Tuesday, March 5, 2013

SORT your closet ~ the Sticker System

One of the biggest road blocks to a well organized closet is having TOO MUCH STUFF.  Most women have felt the despair of having absolutely NOTHING to wear - usually when we are getting ready for an important event and need to be out the door in a matter of minutes.  We truly believe that we have NOTHING to wear, even though our closets are crammed full of clothes. We drive ourselves crazy, while baffling and confounding the men in our lives (who often share our closets and KNOW we have clothing enough to take up the majority of the closet space).  We dash out on that frantic last-minute shopping trip and end up buying something we don't really like, probably will never wear again, and would never have purchased in the first place if we hadn't felt so pressured to come up with an outfit RIGHT THIS MINUTE. 

In reality, we really do have some great pieces tucked away in the tangle of hangers and clothes.  Its just that the gems get buried amidst our high school prom dresses and that style that seemed like a good idea, but only looks cute on junior high girls.  Enter the STICKER SYSTEM.  This is a solution for women who want to purge, but aren't sure which pieces to ditch and which to hang onto.  It takes some patience, but in the end it will give you a clear picture of what you actually wear and what items you'd never miss if they were gone.

SUPPLIES: sticker labels, small trash bin, large bag for "give away" clothing items
STEP 1: Choose a starting date you will remember.  The first of any month will do.  Mark it on your calendar so you don't forget.
STEP 2:  On or around your chosen date, place a sticker on every item (both hanging and folded) in your closet.  I skipped my dresser (pajamas, workout clothes, and undergarments) but put a sticker on all folded shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, etc. on my closet shelves.  Use your own discretion on how far you want to take it.  I skipped belts, scarves, etc because I am mainly after decluttering my hanging space.  I used color coding dot labels, but as you can see they did not stick very well to the plastic hangers.  Next time I might use blue painters tape or a label that is long enough to wrap around the hanger and stick to itself.  As you are placing the stickers, say good-bye to any items you KNOW you do not love, do not wear, or anything that does not fit you properly.  Place them in the "give away" bag.
STEP 3:  In the following weeks and months, remove the sticker from any item you wear and place it in the trash bin (this is why it's nice to have a mini-trash container in the closet).   Make sure that when you wash and rehang the item, you place it on a sticker-free hanger.  Over time, you will begin to see what you actually wear and what you haven't touched all season.  An added bonus is that the stickers may draw your attention to items you forgot you even had, making it FEEL like you just got a new outfit!
STEP 4: At the end of a calendar year, anything that still has a sticker is automatically discarded.  If you haven't worn it in a year, chances are you never will!
I am more than halfway through my first year with the sticker system, and I can already see that I have TONS of clothing that I never wear.  I would say that during the winter season, I probably wore only one fourth of my winter wardrobe.  Even though my year is not over, I am feeling ready to do some major closet purging.  Hoping to tackle that project during Spring Break!

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