Spring cleaning season has blossomed and what better place to start then your closet. For “what is your closet but the different personas we have auditioned and discarded? Hanging there in our closets are reminders, both good and bad, of who we are, who we’ve been, and who we’ve hoped to be.” Tim Gunn
Clothes are in fact only a shell, but shells are not entirely worthless. Shells can introduce us, identify us, and protect us. Follow along as we focus on our shell storage and how it can be organized and optimized. However, before we can pursue the solution, let us address the problem. Below are some stereotypical closets which require immediate intervention.
The torture chamber: Inside this ambry lies items endowed with the powers of self flagellation and holy glorification. Items are distinguished primarily by size: smallish, mediumish, and largish. If the body is enrobed in smallish clothes with minimal wrestling, the day is deemed good and the wearer is deemed good. Her closet exists to punish and reward her.
The archive: Inside this cold storage lies a rich, tangible history. The frock worn when eyes were first laid on Romeo hangs next to her cheerleader’s glory guise, her wedding ensemble is pressed beside the blouse donned during the debut of her most favorite episode of Gilmore Girls. Her closet is sentimental rather than functional.
The rubbish bin: This rumpled receptacle vomits when opened. In the refuse there may be well-made trousers in need of hemming, scuffed leather boots, a favorite silk shell stained with soy sauce, a cashmere sweater dined on by moths. This closet lacks discipline and sanitation.
The disjointed den: Trends from all different directions exist here. There are many items lying dormant and disturbed, brooding with the irritation of their unremoved price tags. Sometimes this disorder is caused by a simple split personality: work is straight forward and boring, personal life is over the top to make up for the difference. Whatever the cause, this schizophrenic wardrobe is unable to communicate a cohesive outfit.
The repeat: This sideboard encloses one style of twin set in five different colors, the only visible pattern is vertical stripes, and the floor is veiled with a colony of sensible black shoes. This area acts as a mechanical uniform dispenser.
Whether you wardrobe represents one or many of these examples, it is time to purge, psychological dispositions and all.
Closet cleanses should be undertaken somberly and consistently. Below are specifics to ensure a safe, successful procedure:
1. Dedicate a large portion of ante meridian to it, mornings with the blinds drawn provide ample natural light, but if you must use post meridian, ensure you have sharp, clean, distributed lighting. Either way, find a thicket of uninterrupted hours.
Although closet cleanings can be done in intervals, an uninterrupted push actually aids your ability to purge. First seeing all the clothes in one day allows you to quickly rank the best and worst. Second, seeing all your clothes in a single day may induce a little emotional nausea. Hopefully this disgust is stronger than any emotional attachment, allowing you to purge what is poisoning your closet.
2. As this is a somewhat intense procedure, let’s do what we can to make it as lovely as possible. Wash and style your hair, but leave off the makeup. That way it won’t induce unnecessary dry cleaning and you’ll be able to see how different chromatics affect your complexion. Finally slip your best dainties, including any shapers that you regularly wear, under some loungers.
Once you’re ready, prepare your environment. Allow the melodies of a dewy fresh anthem to twinkle around you. Fix yourself a refreshing tonic: sparkling water, ginger lemonade, minted honeydew juice. Personally I prefer listening to Madeleine Peyroux with a dainty cup of herbal egyptian licorice.
3. While you pour your beverage, fill a second glass, because you’ll need a friend. Not that really nice friend who praises everything you do. No, we want the chronically honest friend, the teenage daughter, or the opinionated mother. Spouses can be good with the honesty, but they lack patience. And occasionally the process can result in temporary marital malaise. If friends are not readily available, make sure you have, at the least, a full length mirror positioned adjacent to your closet, capable of capturing anterior, profile, and posterior views.
4. Make a list of all the roles in your life: mrs. mother, madame wife, dr. professional, and how you would ideally like to feel in each of these roles. When I enter my workplace, I want everyone to assume I spellcheck my e-mails. Or I want my children to perceive that my household is not the kind of place where clearing your nose on the furniture is proper. Or I want to feel pretty enough for passé civilities like opened doors, extracted chairs, gloves, and handkerchiefs.
5. Get five bins, trashbags, or wheelbarrows,
- Pile one. Keep: When you walk by the mirror in these items, it should compel a brief pause, during which a smile flutters across your face. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does have to flatter.
- Pile two. Archive: Are your winter boots currently residing in company with your flip flops? For shame, keeping seasonally distinct items in a single closet (even in Arizona) not only makes for fashion overwhelm, but it also makes your clothes very sad. It’s like serving tuna with peanut butter, it just isn’t right. Now for those items that you loved upon purchased, proceeded to wear for a straight fortnight, and in consequence is now prematurely jaded, I suggest archival. Archive all that is tired, seasonally inappropriate, or just inconclusive. Then reassess in 3-6 months, and ditch anything you’re still not ready to wear immediately. Don’t underestimate the thrill of fashion reunion. This is not however a dumping ground for fashion memorabilia. If you don’t plan to wear it within the calendar year, take a picture of it and donate it.
- Pile three. Repair: You have exactly five days to go to the dry cleaner, cobbler, or tailor with these items. If it’s not urgent, it’s not important enough to fix.
- Pile four. Give-Away: Donate items that don’t fit your body or style but are in good condition. If you are having a difficult time parting with an item that no longer flatters your figure, find a specific friend to give it to. Or better yet, organize a clothing exchange, in which friends can bring all their items that are in good condition, but no longer employed by their closets.
- Pile five. Throw-Away: Items that are stained, torn, or otherwise beyond repair. Enough said.
And that’s it. Now you have a lesser, neater, easier to manager closet. You’re own personal boutique in which everything fits, flatters, and creates a shell worthy of it’s contents.