Organizing My Closet
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Organizing My Closet

It is possible that organizing a small closet is more difficult than organizing a large closet. Every picture I have ever seen is that of a good sized closet, with lots of room for hanging shelves, stands for shoes and possibly even wall space for hooks. Not all closets are that big; some older homes have closets that would not even be called closets by today’s standards.

My closet, as a matter of fact, is a walk in closet but hardly big enough to do more than walk in and back out. My closet also seems to be collection central for all of my things, whether they belong in my closet or not; birthday gifts, Christmas presents, simple decorations also seem to end up in my closet. My shoes, handbags, dresses, tops, jeans and slacks are crammed together close enough to stand up without hangers. The problem is, of course, that while I can add more items to my closet, I cannot expand my closet to contain them.

By this point, getting anything out of my closet is also a challenge or rather a new Yoga position. There have been many times that I planned my outfit for work, got down on my hands and knees, as was necessary, to find the appropriate shoes to complete the whole thing and not be able to find at least one of the two shoes. No outfit is complete, at least not professionally, without the proper footwear; so on days when a complete, matching, and appropriate pair of shoes could not be found, I had to change my outfit and possibly change my hair do. All of this is annoying to say the lease – discouraging at most.

A plan is what I need and a plan is what I made; unfortunately, my plan includes getting rid of, or purging, most of the items in my closet. I know what I want my closet to look like and I know what kind of functionality I want from my closet. What I also know is I need to be realistic about my time frame: if I take too long, it will not get finished and if I think I will get done in a couple of hours, I will be disappointed and, again, it will not get finished. It was time for me to be realistic, determined and honest with myself.

My plan had to include steps and a time frame goal, and it had to include my honest appraisal of what had to happen. I had to give myself two days to purge what I know did not fit me, what I know I didn’t like and what I know I won’t wear again. And that had to include shoes.

Organizing my small closet began with taking everything out and placing the items in one of four piles: trash, keep: clothes and shoes, keep: handbags and everything else, and donate. This phase did not include trying anything on; I only went by sizes, likes, and the likelihood of wearing the item. Everything I decided not to keep, that was in good or better shape, was going to be donated to the local Boys and Girls Club; one large, contractor sized garbage bag was filled. Everything I decided to throw away, well, it went to the trash. What I kept had only survived the first cut and was by no means guaranteed a permanent place in my closet.

On day two of my quest for order, I actually tried on every piece of clothing I had left. At the end of almost three hours of trying on clothes, I filled another large, contractor sized garbage bag of clothes and shoes to donate. What I had left was the cream of the crop; the best and finest and all of my favorites. After purging once and purging again, I could see the light. My handbags began to fit on my shelf, my scarves were neatly arranged, my belts hung so I could easily see which one I wanted. My shoes were neatly organized and off of the floor and best of all, I could actually walk into my closet!

The joy I felt after two days of cleaning and organizing, donating and throwing away is indescribable. My reward for working so hard and honestly was the final outcome, the goal…a gorgeous organized small closet.


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