Achieving Closet Nirvana Pt. IV
BY CARLA RIEDEL
Congrats on making it all the way to Secrets 7 & 8. We’ve come a long way, Baby!
Perhaps you joined us with a Ph.D. in all things organization-y and checked us out to make sure we hit the high points. Or you might be one of those folks who’s neglected closet would use loads of attention. But, most probably, you fall somewhere in the middle of this road. Whether your closet is a neglected target-rich environment or it’s practically perfect in every way, I’m sure you’ve noticed the one subject we’ve managed to skirt altogether – the embarrassment of riches that is Too Much Stuff.
Advice abounds regarding the paring down of items you don’t use. There’s the Kondo method of finding joy in all you have, the Reversity method of starting from Square One with all your hangers on the rods backwards so you have an easy visual clue to the things you’ve worn recently. Ultimately, the method you use to cull your closet is immaterial as long as you cull. You can self-motivate and soul search until the cows come home but it all eventually comes down to digging in and doing it until it’s done.
Secret # 7 – Miscellany To Keep In Mind:
- Accessibility is key. Stuff crammed behind other stuff is stuff you probably don’t need. If every item in your closet is wearable and visible, you’ll use everything until you use everything up. And isn’t this the point?
- Re-selling the good-but-not-good-enough stuff eases the pain of paring down.
- The second best option to resale is finding someone you know who can use what you can’t. When I finally admitted and embraced my incurable penchant for enormous handbags, I asked a couple of co-workers if my too-small-for-me-but-plenty-big-enough-for-everyone-else-in-the-universe bags might work for them. They were tickled to take the bags off my hands.
- When it comes to donation, the rule of thumb is to donate only the things that are good enough to give to your sister. If it’s not good enough for her, throw it away.
Secret # 8 – The Path to Nirvana is Wide and Welcoming
A couple of years ago I effectively cut my wardrobe in half by taking half my stuff to my vacation home. My single initial goal was to stop schlepping the same things back and forth across the country. I identified duplicate or similar items and shipped them eastward. Turns out my old motto was ‘if two are good, four must surely be better.’ When all the extra stuff was gone, I was well on my way to Closet Nirvana without much falderol or fiddle dee dee. Naturally, I continued forward with the momentum.
The result of this unintentional paring down is an airier primary closet and literal room to breathe. Getting dressed in the morning is appreciably easier, as I have fewer choices. It is satisfying to get along just fine with fewer things, thank you very much.
The refinement of a wardrobe is a rewarding experience in and of itself. But if you follow my lead, you will quickly realize the first tiny taste of refinement is but a gateway drug. Refinement leads to streamlining, streamlining begets simplification, simplification gives rise to a decided preference toward quality over quantity.
My new goal is to trim my rainbow ROY G. BIV-ed assortment of clothing to only blue, black, white and gray. I’ll accomplish this through natural attrition, of course, so I’m wearing colorful items like crazy to wear them out. These days I resemble Barnum and Bailey rather than Banana Republic but it’s all in the name of my new higher calling. Someday my core wardrobe will consist solely of jeans, black trousers, white shirts, black tees, and a pop of the gray and blue hues I’ve always held dear. Scarves, jewelry and jackets will provide pizazz and relieve monotony, should it ever rear its ugly head.
Join me on the path to Closet Nirvana. Baby, you’re gonna love the elbow room.
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