Sabbath. It has been my word for the year. I wait for one every year, a word that is. And it’s always an interesting mix of scary and exciting when I find I’ve settled on the one. It typically stems from something God has been growing in me, but that is far from done. The funny thing is how my understanding of my year’s word blossoms and grows into something that I would never have guessed mid-January.
This year, just like the last four has been no exception. This learning of Sabbath is slowly shaping me to rest in Christ, to be, to breathe deeply in a way that is very unnatural for me. And along with the rest has come the concept of quieting life around me, from schedules to spaces to time spent just enjoying the company of others. Though it may seem unrelated, clearing away the excesses in my home has been an outgrowth of this that has reduced stress in ways I never could have imagined. So today, I’m asking you to join myself and others in Mission Organization | The Great Closet Purge.
Mission Organization | The Great Closet Purge
As I mentioned last week, I read about the KonMari method in Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying this past winter and found myself ready to approach this whole tidying concept in an entirely different way.
A few disclaimers here –
** This post contains an affiliate link. Basically, that means if you click on the links I’ve provided and decide to make a purchase, then I’ll make a little commission. It does not cost you anything extra, it just makes it easier for you to find products. THANK YOU for following along on this closet makeover with SoMuchMoore**
While I do not embrace the worldview of Ms. Kondo, she has presented some helpful principles in approaching this whole tidying thing in a way that is understandable and fairly easy to apply.
This isn’t about organizing, it’s about purging. Don’t even sidetrack yourself with the organizing right now.
As much as possible, purge at one designated time. Purging your closet in one evening or weekend will leave you with a strong sense of accomplishment. It creates momentum to complete the task and it keeps your goal front and center instead of sidetracked with the bit-by-bit-when-I-have-time approach.
Before you purge, gather ALL of your clothing together at one time, in one place. If you have any clothes that are out of season or not quite the right size yet, grab those too.
Divide the closet contents into categories and tackle them one at a time. My categories included sweaters, shirts, pants, dresses, skirts, jackets, shoes, undergarments, accessories. I gathered all of my short-sleeved shirts into a pile and purged that stack, then I moved on to the long-sleeved shirts and on and on. The Kon Mari method advises piling your items on the floor, I actually used my bed because my back can’t handle sitting on the floor and sorting for very long.
Kondo’s criteria for keeping an item is to hold it in your hand and ask if it sparks joy. My approach was to lay out each item and think through whether or not I really loved it. Was it the one piece I tended to choose or it was just a “that’ll do” item? If I hadn’t worn it much during it’s last season that served as a great indicator that I didn’t really love it, and it was time to bless someone else with the item.
Don’t put stuff back into your closet until you’ve finished purging everything. Think of it like writing a paper. Your first draft is writing down everything you want to communicate on your chosen subject, then you go back and start editing. If you edit while you write, you’ll lose your train of thought and your paper will feel disjointed. Same concept here. Just purge away. If you have to stop for dinner, leave your freshly purged pile on the floor and come back afterward to forge on with the thinning of your closet.
As much as you can, use your bedroom closet for clothing and perhaps bedding and linens for your master bedroom and bath. It’s not the place to store extra jackets, cleaning items, books, Christmas gifts … you get the idea.
What to do with all this stuff
GET RID OF IT! You can make a few piles – a keep pile, a blessing a friend or organization pile, and a trash bag. That’s it.
We all have those items that are harder to part with than the rest, and there are several options here…
If it’s still not the item you choose to wear or really love, then go ahead and think of someone special to pass it on to, as opposed to the local thrift store. If you have a box of outfits your kids wore, take a few pictures of them to include in a digital or hard copy scrapbook and then find another family to bless,
Repurpose them into something else. I made these pillows out of a sweater that was my Mama’s that I knew I would never wear, but didn’t want to just give away. But here’s a word of caution – only allow yourself a few of these items, and go ahead and cut them up or start the process of crafting so you’re not tempted to snatch if out of the pile and add it right back to your closet.
There will always be a few items that you simply can’t part with and that’s okay, just in case you’re the type that needs permission consider it granted. You’re welcome! I have some heirloom baby gowns that have been in our family since the 1800s and you can guarantee those will be passed on to our children and grandchildren.
Breathe! Have a cup of coffee or tea, and maybe a bit of chocolate and sit for a moment. Muster your courage and just start with one category at a time. You’ll be amazed at the momentum you gain and the satisfaction of shedding a few pounds in the process, whether that’s clothes or actual weight from all the activity!
I actually did my big closet purge a few months ago and am happy to say that it has stayed clean. I’ve been so pleased with the results and am excited to finish this makeover project with y’all. I’m so excited about it in fact, that my family may or may not be growing a little weary of hearing my ideas. I’ve gathered a few items from our home, the trash pile at a rental house we’re fixing up, the garage, and one or two items I’ve actually purchased. And I’ve enlisted the help of my crew around here for a few fun elements. You’ll hear more about all of this next Monday.
So, grab your mug, and get after it! Check back on Wednesday to see how others are doing with their purge process and for a few things to think about for the fun part – decorating and design.
Oh, and just in case you wondered. We cleared out 10-12 garbage bags full of clothes, accessories and trash from our closet, dresser and storage tubs when we did our master bedroom purge. Ah the freedom of passing stuff on!