Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 31 - The Next Thing: Germ Theory of Organizing

(photo source)

Today marks the end of my 31 days series on Organizing Your Clothes. Wow! Thank you for coming with me on this incredible journey.

To be honest, I didn't know if I would be able to write on the same subject for 31 days straight. I purposely chose a broad topic to give me a wide range of things to talk about. When I got stuck, I switched subjects. (Did you notice?) 

In fact, I wrote this series the same way I tackle organizing clothes: one baby step at a time. Kind of random and organic, yet always heading toward the goal. 

The tendency of many people, when faced with a big organizing task, is to zoom out too far and get overwhelmed by the scope of the project. Doing so can sap your energy and your motivation before you even get started.

Here's something I've learned: When you’re overwhelmed or confused, drop your telescope and reach for a microscope. Focus on the smallest next thing you can do.

For example, the next thing is NOT “to sort through all my clothes.” The next thing is to put the garment you're holding in your hand in the “Keep” or “Undecided” pile. That’s all. That’s the one thing you can do right now.

When you organize your clothes, don't aim for a speed record. You’re not racing against the clock to see how much you can accomplish before you run out of energy. You’re doing — one — thing — at — a — time.

Your dress mess didn’t magically appear overnight, and it’s probably not going to go away in one marathon day either.

What is the smallest next step you can do to move forward on blessing your dress mess? Perhaps it's to write down “trash bags” on your shopping list. That’s a good next step. Do that.

The smallest things make the biggest things possible.

Dream big. Think small.

What’s the next smallest step for you? 

And what's the next step for this blog? It depends. What was your favorite part of this series? Leave a comment here and give me some ideas about what you would like to see more of. What interests you? What is the most perplexing part of organizing clothes for you?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 30 - Spare Closet Makeover Measuring and Tools

Today I'm finishing my spare closet makeover by measuring the closet and my clothes and choosing some tools that will bring more clarity to this space.

Taking Measure
Since I had so few clothes to keep, I didn’t really need to measure anything. I could easily “eyeball” everything into place. But I measured the closet anyway, just to have the numbers in my organizing notebook. 

Note to self: Measure closet rod to floor and upper shelf.

One organizing tool I’m getting rid of is my old laundry hamper frame. This is the hamper from which I pilfered the plastic clips for my closet hamper hack. Haven’t used it for 6 years.

For storing my off-season and special-occasion clothes, I decided to use 2 plain cardboard boxes. Not the best looking tools, but handy. Because cardboard is opaque, I did as much as I could to bring clarity using what I had available.

Freedom Folder keeps my clothes visible and instantly accessible inside the boxes.

I also printed labels for the outside tops and sides of my 2 boxes. (A good permanent marker works just as well as a machine labeler, but when I’m in the midst of organizing my handwriting goes south.)

One item I didn’t put in a box was my heavy winter coat. I store it in the spare closet year-round, because I don’t need it very often even in winter.

The 2 boxes fit perfectly beneath my coat. And I made sure there was plenty of moth bait around to protect these clothes!

Before and After
What do you think?

Measuring and putting everything back in the closet took me about 30 minutes, which means my entire closet makeover took less than an hour!

Are you blessing your dress mess? If you are, send me some pictures! (sarah at

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 29 - Spare Closet Makeover 5-Star Assessment

We keep moth balls in all our closets, but apparently not enough in this one.

Continuing my closet makeover, it was time to assess the clothes I did not need, to see what was worth donating.

I was disappointed to find moth holes in a beautiful, like-new Pendleton wool skirt (pictured above). The skirt was too big for me, so I had stuffed it in the closet. Someone else could have used it. Now they never will. What a waste.

This discovery caused me to sacrifice a few more items to the Donate pile. No use letting them go to waste too.

At the end of 13 minutes (again), I had a bag of ragged, worn out Trash and a Donate bag ready to drop at the thrift store.

Whew! What a load off my mind!


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