The Number One closet organizational tip on our Closet & Storage Concepts website reads as much like a primer for living as it does as it does a briefing on proper closet organization: Decide what is truly important to you and make sure your *fill in the blank (i.e. closet, life, friends, hobby, job) provides the solution.
In closets, as in life, less is more.
The changing of the season from “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer” to “September Song” is the perfect time to assess what you truly love and need, and letting go of the rest. It’s this “rest” that trips up most people, accounting for the majority of our closet-stuffing clutter. According to the Pareto Principle (often referred to as the 80-20 rule or the “law of the vital few”), approximately 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In closet-speak this means that, on average, only 20% of our wardrobe is in active rotation. The other 80% is consistently overlooked, purposely unselected or too far away in the recesses of the closet to be bothered with.
Like any break-up, emotions can circumvent logic and de-rail the best intentions. The following are a few suggestions to help make your swan song encounter just a little less anxiety provoking:
- Resolve that the dissolution of the clothing /clothing-wearer relationship is in the best interest of both parties. The 80% that is being ignored by you can be donated to others who need them more than you and will give the clothes the love and attention that has been denied.
- Acknowledge that a portion of that 80% were gold-diggers and free-loaders to begin with. Many pieces stuffing our closets are as the result of impulse or someday-promise purchases (“Someday I’ll fit into this. Promise”). These pieces didn’t make your 20% because they were a poor choice from the start. Hanging on doesn’t transform a bad decision into a better decision. Cut your losses and let them go.
- Recognize that you’ve outgrown the 80%. What may have been a good match at some point became less satisfying as your needs and style changed. It’s nothing personal. Keep only that which fits, flatters and is current. Just because it was your favorite sweater when you wore it to the premier of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon doesn’t give it a free pass to occupy your closet rent-free for eternity.
- Be honest when deciding if fixing an item is worth the time or investment. Sure, once you’ve found just the right outfit, it’s hard to imagine life without it. Quality is expensive, but so is repairing clothing and shoes that are tattered or worn. But are you REALLY going to take the suit to be tailored or the shoes to be re-heeled? Really? And if you did arrange for the repair or tailoring, will the suit or shoes be in style long enough to warrant the additional financial and time investment. Some relationships are not ultimately worth the investment in time and energy (not to mention cost) it will require to repair it.
Contact your (closet and storage) relationship consultants at Closet and Storage Conceptsto discuss your unique closet organization problems, and help you work though the toughest clothing break-up scenarios. We are expert in helping you prioritize your belongings and can custom design an closet organizing system that addresses your needs. Let us help you fall in love again… with your closets. Call us at 1-888-THE-CLOSET (1-888-843-2567).