Good day gorgeous,
If you are anything like me, the second you walk into your closet you are either overwhelmed with emotion because, literally, how did my life get this way? Or you are super psyched to pull a killer outfit and rock the day. If you are pulling your ‘fit from a shambly mess and settling for whatever is most accessible, unwrinkled, and clean…ish. I’m pretty sure you’re just like everyone else and that is OKAY.
With other methods of cleaning my closet, I’ve fallen into this cycle where I purge, organize, I feel empowered and put together, for a bit. All until I lose motivation to stay tidy and then WHERE is my strapless bra with my dark-wash skinny jeans, thus, I fall apart…the cycle continues.
Not today, sister.
Full disclosure, this is my own process but I gained a lot of my inspiration from Project 333 – Be More With Less along with many other resources!
There are 3 “rounds” to purging your closet, and this has been my key to now organizing everything overwhelming my otherwise pretty life.
First. I need you to set an intention. I don’t care if it’s a picture of a closet you want, maybe a word you want to feel, “polished”, whatever tickles your fancy. I need you to find the fire to light this PLACE. UP. and keep it in mind.
First, gather at least 4 trash bags. One for each round and one extra, just incase you decide to go for extra credit and REALLY let go.
Take EVERYTHING, I mean EVERYTHING, out of your drawers (undies too!), off your hangers, and make an overwhelming heap of sh*t on your bed so that you can see exactly how much sh*t you have.
My language, my apologies. But seriously, LOOK at how much you own.
Next, JUMP into those clothes with FURY. This round should not take you more than 30 minutes.
REMEMBER, how chaotic they have made your mornings, what a slave you have been to washing, folding, sorting, even DRY-CLEANING *gasp* them.
Sort through this round quickly but with your intention in mind. To make your life better, simpler, to really begin to put yourself first. You don’t need to get rid of it all, but really see, how much you have and then seriously consider how much you really need.
This is the end of round 1.
Go get some coffee, watch a few Instagram stories. Take 10 minutes to re-group and not think about purging, recharge for round 2.
10-30 minutes, depending.
There should be a considerable amount of items remaining.
This round starts to dig into an emotional realm, for me personally. The remaining clothes in this heap are usually the ones that have stayed throughout purges before, and/or, are items I have recently purchased that are no longer able to be returned, so I feel bad donating them. These items, for me, are: ill-fitting, expensive, emotionally charged, or an item that someone else told me I look great in, but I just can’t see it <yet>.
This is where you dig deep, but again, trust your snap decisions. If you have ever read the book “Blink“ by Malcolm Gladwell, you know what I’m talking about. If not, that title is linked to my Amazon page, and you should give it a try.
It’s all about snap decision making, and how often times your brain gets in the way of your smarter self. Trust that, right now. Pick up those items you’ve been holding on to for reasons other than you LOVE it, and let it go.
For those expensive pieces, think about that SUPER lucky girl or guy in Goodwill or on PoshMark that it is totally going to make their day.
For those emotional pieces, (this is taken from the book, “Art of Happiness” by the Dalai Lama) you hold it, remember what incredible memories that item gave you, and LITERALLY, say “thank you”. Place it in the pile, and let it go.
Memories are in your mind and those happy moments are now an intrinsic part of you; you do not need to have a collection of physical things to keep those times sacred.
Lastly, take a good look (not too long) and then walk away.
Take another 5-10 minute break and seriously rest your mind for a second.
10 to 20 minutes.
This is the hardest round, for me. Looking at the items that are gone, seeing those full bags at how much progress I have made, but there are usually still a few stinking items that I know I need to let go, but just can’t part with.
Now is the time to dig deep and remember what you WANT.
If it’s that Pinterest closet, pull it up and drool over it. If it’s that easier, minimalist life style, then think about how someone that you want to be more like, would look at these items. Try to see those remaining with the most objective lens you can.
If I’m holding on to a piece and there is a particular thing I like about a clothing item yet something that makes me hesitate putting it on, (a sleeve, whatever), I listen to that. There is a reason why I don’t fully love it so I begin to TRUST that. Buh-bye!
No more saving space for luke-warm items. Only full-burning passion from now on.
Chances are, if you’re doing a full purge, the energy behind you doing so is the faith that in de-cluttering your life, there’s a hope you can make it better. Think about that the remaining items as part of who you were, the life you had before you started this, and if you think there is literally any chance there is a better version of that ratty tee that you may love even a little bit more, but want to be safe and keep it just in case, SAY GOODBYE.
TODAY you are leaving your old ways and safety at shore. Believe that shirts better half is out there and you DESERVE to wear it.
This is the part where I lead with both my heart and head. My heart, I only keep the items I absolutely love to wear. The ones that flatter me, make me feel elevated, and almost make me scared to wear because “oh my, who gave me permission to look like such a fox?!”. My head, reminds me that these items do not define me, but are now simply a tool to get me where I want to go.
Start to treat your closet like what it is. A palate for you to style and create the version of yourself that you want the world to see.
It’s not who you think you should be, who you think you are, your family thinks you should be… you get it.
Start dressing the part for the life you want. Sometimes giving it a label or mantra if you will, helps. Whether it be chic, minimal, bold, or even just be, a hat person, for Christ sake, DO. IT. NOW. Even if you don’t believe you can be <yet>. When you start to live the lifestyle that you want, rather than the one you THINK you deserve… guess what, you’re thinking too much again. Go for the gold, baby!
Here is the most important part.
After you have tied that last bag IMMEDIATELY get into your car and DONATE THEM. NOW.
I am NOT joking. I know you’re exhausted, mentally and physically, but do yourself the favor of taking the 20 minutes, or however long, to just get this OVER WITH. TODAY. You have come too far to do yourself the disservice of not following through now.
This will leave you walking back into a space that is new to you. Waking up the next morning with partially empty drawers and hangers, is legitimately the most freeing, and incredible feeling.
I’m proud of you for purging and I hope you are too.
Please e-mail me with feedback about my process and tell me how it went!
If I don’t hear from you, I’ll assume you’re busy living the life you’ve always wanted, knowing you’ve always deserved it.