When the flowers are blooming and birdsong becomes your new morning alarm, it’s easy to experience the inspiring changes spring is springing on you. All that outdoor inspiration can manifest indoors too and guide you to your own path of change — or just an uncontrollable urge to clean out your closet. Spring cleaning has sprung and decluttering an overcrowded closet is one way to renew and revitalize the energy in your home.
“Decluttering is a decision waiting to happen,” says Ashley Gude, owner of the Louisville business Ashley Organizes. Ashley has been organizing all of her life, but finally focused her life’s passion into a successful business six years ago. Ashley defines clutter as anything that stops you from having calm in your life. So, if your closet of clothes is a source of stress, it might be time to let go of items that are gathering dust.
Why is it Hard?
Thinking about which clothes to purge can bring up as many emotions as you have shoes hidden on your closet shelves. Feelings like sadness, loss, and guilt can come up when opening your closet door to decluttering. “People are sentimental about their clothes,” Ashley begins, “they’re emotional about a certain time in their lives and find it hard to let go.” If you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, or the loss of weight, it can be painful to say goodbye to the garments that connected you to those times.
Where to Start
A good place to start spring cleaning is with items that don’t hold as much emotional value. Ashley suggests going through items like socks, shoes, and T-shirts first, “So, we pivot to something easier that lets you get the feel for the process. This builds momentum,” Ashley says. Next, instead of pulling your entire closet apart (which is overwhelming), Ashley recommends putting items into categories — taking out one group and then continuing to subdivide. “If you take out all your shoes, keep subdividing into categories like formal shoes, winter shoes, sandals, tennis shoes, etc.,” Ashley says. When you see all your belongings together, this gives you a better idea of what items are keepers.
When it comes to deciding what leaves your wardrobe, Ashley says to ask questions like, “Would you buy it again today? Are you excited to have it?” If you’re still on the fence ask, “When did I wear this last?” Guilt can arise when letting go of items that were expensive and fluctuations in weight can lead many to keep more clothes than needed. “In this instance, we pick the closest size up and down to where you are,” Ashley says.
Springtime closet cleaning can certainly feel overwhelming, but remember the goal is to have a workable wardrobe and bring some calm into your world. Ashley reminds you to take plenty of breaks and be forgiving of yourself during the process. “Really be realistic and honest and know it’s okay to let things go,” says Ashley.
By Tonilyn Hornung