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And so the new school year begins…but with every beginning, comes an ending. The ending of summer. I really love summer and it goes by far too fast, so to avoid grieving the lazy summer days coming to an end, I try to focus on moving forward. Like past years when our kids were young, the beginning of the school year meant new school clothes and supplies which also necessitated the purging of the closet to make room for said new clothes. This year, we no longer have kids in school, well, not high school anymore, and so this long-lived tradition has come to an end. Yup, just super sad about that one! But, I still have the need to clean things out-it feels productive and, well I will just admit it, I’m an organizer at heart! I had an organizing business for awhile and it really is in my blood! So, in true organizer fashion, I attacked my own closet. It reminded me of those times I would sit with a client and help them to decide if something should be let go or kept and that made me think about you. What if you are looking to clean out your closet (it does feel amazing!) but you have some hesitation? And so, today you are my inspiration! I will help you get that feeling of accomplishment even without having Marie Kondo come to your home! If you are wanting some clean-out tips and tricks, hang on to your seats because that is what today’s blog is all about! And I thought I would link my previous video on our closet reno to show you what we can do for you at Elite Kitchens & Bathrooms! I am also sharing my bellini recipe to make the decluttering go just a little sweeter!!!

What was the biggest obstacle for most people that I helped to purge things? Simple-attachment! I get it. I struggle too. There are many reasons we are attached to items. For me, I had to buy all my own clothes since I was 12 and I had to work for the money to buy them. It took me 30 hours of babysitting to buy a pair of jeans. Yes-those jeans were very precious and to replace them would have meant 30 more hours of babysitting! It is something I still battle with. It does keep me from buying things I really don’t need, but it also keeps me holding onto things longer than I should too. So, let’s address the attachment. You can be attached because:

  1. You know how much you spent and you perhaps didn’t get enough wear out of it…to address this, I think the question to ask yourself is “Do you love it today?”. Although you may have loved it when you bought it, perhaps it wasn’t really your style, or it was an item that didn’t suit your life or you just lost interest in it. If you don’t love it today (imagine that you are shopping for it today. Would you buy it right now?) then it is taking up valuable closet space (something I remind myself too-I want my closet to look neat and organized and it cannot if cluttered) and can be passed on to someone else. Also, keep in mind that the money is already long spent. It isn’t saving you anything to keep it if you don’t love it today.
  2. Is it looking worn-missing buttons, broken zippers, pilling…if you are never going to fix it (really think about this because we often have good intentions but it never gets done) then let it go rather than have it nag at you to fix it and take up valuable closet space because you just won’t wear it until it is fixed.
  3. Are you keeping it for sentimental reasons? I had a few items today that reminded me of a wonderful memory. It tugged at my heartstrings and I had to remind myself that the memories are already mine and I likely have a photo of the moment so I can hold onto that, rather than a sweater that doesn’t really flatter anymore.
  4. Are you keeping it “just in case” you might need it? I get it. I asked myself that question today too as I tried on far too many sweaters (in the heat nonetheless!!!). So I put them in a “maybe” pile until the end and then readdressed them. I found that I had a similar sweater that I really liked and it made me feel fantastic when I put it on so it made it easy to let go of the “doesn’t make me feel fantastic” sweater instantly. Then there were the ones that still were a bit questionable. I asked for help-to the rescue was my daughter. A second opinion can also be useful in this instance! She honestly (and not too brutally) said the sweater wasn’t too flattering. Ok-that was enough of a reason to stop holding it “just in case”. Remember that we only wear about 20% of our clothing 80% of the time.
  5. Duplicates-I kinda already touched on this one above. I had two white sweaters and really only need one so I made a choice and that worked quite easily. Also something to consider is if the item doesn’t really turn into an “outfit”. You know that cute shirt that you thought you would wear, but you don’t have the right pants to wear with it and you can never find them so you just hang onto that shirt waiting for the pants. Well, I figure that I have waited enough and just threw in the towel and let the shirt go to someone else who might already have the pants and is waiting for the shirt! Something you might want to look into is an app-my daughter has one that can show you the clothes you already have in outfits! Genius, right?
  6. Does it fit? Seriously, so many women I know battle the scale rising and falling just like me. So, stop driving yourself crazy with keeping clothes in your closet that don’t fit or flatter. I have decided that I want to go into my closet and be filled with excitement (ok, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but definitely some joy) about the clothes that I will be choosing. Clothes that I have “grown out of” is a constant voice reminding you that you are not “there” yet if you keep clothes that you hope to fit into. I imagine that to some people having an item of clothing in the size you are hoping to get into can be inspiring. That is awesome! But most of the people I have helped to organize have found it defeating. We all have enough in our life that we are battling against, why make it harder on yourself. If you want to dangle a carrot in front of you, why not dangle a shopping spree of new clothes when you reach that golden number? I found a bit of a compromise if you are hesitant to give it all away, put it in storage…under the bed, in the garage in a box, and that way you still have it, but it isn’t screaming in your face or taking up valuable real estate in your closet. Revisit the stored items later and you will realize you didn’t miss them at all! Another great way to determine if you are wearing your clothes or if it just isn’t getting the mileage you hoped, turn your hangers around to face the opposite direction. When you wear an item, turn the hanger around to face the usual direction. In one year, when you are decluttering your closet again, you will easily see which hangers are turned and which are not. Then you will know you haven’t worn that item in a full year so it likely isn’t going to be worn again. Easy way to see what has just been hanging around your closet without being used!!!

So, I hope this helps. I had lots of reminders today as I battled my own closet and heard my “organizer voice” speaking these things to me. It helped keep me on track and remember that the space is valuable. I really love my closet remodel and want to have it look the way I love it all the time. It feels great walking up to the thrift store and knowing that someone else will be enjoying these items and I will be enjoying my space!

Here is the link to our closet renovation.

I have also included my recipe for Tex-Mex Shepherds Pie…something to warm you up now that we are heading into the fall! It’s a family favourite and I hope it will warm your home too!!!

We are here to help-be it with creating your own dream closet or helping you to keep down the clutter and enjoy the space in your life. I’m hoping you are enjoying the new beginning of the school year and looking forward to what lies ahead. Above all, may it be healthy. From all of us at Elite Kitchens & Bathrooms-happy fall!!!


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