Closet Monster

Closet Monster

“Just follow me in here, I promise you’ll find everything you need. TO CLEAN!!! Bwwwwhahahahaha!” my mom says as her cape swings behind her. Lora slowly walks inside and the door quickly slams behind her. “Hey, let me out!” she screams, fists pounding heavily against the door.  “No, not until you sweep every corner and collapse with exhaustion on the floor! Oh, and lick up all the dust! Bwaaaahahahaha!”

This was my mother’s tactic for getting me to clean my room. Ok, so she wasn’t really a fib-spitting behemoth, but she did repeat this familiar phrase – “Don’t come out until it’s clean!”  And I don’t blame her, my room was a mess. Nowadays, my bedroom floor is cleared enough for passage, but the signs of clutter are still obvious. I like to stack piles of clothes in the corners of my room and label them with future promises. Two dressers are tightly stuffed to the brim and a trunk of last season’s clothes occupies another corner. Worse still is the portion of my wardrobe that’s sprawled out of my bedroom limits and now resides in my brother’s closet.

Upon seeing all of this, Lora’s chest grows heavy and her face turns a rosy shade of… acceptance. The shirts lock arms and the pants crawl into the corners to hide. The time has come! There’s no longer a reason to deny it!  Lora has a real problem.

My usual strategy for fixing this mess is to grab the labels and storage bins and start organizing. Aaaaaa, everything is back in its place! But this never really feels satisfying. I know come morning when the rush of the day arrives I’ll be tossing everything back on the floor in a scurry to find something to wear… so many decisions, so little time.

Instead of organizing, minimizing is the real answer. But where do I start? I’m not the first person to realize that reducing cures the frustration. There are many different websites and guides on how to minimize your wardrobe. After a little research, this is what I found:

Project 333: This plan requires you to choose 33 items for 3 months (clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes) and hide the rest. Sounds like a great plan, but the process takes months to finish and I’m afraid this will give me the excuse to continue storing away clothes; I’ve been doing that for years. Project 333 does offer the Quick Start Course that takes half the time, but that costs $19.95 and involves webinars, weekly step by step action plans, emails, audio plans, and profiles. Phew! I did find this website which gives the basic gist of the Quick Start Plan.

Zen Habits: The master of simplicity, Leo Babauta offers great tips with the overall strategy of “just keep it simple.” Donate everything that you no longer wear, that no longer fits or is beyond repair. He also suggests storing away hard-to-toss items for only a month. If you didn’t wear it after that month, donate it.

Becoming Minimalist: This guide gives an overall look at how to dress with less. I really enjoyed this tip: “Turn around all the hangers in your closet. After the season, remove every article of clothing that wasn’t worn”.

After considering all of these suggestions I realized that my ultimate goal is to just get this process rolling. Instead of adopting one of the suggested tactics above, I’ve decided to create my own, incorporating their suggestions. I really like Project 333’s strategy of owning only 33 items per season, so I’ll adopt that. Leo’s attitude of making this process quick and simple resonates with me so I’m going to limit the entire process to a couple of months. And to help me decide what to keep and what to toss, I’m going to use the “Turn Around The Hangers” strategy that Becoming Minimalist suggests

I will officially begin this project  when we return from Colorado on November 24th. Wait…what? Yep, going to Colorado for a couple of weeks, but I promise to pick up right with a step-by-step plan when I return.

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