There’s fall cleaning and spring cleaning. There’s dusting, scrubbing and waxing. There’s car washing. Soap and water, a few rags. Not too bad. Put in some time. First it was dirty. Now it’s not. Simple.
But when asked what they dreaded most of all, 7 out of 10 women (and a even a few men sheepishly) admitted that it would DEFINITELY be CLOSET cleaning.
“I just don’t have enough space.”
“My husband’s clothing takes up too much room – his clothes are so much larger than mine are.”
“I can’t find anything when I’m rushing around in the morning.”
“Is it better to arrange by style, season or color?”
“Should shoes be stored in their original boxes?”
Multi-million dollar businesses have been built around helping people organize and make the most of the space they do have. But, truth be told, a larger closet doesn’t necessarily mean that it is more organized. More often than not, it means there are more nooks and crannies to hide and stash more stuff. More unnecessary stuff. More outdated stuff. More stuff you’ll never fit into again.
Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to see hundreds of closets while doing clothing assessments and makeovers. So many 5-foot rods with 7 feet of clothing hanging (falling!) at all levels. Twisted and wrinkled. Squished, squashed and crammed beyond recognition. No one could possibly know what was inside. Wouldn’t it just be easier (forgetting about cost, of course!) to go out and purchase what was needed that to find it in the depths of the seemingly scary, cavernous closet?
There are several recommended theories and systems on how to best accomplish this daunting task. Most people have heard that something should be tossed if you haven’t worn it for a year. Sounds easy enough. Great plan. But it’s still not organized. But the rationalizations kick in. And thinking about how much it cost originally. Maybe your niece could use that sweater. And what if you happen to toss THE PERFECT jacket for those new slacks? And what a great time you had when you last wore the item (this is otherwise known as the “Closet as Full Size Scrapbook Theory”). In these cases we recommend getting out your digital camera, put that outfit on and take a snapshot. Then toss the article of clothing.
Another way to edit your closet is to empty it out completely. To the bare walls. The only things that go back in are things that fit, that you look good in, are currently in style and that you like. You can make a separate pile to donate to charity, one for the garbage and possibly another one of those items that either have extreme sentimental value or might need a small amount of alteration to make it fit and belong in the first category. And that’s all there is to it. The decisions are easy at that point. You are starting with an empty canvas and when you need to get dressed, you simply open the closet and every item is in fashion, in great condition and makes you feel great when you wear it. You’ll look like a million (unwrinkled!) bucks.
Lauren Castle is the owner of Impress Express, a professional image firm, focusing on career development, resume preparation, presentation skills, etiquette and interview coaching. We are members of the Professional Association of Resume Writers. For help with your image, posting your resume, or preparing your internet-friendly resume, contact Lauren directly at 858-459-7400. And, as always, please forward your image and career-related questions to firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.