The way we “transition” our clothes from season to season says a lot, not just about how we deal with our possessions but also our approach to organizing, dealing with clutter and holding onto memories.
In a world focused on downsizing, transitioning our belongings takes on a special challenge. Few of us have the room or luxury of letting “it all hang out”.
Enter Rubbermaid Configurations, the ultimate in flexible solutions to maximize every inch of available space. That is the easy part. You, however, are left with the critical questions of what to transition, how, when. How do you begin; how do you get your head ready to tackle all the emotional decisions, and the physical work, required to simplify your possessions and ultimately, your life.
Here are a few tried and true tips from the trenches.
Step 1. Start small. Take out all your tops, regardless of seasons. (Blouses, t-shirts, sweaters, turtlenecks, etc.) Search every drawer, closet, laundry basket to minimize surprises later. Now, and this is tough, eliminate anything that doesn’t make you feel good, no matter how much it costs, who gave it to you, what memories it holds.
Key to success in Step 1 is brutal honesty. If you don’t feel good in the top, if you don’t look good, do not keep. Make Goodwill, or the charity of your choice, happy and send your top on to a new home.
Step 2. Once you have “purged” everything unloved and unflattering, place all purged tops into clean garbage bags for the charity of your choice. Organize remaining tops into three piles.
a) Cold Weather
b) Hot Weather
c) Tops that can work throughout the year
Step 3. Tops appropriate for the current season can now be placed in your closet or drawers. Color-coding and organizing by type of top is helpful.
Step 4. Now address the other two piles of your edited tops, one for the opposite season and one that works year round. If you have the luxury of large closets, now is the time to put the out of season tops away on the other side of the closet. If not, fold them into bins/boxes designed for under the bed. The year round tops can be integrated into your seasonal wardrobe in the way that works best for you. Using garment bags or clean plastic bags from the cleaners are another excellent tool and then stored in a secondary closet or storage area.
Step 5. REWARD TIME. Relax and enjoy a sense of satisfaction. You have transitioned, organized and edited your collection of tops. Most importantly, you have worked through a process that you can now follow for your pants, skirts, suits and dresses. Once these major categories have been organized, you can use the same process for your accessories, bags and shoes.
Guarantee. Once you have worked through this process, you will enjoy a sense of relief and accomplishment. Like it or not, clothes are a key message to our world. No matter our age, shape, size, fitness or income, mastering orderly transition of our clothes helps us be more effective in other challenges.
A much more pleasant term and broader to encompass the purging and organizing aspect of getting a fresh start for the spring!
There are so many areas to talk about within this concept of “Spring Clearing” so keep in touch. Let’s start small and work our way up to the largest tasks it and for those organizers out there…..capture some of these ideas and work through them with your clients.
I tackled this one myself last weekend when it was pouring cats and dogs outside! That pile of wonderful magazines that have accumulated over the past months or years. It is so easy to allow this to happen. Don’t procrastinate any longer…it’s time to deal with them, try these ideas to free up space and perhaps save some money:
- Limit the number of subscriptions, perhaps one per interest, or rotate your subscriptions each year – you only have so much free time to read them
- Donate magazines to dental or doctor’s offices, or any place there is a waiting room
- If they are current issues(no more than three months old) then you might approach Good Will to donate them
- Share subscriptions with your family members, a friend or your next door neighbour
- Tear out articles and file them in a “To Read” or “Resource” file and recycle the rest of the magazine
- Cancel subscriptions and search for your favourite topics on the internet