Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring Cleaning Your Closet, Part 1


These potted flowers are decorating my front porch this Spring.

Every spring when I clean out my closet, I put away most of my sweaters in storage boxes - minus any worn out looking sweaters that need to be thrown away. It's still in the low 50s, so I will still need a couple sweaters left out, however.

My favorite part of Spring Closet Cleaning is taking out and hanging up my beloved cotton, light, gauzy, colorful spring dresses. It's still quite chilly outside every day though. I can only yet dream of wearing one of my flowery pastel cotton summer dresses, and my beloved sandals and espadrilles sit dusty on a top shelf, sigh!

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

- Tonight after work, enjoy a leisurely cup of tea, and your current favorite book or magazine. Don't rush into your evening cleaning activities quite yet; savor a stolen moment or two.

- Do you have fresh flowers in the house, perhaps tulips? Remedy the situation if you forgot to pamper yourself with flowers this week (budget allowing).

- Finish laundry so everybody has clean clothes for the rest of the workweek. (Or better yet, make your kids do their own, if they're old enough!)

TODAY'S PROJECT: Closet Spring Cleaning

I'm a bit ashamed to admit that currently, my closet has two or three large storage containers in the way so I will have a bit of difficulty stepping in to start sorting. I'll drag the boxes out into my bedroom, and try to figure out what's inside them and how I can minimize the clutter.


My newest dress. Not very summery, but I feel pretty in it.

I splurged on some new clothes in January, and shoved them into my closet a bit haphazardly. I'm worried I'll forget about a couple of the newer, fun pieces, since they aren't currently visible. With all my travels lately, I've let things fall on the floor, dry cleaning pile up, and my shelves get horribly untidy. I still do not have a dresser, so things like T-shirts and underwear are stored in baskets on the shelves. At least I tidied those recently, so that's a bit less work I have to do.

I don't have a fancy plan for reorganizing my closet, other than to just remove everything, sort and put things back.

I'll force myself to try things on to make sure they still fit - I've fortunately not gained too much weight since last year's Spring Cleaning. I will very strictly make myself get rid of things that don't fit, old things or things I know I won't wear any time soon.

Hoarding Gowns

I used to think I would keep around some gowns that don't fit me for a dress up trunk for nieces, but I've found that only gives me an excuse to keep things cluttering around. And the sad reality is my nieces don't visit very often at all. The fantasy of needing the gowns for nieces gave me an excuse to clutter up my closet with many gowns that are two or three sizes too small. Worn only twice or three times, and dry cleaned, they'll be perfect to donate to prom dress charities.

My System

I'll make a pile for trash, one for charity, one for laundry, one for storage, and then hang up clothes I will keep. I'll count my tank tops (I have way more tank tops than we have sunny days in Seattle summers) and try to pare down my collection. It's difficult for me, since they are so comfy - especially the Gap ones with the built-in bras.

Making it Fun

I plan to make my cleaning chore more pleasant by lighting a candle in my bedroom, playing my newest CD, or maybe I'll see if there's a good trashy Lifetime movie on.

Possible Shopping Opportunity!

As you sort, pay attention to things you might be missing. Is there anything you need to add to your shopping list? A silk blouse, a new business jacket, spring capris, a summery dress, a new bra? Maybe something nice you could wear to a wedding or a summer evening dinner party in an emergency? Do you have a lightweight spring coat? A rain slicker? How are your bras and panties holding up? Do you have something conservative in black you could wear to a funeral if you had to go to one on short notice?

Hoarding Clothes?

Do you notice any problem areas where you have WAY too many of the same type of items? My problem areas are shoes and the aforementioned tank tops. Spend a couple minutes really looking over your collection and evaluating where your personal shopping weaknesses lie. Next time you're in a store and reach for that pair of shoes, tank top, sundress, shorts, jeans, or whatever you seem to constantly buy, try to talk yourself out of it. Closet clutter is one of the most discouraging battles to fight in life, I think.

As you sort, don't forget to check clothes for wear, tears, stains, and fit. Make a laundry pile for clothes you want to keep. It might be a good idea to launder things you intend to send to charity. Although we most likely hung our clothes up clean in our closets, they might be a bit musty or dusty smelling. I like the charity sorters to know these are clean clothes, so I'll wash mine before giving them away, just to re-impart a fresh scent.

I expect this to be an all-evening project that spills over into tomorrow. I'll have to figure out a way to prevent it from making the bedroom unusable for sleep later tonight.

LOVELY ART: Helen Musselwhite


I thought you might like to check out this incredibly talented paper sculpturist. She creates fascinating scenes, often with owls, ravens or other creatures.


I love her woodland cottages, too.

http://www.helenmusselwhite.com/

LOVELY CRAFTS: Letterpress Machine


I am so excited about this home letterpress machine! I think I will get it for myself as a birthday present, once it becomes available in late April. As much as I love stationery and writing letters, I do think I would use this often.

LOVELY DISHES: Sorbet Cups


Aren't these tiny sorbet cups adorable? They're tempting to me because they are so affordable, but I'd have trouble figuring out where I could store them year-round. I do throw a lot of sorbet tasting parties in the summertime, and I do serve sorbet with a lot of my summer meals. So I think I might use them enough to warrant some cupboard space.

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