It’s that time of year. We must throw open the windows, let the gorgeous spring air flow through the house and…clear out the clutter. Admit it. You have it lurking somewhere. A drawer. A closet. A garage. An entire basement. Okay, I feel a slight panic coming on, so let’s start small. I’m going with closet.
When we moved in to this house a year and a half ago, the 1928 closets did not provide nearly enough storage, so we converted the original sleeping porch (used by the last owner as an office) into a dressing room. I’ve made practical strides by adding more hanging space, installing full length mirrors, and stocking the vintage olive green and cream shelving (discovered at Jayson’s Flea) with denim, sweaters, and handbags. I’ve made aesthetic strides as well – the closet knobs have arrived (16 weeks after ordering them!), the walls have been covered in David Easton’s Hummingbirds wallpaper, the ceiling lacquered in Farrow & Ball’s Pink Ground, and I’ve finally found a light fixture I love. But. The shelves and rods are still bulging with things that need to go away.
So a serious edit is in order. I read that when trying to purge, you should ask yourself if the item is either useful or beautiful, and if it’s “no” to both, then pitch it. This is great when you are tackling desk drawers, but problematic when it comes to the closet. After all, would you have bought it in the first place if you didn’t think it was useful or beautiful? I desperately want to open my closet doors and see only things that I love and will wear. Therefore, I solemnly swear to:
(1) Rid myself of anything being saved for emotional/nostalgic reasons.
(2) Take to E-Drop Off any item I am saving simply because I feel guilty that I spent the money on it.
(3) Seriously sort and whittle down the multiples. We all have things we should be banned from buying. For me, it is white tanks and tees, denim, silk blouses and shoes. Wait, no. Not shoes. I will never say it about shoes. They are all different.
(4) Alter, donate, or consign all items that do not fit properly. Most people have precious closet real estate being taken up by items that simply need a button or a hem. And then there are the clothes we are hanging onto because they may fit again someday. Alter them if they are too big. And if they are too small, well, those need to disappear permanently. Your closet is not the place for fitness inspiration.
(5) Have a friend help if I am riding the fence. Sometimes you just need another pair of (critical and decisive) eyes to help you make the tough decisions.