besides, trends and cheap junk can sabotage a newly sorted and sweetly organized wardrobe! shop smartly...shop for YOURSELF. there's no need to "fit in" if you know who you really are. be critical of the messages being sent to you by marketers, and think critically about what you REALLY NEED and what you REALLY WANT.
let me know how it goes, everyone! if you took any of this to heart, or if it helped, and you want to share your successful decluttering and organizational story with me, by all means, do so! i'd love to hear about it.
i'm here to help! and happy to share when i think i have something helpful or interesting to give to you or show you.
think critically, be fabulously organized, and shop smartly!
remember, LESS **IS** MORE!