I’m not ashamed to admit that Oprah is my life coach! I read all the books she tells me are great, I make the recipes she recommends, I check out the products she endorses and I try everyday to live “an authentic life” as she always encourages her viewers to do. This may seem a bit ridiculous but I would venture to say that I’m not alone in my affection for Ms. Winfrey. One episode in particular that has always stuck with me was a segment all about how to de-clutter your life one step at a time.
This episode was about the female tendency to hold on to clothing long past their expiration date. Truthfully, I too am guilty of this. I think we’ve all held on to one (or twenty) items of clothing that don’t fit in the hope that one day they will. I have no doubt that I’m not the only one who owns a few random tops that I’m convinced I will find an equally random event to wear them to. And I know everyone has to have at least three pairs of shoes that are super cute but don’t go with anything! The list goes on and on. The expert that Oprah had on the show (Peter Walsh) talked about how holding on to these things is actually bad for mental health and happiness. This may sound a bit odd, but after he explained why…it made total sense.
He explained that if you start your morning looking at a messy and dis-organized closet full of things that you can’t wear because they are either too big, too small, out of style, old or just ugly, you are beginning your morning (every morning) on a negative note and that’s just not a very good way to start your day! I personally know this to be true because I can’t begin to tell you how many hours I’ve wasted staring at a closet FULL of clothes knowing I only wear about 50% of what’s in there! One of the pointers Walsh offered to help get your closet in shape was to recycle your clothing. Every time you buy a new shirt, donate one of your old shirts. When you get a new pair of shoes, clean out an older pair you no longer wear. The same would go for jeans, skirts, belts, etc. This way you’re keeping your wardrobe fresh, fashionable and full of things you actually can and will wear.
I started doing this about 2 years ago but then kind of forgot about it. Now that we’ve started up again we’ve been able to donate a ton of clothes to Big Brothers, Big Sister! For those of you that live in Albuquerque, you can drop off donations at the same place you take recycling. For a while there I was taking our clothing donations to Goodwill but after we discovered the BBBS option, it’s become our main drop-off. I like the idea that our clothing is given to teens rather than sold at a discounted price. We’ve now organized the closet in a way that allows us to see at a glance what is clean and ready to wear. I no longer have to dig through piles of crap to find hats and scarves because they are now neatly put away in cute baskets and our shoes are displayed for easy access! I even recently replaced our white plastic hangers (which are a bit bulky) with sleek silver “no slip” hangers. Replacing the bulky white hangers opened up a ton of space in different areas of the closet :)
This is a bit of a process when you first get started but it’s so worth the time! I now love our closet space and it makes me happy to know that there are teens in the 505 actually wearing our clothes that would have just collected dust and taken up space in an already packed closet!
Recycle, reduce, reuse!
Master closet (after): over 100 items donated, new rug, replaced hangers, new baskets, shoe cubbie and rack, replaced hampers.
I added a few extra shoe racks so our shoes don’t pile up anymore
We now have baskets on both sides of the closet for organizing hats and flip flops!
Now if only we can keep things clean and organized...we’ll see.