(This story was originally published on coloradohomesmag.com)
Welcome to day one of the Get Organized Series. Now that you created your mood board and set your intentions for this journey it’s time to grab a glass of water, put on comfy clothes, open your windows and get started! It might be tempting to turn on the music during this process, but because music is so connected with our emotions, it can be very distracting. Instead, just focus on being present.
The first place we are going to tackle is the closet. It might seem like a huge task for our first day, but once you go through your clothes and choose the ones that bring you joy, you will feel motivated and energized to keep going and sort all the other items in your home.
At this point you have probably seen or heard of the pile of clothes, and as intimidated as it might look, it’s important to understand why you do it. When you remove all the items of clothing you own and place it in one pile, you get an idea of the amount of stuff you own, providing a reality check and motivating you to change. But when creating that pile you want to make sure you keep similar items together and avoid using your bed, in case you can’t finish all in one day.
So now you have this huge pile in front of you and not sure where to start. Take a deep breath, maybe get some water and a comfortable place to sit. If you have someone at home that is helping you, ask them to hand you each item, one by one, as you have your back to the pile. That way you can focus on one item at a time and not feel overwhelmed by it. If you are working solo, don’t worry, you can remove items and create a smaller pile to sort through. For example, take all your pants, set it aside and go through those.
Make sure to hold every single item in your hands and ask yourself “does this item spark joy?”. You also want to go through them in order, starting with tops, bottoms, dresses, seasonal, accessories, shoes and miscellaneous. Set aside what no longer brings you joy and express gratitude to each item before letting go. Once you are done sorting, return to your closet and take the time to do a deep clean before putting items back.
If you are not sure an item “sparks joy” or not, ask yourself the following questions:
How often do I wear it?
How do I feel when I wear it?
Am I excited to wear this in the future?
Would I buy it again?
If the item is damaged, do I want to take the time/money to fix it?
Sell x donate x recycle
Now that your closet is sparkling clean and all your clothes are sorted, check out these 8 tips for organizing your closet and create a space you love. Unsure what to do with the items that no longer spark joy? You can divide your pile in items to sell, donate and recycle/reuse. There are many places online and in person that will give you money for gently used items, so it’s worth checking out. If you don’t have the time to bring your unwanted items to a store, ThredUp offers a service where they send you a bag for free, you place your items, send it back and get some money for it. Totally worth a try!
For those items that won’t make a sale, reach out to women’s organizations, homeless shelters and donation centers, they are always in need for new items. And for those pieces that can’t be donated, be creative, you can always repurpose an old t-shirt into a cleaning rag. Just make sure that the landfill is the last option on your list.
And there you have it, you made it through your first day and hopefully are feeling inspired and energized to get the rest of the house in order. I’ll see you again tomorrow, when we will tackle books!