3 Easy Steps to Clean Your Closet

closet organization

This year, I rang in the New Year by taking a four-day weekend solely for the purpose of cleaning out my closet. I hadn’t tackled this task since 2012 when I spent another long weekend changing all my hangers from a tangle of plastic to space-saving velvet hangers. One of my better life decisions.

Both weekends were hard and frustrating. Tears were shed, brows were furrowed, and curse words were shouted. I needed every bit of those four days to sort through the rubble and regain control of my life.

You may think I’m being dramatic here, but I am not. When my closet is in order, my life is in order. It’s amazing not to start my day with the stress of digging for something to wear that makes me feel good.

Through the struggle of those four days, I kept revisiting these 3 easy steps to clean out your closet that kept me motivated and on track. They aren’t easy in the sense that the process is painless, but they simplify the process and keep you moving until you eventually have a duh moment.

3 easy steps to clean your closet3 Easy Steps to Clean Your Closet

  1. Ask the tough questions. Don’t pull a hanger out of the closet and ask yourself “Will I ever wear this again?” because the answer is probably “Well, yeah.” and back in the closet it will go. Instead, ask yourself “Do I love this?”, “Does this make me feel good about myself?’, “Is this something I wear often?” If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then it can go back into the closet. If there’s a no in there, then it’s time to part ways.
  2. Seriously consider the “maybe” pile. If you’re like me, you’re on the fence about most items in your closet and the maybe pile quickly becomes the yes pile. You can’t just get rid of something on the off chance that you might might lose 20 pounds or get invited somewhere fancy. Yes, you can. And you should by going through your maybe pile and asking yourself “Would I pull out cash and buy this again right now?” If you wouldn’t buy it again, you shouldn’t keep it.
  3. Follow through. Before you even open your closet doors, make sure you know where the nearest donation center is. Have trash bags ready and your car backed up to the front door. Make it easier for you to get unwanted items out of the house instead of into the basement. I ended up making two trips The Salvation Army and two trips to the dumpster, in total removing 32 trash-bags of debris from my closet. I haven’t missed a single thing.

clean closet

Once you’ve achieved the zen state of closet organization, have a plan in place for evaluating what goes into your closet moving forward. For me, that’s making sure it’s something that makes me feel good, that fits right now (no buying something a size smaller because it was on sale and I just renewed my Weight Watchers subscription), and I can easily incorporate it into three different outfits with what’s already in my closet.

So far, nothing has made it into the closet this year and I’m still marveling at all the extra space.

Do you clean out your closet regularly? Any tips for making the process less painful?

Worthy of the Week

Worthy of the Week Cadbury Mini EggsWorthy of the Week

Book of the Week

Tomorrow is National Readathon Day! Plop down with a book from noon to 4 pm and tweet using #timetoread. I have a few stragglers that I’m planning on finishing and, time permitting, I want to dive into The Girl On The Train.

Honey Plum Cream Cheese Spread #TheFeelGoodFruit

They say that by January 15th, most people have already broken or forgotten about their New Year’s resolution. I think that’s mostly because people are too hard on themselves. They set resolutions that are complete lifestyle changes instead of making small improvements and celebrating little victories until they achieve their big goal.

So, instead of resolving to give up all processed foods and go paleo, start with making better snacking choices. By substituting sugary sweets with Amaz!n Diced Dried Prunes (Yes — prunes!) you ditch all those empty calories for extra fiber and fruity goodness. Studies suggest that the nutrients found in prunes may also help promote healthy bones, increase energy, and contribute to heart health. You can grab a handful on the go or toss them in cereal, oatmeal, and salads.

An easy way to incorporate Sunsweet® Amaz!n Diced Dried Prunes into your daily snacking routine is with this honey prune cream cheese spread. It’s amazing for breakfast smeared on bagels or English muffins and equally amazing with an apple as an afternoon snack.

Honey Plum Cream Cheese Spread

Honey Plum Cream Cheese SpreadIngredients

Honey Plum Cream Cheese Spread Ingredients

Amaz!n plumsDirections

Add all ingredients to a large bowl and fold to combine. (Sunsweet® Amaz!n Diced Dried Prunes are so plump and juicy that you don’t even have to soak like you do with other prunes!) Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to mellow. Bring to room temperature and smear on bagels or fruit.

Honey Plum Cream Cheese Spread on Bagel

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Worthy of the Week

i don't even want a boyfriendvia
Girls is back on! Can you believe Hannah left without saying goodbye to Adam?!
I’m so upset about that.

Worthy of the Week

Book of the Week

I’ve been reading The Good Girl and having nightmares that someone is trying to kill me so I think that means it’s good. I also started Brain on Fire, which I’ve been meaning to read since it hit the NYT Bestseller list two years ago, so I’m on a roll with inspirational and uplifting books.

Oh, and NetGalley has Hausfrau available for download! I highly suggest signing up for an account if you have an ereader and are willing to post reviews.

What have you been reading?

Valentine Swap 2015: More Love Edition #vdayswap

Valentine Swap

Welcome to the 4th annual Valentine Swap!

We’re shaking things up this year to include more Valentines and more love. Instead of swapping with one person, we’re going to swap with everyone! Participation is limited to 12 people so sign up early!

Below are the basic guidelines — please leave a comment if you see any red flags. I’ll be sure to send the final guidelines to all participants with address information.

  • Fill out this form by January 24th.
  • Receive final guidelines and full list of participants by February 1st.
  • Buy your Valentines a card and a little something special. It’s up to you how much you want to spend, but $2-3 per person is ideal.
  • Mail your goodies by February 7th to arrive by the big day.
  • As you receive your Valentines, tweet using #vdayswap!

Please only signup if you intend to follow-through. In the interest of cost, it’s also probably best that everyone be in the US. Sorry. While I want everyone to get as much love as they get, I can’t be responsible for any Valentines that do not arrive.