Hey friends, so I made a very rookie mistake the other day. You see my closet has been driving me batty for quite some time now. I just felt it wasn’t working for me but with the busyness of the holidays I didn’t take the time to pinpoint why. Instead I was just annoyed and frustrated every time I walked into my closet. Clothes started piling up and I got lazy about putting things away.
So when January rolled around, and I found myself walking around Walmart checking out the shelves of organizing totes that come out at this time of the year, I got a little excited. Okay maybe a lot excited. All of a sudden the organizing possibilities were blinding me, I couldn’t think straight, and all the smart organizing advice I’ve ever given to others no longer applied to me. I’m a professional after all, I know what I’m doing! My eyes landed on this set of three drawers and just like that I had no doubt that the only thing my closet was lacking was a set of drawers. Of course, why didn’t I think of it sooner!
It all made sense now. I had a shelf in my closet with an area not being used. If I just added some drawers to this space, all would be right with the world. Right!? So I bought that three drawer set, hauled it home, took one drawer off so it would fit onto the shelf in my closet and got to work.
I knew there were a few things I could let go of and started throwing those things out onto the bed. I then tried everything on remembering as I went why some things never got worn. Too tight, a little baggy, a gaping front, an uncomfortable fabric, the list went on and on as I tossed and tossed and tossed. The pile on the bed just kept getting taller and taller.
Once I started, there was no stopping me. I got on a roll and the more I purged, the more ruthless I was. If it annoyed me, it went. Before I knew it, I had purged 65 pieces of clothing! Whoa, what? Where did all that come from? I looked at it all and realized that most of it I hadn’t worn in quite some time. No wonder I was fed up with my closet. I was spending way too long in the morning trying to find the pieces that I really did love in one very overstuffed closet.
I managed to part with:
- 6 cardigans
- 13 sweaters
- 1 dress
- 1 pair of shorts
- 14 pairs of pants
- 26 shirts
- 3 purses
- 1 pair of slippers
As I stood looking at my newly purged closet, it became perfectly clear that I didn’t need a new set of drawers to organize my closet. I’d gotten rid of so much that my closet no longer felt stuffed. Even though I had the space for the drawers, it just was no longer necessary.
I didn’t need to crowd my closet with more things, I just needed to get RID of some things. I had broken the first rule of organizing and the first step in my organizing PROCESS.
Never ever buy organizing bins, baskets or containers until AFTER you do a thorough purge.
When I first put that set of drawers in my closet I could have easily filled them up. I might even have temporarily solved my problem. However my annoyance with my closet, and how it was functioning, would have come back pretty quick. You know why? Because I would have only masked the problem, not fixed it. No matter how I “contained” it, it still would have been an overstuffed closet. Only now some of that stuff would be hiding behind some pretty drawers.
Without purging first, I wouldn’t have fixed the frustrating problem of trying to find the things I love amongst all the things I didn’t. I knew this and still let the a shiny new container suck me. The pull is so hard to fight against, trust me, I know!
My new set of drawers went back to Walmart and I put that $20 back in my pocket. So save yourself some money the next time you feel annoyed with a space and do a PURGE first. Then when that’s done you can organize what’s left. You may still need to purchase some organizing containers but your space will function so much better when you aren’t using those containers to just organize clutter.
It may seem easier to bypass the purge but you will never truly get yourself organized unless you do the purge first.
So take some time today and go purge something!! You’ll be so glad you did and I’m super happy that I’m $20 richer, whoot!
11 Rules for Getting a Clothes Purge Done (plus free printable)