Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Closet cleaning

As I was discussing with a friend about taking my blogging to the next level, she revealed to me that another friend of hers payed a stylist $1000 to help her clean her closet. In other words, she paid the stylist to help her throw away all the stuff that was too old, not fitting and more. She ended up with two piles of clothes she had to part with: one made of relatively good stuff aka designers she gave to my friend and another pile she gave to her helper (nice word for baby sitter or maid)

I was amazed that in this day and age, someone was willing to pay that amount of money for tips on how to clean her closet. If this is the case, then I need to become a stylist and get paid to act like Stacy and Clinton.

Anyway, all this got me thinking. The friend of my friend paid an arm and a hand for that closet cleaning but I am going to give you tips on how to clean your closet for free. Here is how you are going to proceed:

1- You need to take all (even the one hiding in your suitcases like me) your clothes out and separate them into two groups: clothes you will part with and clothes you will keep. Clothes that you should part with are those that are torn, have holes (that you cannot repair) or do not fit you any more. There is no need to keep that pair of skinnies in case you loose weight. Clothes that do not fit your lifestyle or sat in your closet for years without being worn should go a well. The rule is that if it is there for more than 2 years, let it go. And the price should not matter because there is nothing worse than an ill fitted dress even if it is a Chanel. For this process, it is recommended to get an honest friend who will tell you how it is. It is hard to part with some clothes for sentimental reason and this friend should be strong enough to help you make good decisions.

2- After you are left with only one pile of clothes, you need to arrange that pile in order. Put pants together and dresses together. You could also arrange your clothes by color or material. If you have a small closet, get some tools that will help you clean things up like triple hangers or closet organizers. Ikea has a great collection that it is not too overpriced. In Japan, I also like to check the 100yen store Daiso for they have great tools such a hanger for belts.

You will have to understand that this process will take time. If you have lots of clothes there is a big chance that this may take more than one full day. Do not stress about it but take it as light fun thing you need to do.
Moreover, just because you found a new space in your closet, does not mean that you need to indulge in shopping. On the contrary, make this cleaning a lesson as to what not to buy in the future. Do not fall back in the habit of impulse buying that put you with a closet bursting out in the first place. Think hard about what you need and what you want to be in your closet. And if you must buy, invest in timeless pieces, and items that you can wear all the time. There is no reason why you should buy that fancy pair of glitter shoes for your best friend wedding now when she just started dating a guy.

These are just the basics. More work can go into cleaning a closet. However, I recommend you not take on such a big task when you are pregnant or have a new born on your hands.
Last time  did a major closet cleaning I was pregnant with my second son. Blame on it the hormones but I got rid of great items such as a red leather coat just because I thought it did not fit my life in Houston. Houston being on the warm side, I had never worn the coat in 3 years of living there. But as it turns out, the following winter got really cold and then I moved to Japan where a coat like that would have come in handy.
Furthermore, I think it is important to think about alterations before throwing all ill fitted clothes. A dress that is slightly too big can become perfect with a belt. Or a skirt that is too long can be altered to fit if you give it to a great tailor.

I hope this was helpful. Now let me go and try it on my closet....

For more info go to these sites

www.organizedhome.com/cut-clutter/changing-seasons-clothes-closet-declutter
wwww.oprah.com/oprahshow/Adam-Glassmans-Closet-Cleanout-Tips

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