Jan, 2013

Closets – The 80/20 Rule

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 The 80/20 rules nearly always applies to closets (whether they are linen closets or clothes closets) –
80% of the time you only use 20% of the stuff in them.

Linen closets can become quite jammed over the years because we never seem to want to get rid
of towels or sheets, “just in case” we need them someday. Most people only use a couple of
towels and washcloths and two sets of sheets. I suggest you identify only the towels and bedding
you will take to your new space and clear out the rest. Choose your favorites, how about the
newest ones you have been saving for something special? This is the time to enjoy life in the
moment. Stop using those thin sheets and worn out towels!

Clothes closets can be difficult to go through objectively. Ask these questions:

  • How many are hanging there that used to be your favorites, but others have taken their place?
  • How many sizes are you holding onto in case you lose or gain? We can go a little overboard keeping some things just in case we might use them someday.

One lady I helped had sewn her own clothes for years. As we went through her closets (notice I said closets) she told me stories about the different outfits and when she sewed them. They went
back 20 or 30 years but because it was her handiwork it was even more difficult to let go.
Understandably, she had invested much time and love into each piece. Realistically, she knew that her new space could not hold these things and she gradually let go of more as we went
through them. Letting go of the past can be difficult but once it is done there is a feeling of acceptance and peace.
She was so pleased with herself when she had finished the challenging task.
Go through each hanger ready with a donation bag or box close by.  Keep only what you still wear and enjoy.

Each hanger must become a “keeper” or a “give away.” This process goes pretty fast when you get into it.
Next, check the shelves in these closets and I am sure you will discover some treasures you forgot you had!

It can give you a good laugh when you find something you have been looking for for ages.
So many times I have done this with my clients and we end up with bags of giveaways and a neat, tidy cupboard
holding only the most favorite items. .
Coat closets are often packed with jackets and coats we never wear. Select one or two of each
weight (lightweight, rain coat, winter jacket) and give the rest to a charity that clothes the
homeless or gives to needy families. Do the same with hats, scarves and gloves. You only have
two hands and one head! You don’t need several pairs of mittens and hats!

Remember to take one closet at a time.  Plan a period of time over several days to accomplish the task but be sure to complete one closet before starting another.

After you have gone through all your closets,  you will feel lighter and rest assured make others happy by sharing you excess stuff!

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