Sunday, November 4, 2012

Closet Cleanup Tips

I had grand plans of having a garage sale this month. I have sooo much stuff to get rid of, and I got excited by the idea of organizing a cute little garage sale, based on a story that appeared in Real Living a few years ago. It was going to be really organized: I was going to group like items together in a pretty way, and not just haphazardly. I was going to hang all dresses and blazers on a clothes rack (which I already had). I was going to have piles of neatly folded shirts and jeans. I was going to have a table with books I wanted to let go of. I was going to have a section just for shoes, and another just for bags. I was going to have stickers on all the merchandise, indicating price, and I would just stick the tags of sold items onto a notebook for easier tallying. I was deciding between wearing a fanny pack (haha) and keeping a cash box. I was going to have tons of P5 and P10 coins for change. I was going to use all the paper bags I had lying around for purchased items. I even found someone to help me on the day of, because I felt that the sale had to be manned by two people at all times.
And then I remembered I was pregnant and just didn't need the added stress in my life!
I realized that our street isn't really heavy on the foot traffic, and I wasn't quite sure where I could post ads around the village. And it's been so frickin' HOT (in November!!!) that I couldn't imagine sitting outside all day. So I just gave all the stuff to my mom for her church group's own rummage sales. While it would have been nice to make a little bit of extra money, my main objective, really, was to get rid of clutter!
I've already tossed quite a few things, and I'm not even done yet: over a dozen pairs of shoes, over 20 bags, and lots and lots of dresses, pants, skirts, tops, and shawls. The process is pretty overwhelming, but it feels so good to have unloaded all that stuff. I think a lot of people are daunted by the idea of a closet cleanup, so allow me to tap into my Good Housekeeping side and offer a few tips:
  1. You don't have to do it all in one go. I divided my closet cleanup into phases, staggered over different days. I can't imagine spending an entire day pulling out stuff, trying them on, and deciding whether to keep or toss--that's just exhausting. So I set aside one to two hours over a few weekends to do the deed. Phase 1 was my dress closet (which is technically half my husband's closet. We are currently under negotiations regarding closet space...). Phase 2 was when I started on my dressing room--I weeded through all my pants and stuff on hangers, like long-sleeved tops and blazers. Phase 3 was folded items, so all my shirts and shorts. Phase 4 was bags and my shawl drawer--I never realized I had so many bags. I love opening my closet now and seeing all the space cleared! I have two more phases to go--my miscellaneous drawer (socks, tights, other random items) plus jewelry drawer, and some big bags full of stuff under my vanity. After that, I can finally move on to the guest room (a.k.a. our tambakan!).
  2. Know your style (and your lifestyle). I'm more of a classic dresser so I got rid of trendy items like harem pants. And I'm a grownup with minimal chances of going camping, so I said goodbye to a pair of cargo shorts. I got rid of a few jerseys, but I know I'll be going back to disc next year, so I had to keep a whole lot of them.
  3. Be brutal. I tried to be as brutal as possible, letting go of items that I had been hanging on to for one reason or another (none of which involved wearability). So, au revoir to stuff that I was keeping for sentimental reasons (e.g., "But it was a gift!"--keep the sentiment, not the item if you're really not going to use it), adios to the things I bought from ukay a few years ago ("But it was such a steal!"--well, it's looking a little ratty now), so long to bags I've had since before I got married but which I haven't used in years. I'm still on the fence about a top that served as my costume at my first ever CADs concert though. I know I'm never going to use it, but in this case, the sentimental value is great. It might just go into my "seasonal wear" pile (thick sweaters and scarves at the back of my closet).
  4. Do it regularly. Keeping clutter at bay shouldn't be a once-a-year event. The enemy of being organized is "mamaya na" ("I'll leave it for later"). Whenever possible, decide on the fate of specific items right then and there--what do I do with all this mail? I bought a new dress--which one should I toss to make room for it? I got all these beauty products that I can't use--what to do with them? (That last one is a perpetual problem at the office--there are days when my cube is just overrun with stuff, so I do "Free Stuff" day every few weeks.)
I'm hoping to be done with all phases of my cleanup in two weeks. Got any tips of your own? Let me know!

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