I am a self-described “clothes horse”. I love wearing beautiful clothes and don’t mind spending money on myself. I also like to wear what’s in style and consequently have accumulated far too much; far more than I can possibly wear. This realization was made along with these three facts.
1. At my age it’s quite unlikely that I’ll ever be a size 8 again.
2. With the start of my new venture, I’ll probably never wear business attire again.
3. My husband and I live in a circa 1917 house with a very small closet which we share and said closet is overflowing with my clothing!
4. Because of said small closet, I was forced to rotate my clothes with the season which resulted in a sorting day twice a year when I’d rather be outside having fun.
Here’s the “before”…
I followed the KonMari method of organizing my clothing and as Marie Kondo says, one starts with clothing by gathering all of it, (and she does mean ALL of it) in one place to begin the sorting process. So this is ALL of my clothing, accessories, purses, shoes, winter clothing, jackets etc. She says, anything which you come across later on, will have to be discarded. Oh my! The idea of throwing out something perfectly good that I used to wear (think ballet gear and wedding dress!) made me really think hard while I was gathering so that everything would be included in the big sort.
I used the following criteria to decide what to keep, and the rest was discarded.
1. It had to fit and fit well – no itchy tags, no baggy, saggy.
2. It had to bring me joy when I held it up to myself. Any felt sense of negativity, or bad memory association and out it went.
3. It had to look perfect – anything that needed extensive mending went in the discard pile.
4. I held out a few exceptions for my clothing “Hall of Fame” that in all likelihood I will never wear again, but couldn't bear to part with; e.g. a college sweatshirt from my alma mater and a pair of coral colored high heeled pumps that make me feel oh so sexy.
And here is the after…many, many hours after…
Our closet…all of my seasons in one place!
My purse collection – sparkly purses are my thing!
My sock drawer – it’s like origami for socks!
My pajama drawer...I'm embarrassed to put my underwear drawer on the internet!
My apron collection – doesn’t every woman have an apron collection? Okay, there’s a bathing suit in there too.
My scarves; they really like being folded rather than hung and a shoe box worked well to stack them in.
My shoes! I’ve always wanted a shoe photo gallery!
And finally, the donation pile at curbside. I also consigned 25 like-new items at a local shop. Cha-ching!
When’s the last time you sorted through your clothes? What’s the most interesting item in your clothing Hall of Fame?
Today is the day I started my new business, “Winnow & Spruce Organizing”. This past year I’ve been on a journey to get re-acquainted with myself; to know and to love the real me and quit pretending to be who I thought I should be and searching for what I thought I should do. It started with suddenly and unexpectedly leaving a job followed by a deep plunge into the depths of my life to understand and examine the roots of how it all went wrong. The introvert in me was awakened and along the way I rediscovered my passions; creativity, writing, nature, reading, and organizing. It’s been within me all along. Organizing is a touchstone for me; an activity that makes me feel safe and appreciated and a skill that I love to share with others. Today feels like I have come home to myself.
It’s been said that to discover what your life purpose is to go back to when you were the magical age of 8 and consider what you did for fun. For me, it was organizing! As my friend, Maureen, a co-worker said to me a couple of years ago, after watching me arrange and rearrange, “Val, you have a highly developed sense of order.” I do feel at peace when everything is in its proper place. I do feel a sense of joy when a room is put back to order or when a closet’s belongings are returned. I do feel a sense of accomplishment helping a friend sort through their clothes and I do love to plan and organize a special party for a loved one. An early childhood memory is of patiently waiting for my mother to leave the house on some errand so I could quickly organize the spices above the stove to happily surprise her
Organizing is a way of life for me. I look forward to sharing ideas, projects and insights as my new venture unfolds.