The time has come, the wind-up walrus said. Talking about decluttering and organizing is all well and good, but it has nothing on actually doing it. One of the most useful general tips I’ve seen was the suggestion that you pick one particular area at a time so as not to get overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task. I’ve decided to start in the bedroom, and specifically to start with my closet. I will admit, I’m starting here partly because I’ve done some work on the closet already and have a better feeling for what I need to do. I’m also starting here because it’s one of the most pressing issues from the make-room-for-the-boy standpoint. Winter is coming on, and he’s going to need to have space for some bulkier clothing. Heaven forbid he should freeze to death because I have too many t-shirts.
In some ways, this is also a challenging place to start. Closet decluttering can be a more emotionally fraught process than cleaning out the kitchen. For most of us, there’s a certain amount of sentiment and personal image caught up in our clothing, present and past. You’re clearly never going to get any use out of your high school prom dress ten years later, but throwing it away can feel like you’re leaving part of your life behind. (I am not personally disturbed by the idea of high school fading into the past, largely unremembered and unregretted, but I know some people are.) However, if you shop regularly, at some point you have to admit that you can’t possibly keep all that stuff without making your current life way more difficult than it needs to be.
Luckily for me, I am mostly embarrassed by the stuff that I used to think was wearable (ah, the pink glittery top of my dreams — there’s a reason that was on sale), but even so, there were some sentimental items I hated to trash. I was also helped by the fact that most of my REALLY old clothes were at home with my parents until they moved, when my mother summarily threw it all away. So much for sentiment.
I read a couple dozen articles about closet organization before I started. Here are some of the more useful tips:
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