It’s official. The spring cleaning bug has landed and it has me all kinds of antsy. Everything. Must. Go. Except for this one thing I haven’t seen in the last two years because it’s been buried in a suitcase in the back of my closet and even though it could fit an 8-year-old I somehow feel some sort of inexplicable need to keep it and in doing so further my descent into hoarder-ism… sounds like a good time, right? Care to join me?
Welcome back, fam! Spoiler alert: I survived the great closet catastrophe of 2018. Does anyone else struggle with letting things go? It can’t just be me, right? Well, as part of this struggle I’ve learned a few tips and tricks to find relief during these dark times. And because it is the duty of those who have escaped the cave to return and share the knowledge, I am here babbling like a blogging idiot about practical things you already know. But maybe you just need someone else to tell you. Maybe you need that extra oomph of motivation to really be honest about some of the things that are holding you back from where you want to go. Well, this oomph’s for you. Today we’re playing your song, love. SO here are my super simple spring cleaning closet hacks.
- Be brutally honest. Let’s be real. Are you EVER going to wear your high school semi-formal dress again? What about the “goal” jeans you keep to punish yourself with? Hey, I said honest. There’s no tiptoeing if you’re serious about cleaning out your closet. Do you really need three red cardigans or those shoes that seriously kill but look really cute when they’re not making your feet bleed? No. No, you don’t. So why are you holding onto these things? Some things hold sentimental value like maybe wearing that semi-formal dress was the first time you felt truly, heartbreakingly beautiful and dancing the night away, having the time of your puberty-stricken young adult life is one of your best memories. Maybe you really do have goals and you’re working hard to reach them in a healthy, motivated way (*I hope if you’re doing this then you’re actually taking the time to appreciate all of the wonderful ways you are already enough and that you’re not abusing yourself to try and “fit in” or conform to someone else’s idea of beautiful). But if you haven’t worn it in the last year and it isn’t something incredibly sentimental, let that shit go.
- Take it one step at a time. Cleaning things out can be overwhelming. Sometimes when I get in the mood to really go through my stuff one of two things may happen: (a) I get totally overwhelmed and frustrated and approach things with an “everything goes” blowtorch type motto because I just want it to be gone or (b) I tell myself it’s too much, too fast and I don’t want to deal with the nostalgia trap that I know I’ll fall into and does this really have to happen anyway I mean eventually I’ll get around to repurposing those old tees… and then I shut the door and back away slowly muttering to myself. Y’all. I go one section at a time. I tell myself I’m going to clean out my jeans and my pants. Then maybe I move onto t-shirts. Break it into chunks and then you can see yourself making progress with small victories. It doesn’t have to happen all at once.
- 5 Second Rule. I try to limit my exposure to each item as I’m cleaning out my closet. If I hold it for longer than 5 seconds, I start to second guess myself and I search for hidden value in the item. This is how I end up holding onto crap I don’t need instead of letting them go so they can have a good life with someone who will actually use them. If I can’t think of the last time I wore it or I can’t immediately think of the ways I’m going to wear it soon (like seasonal items) then I ask myself it it’s a sentimental piece. And if the answer is no, then it goes.
- Money Talks. Maybe part of the struggle is that we’re parting with items we’ve invested time and money into. This is totally reasonable. If I paid $80 for a dress, I’m pretty stubborn about getting good use out of it. If I find designer jeans on sale for an incredible price but I haven’t fit into them in the better part of 6 years, though… really I’m not benefiting from that great find anyway. Instead, I’m hoarding the magic of a great deal and preventing myself from having room for better deals. Lucky us that we live in a world where there are consignment shops and resale shops that are always, ALWAYS looking for merchandise for their customers. Once you’ve bundled up your items, make a pile of things you want to try and sell back. There are tons of resources out there, you just have to be willing to put in a little work like lugging your bags across town or listing your items online. You get a return on your great stuff and someone else gets a great deal. It keeps that karma wheel moving forward in a good way.
- Out of sight, out of mind. Once you’ve bagged or boxed up all of the stuff you don’t need anymore, GET IT GONE! No, really. The longer it sits in your space because you don’t have room in your car right now or you don’t want to take them all the way downstairs, the greater the odds of you rethinking or reconsidering some of your decisions. It’s so easy to go back through the bags when they haven’t moved. Put them in your car and I promise, eventually you will get tired of having them in there and you will get them gone. Whether they get dropped off at someone else’s house (a friend, cousin, sister, brother, college acquaintance, etc.) or donated at your local shelter or thrift shop, get them out of your sight as soon as possible.
See? That wasn’t so bad. This process can be applied to just about anything in your life. If it’s not working for you or serving you somehow, then it’s just taking up valuable real estate and preventing other great things from coming into your life. So I hope this little blurb helped you get in the mood to really rehab your space and make it work for you. As always, I wish you all good things, Miles tribe. Always. XO