Author Topic: Cleaned out closets by thinking backward!  (Read 3071 times)

A66eyroad

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Cleaned out closets by thinking backward!
« on: April 09, 2012, 09:45:54 AM »
This probably belongs on the thread for "New Leaf Club." I finally finished cleaning out my closet!

Here's what I did differently. Usually I would poke through the closet saying 'hmmmmm..." and take out some stuff. Then, six months after I tossed it, I'm wondering what the heck I did with that cute gray pantsuit.

This time, I went through the closet and picked out the things I do wear instead of the things I don't. I think we women have a tough time with stuff like this --- we're so used to putting things away. It's just like when you're packing things up to move. You look at something and say, "Well, that's right where it belongs!" and then move on. Meanwhile your closet looks exactly the same as it did when you started.

So I took out the things I do wear and put them on the bed. Then I went back to the closet and looked at every piece of clothing, placing it in one of two piles --- one was Goodwill immediately, the other was look again in six months. Because I invariably can't see myself wearing wool when I'm doing my spring cleaning so I throw out things I will actually want to wear again come January. That's how I lost that cute gray pantsuit afterall. 

Then my closet was completely empty. I put my wearable clothes back in and Voila!

So I was able to go through my whole closet PLUS my dresser --- including like nine pairs of "mom jeans" (from size six to size ten!) I hadn't worn since the 80s and pajamas that're three sizes too small. I had three white turtlenecks with the necks all stretched out and one that I can still wear. Really Abbey??? Who the heck has four white turtlenecks???   ::)  I did the same thing with the shoes.

I was able to donate three leaf-bags worth of clothes to Goodwill on Saturday. And I feel so much better -- and not afraid that I've Done It Again. I've got a big plastic bin in the attic with the maybes that I'll revisit in the fall.

I'll talk to you all again in six months.
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Katybarstool

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Re: Cleaned out closets by thinking backward!
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2012, 10:12:41 AM »
Abbey

What an achievement! And what a brilliant way to make decisions. I'll remember that for my clothes in the future. I've tried doing the 'new one in, old one out' thing, but the old ones somehow stay where they were, so I need to be more disciplined.

Having said that, I decided to gut our son's wardrobe - he's a self-employed electrician and wears correct clothes for work. However, he buys new ones, and keeps the old ones too.(family tradition?).  So, I took two bin liners of his stuff to a local clothes bank today. Another good reason: he's stared dating a young lady, and he's not very clothes conscious, so I've thrown out all his scruffy stuff - can't have him going out like a tramp! - he's 30 and needs a family of his own ;)
Kathyx

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Re: Cleaned out closets by thinking backward!
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2012, 01:39:23 PM »
Katy,
You'r son LET you clean out his closet?  My sons would have had a fit if I ever did that!  But I did occasionally talk them into throwing away the scrufty stuff.  And every now and them something would "disappear " in the wash ;D
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Bucky

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Re: Cleaned out closets by thinking backward!
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2012, 07:57:52 PM »
Good job, Abbey!!   ;D

Actually, that's a very smart way of sorting things out in the closet or dresser drawers . . . in fact, almost anything we're trying to clean.

Hmmm, now with all that "empty" space you going shopping??  Just kidding!!   ;)

Bucky
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Bucky

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Re: Cleaned out closets by thinking backward!
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2012, 08:02:56 PM »
Kathyx -

Did your son know you were going to be tackling his wardrobe?

I've been soooo tempted to do something in our sons bedroom (that looks like a cyclone came through it), but I keep refraining on the grounds that 1)  He is 16, and it's his bedroom  2)  He is going to have to learn responsibility for himself and mom isn't going to pick up after him forever!!

It is so hard not to jump in there and tackle it though.

For some reason, it's so much easier for me to straighten up and keep others things in order, than it is to do my own.   :-\

Bucky
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Sleepy In Seattle

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Re: Cleaned out closets by thinking backward!
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2012, 09:00:16 PM »
Oh that is great!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

I have been trying to figure out ways to SIMPLIFY my life since being diagnosed, because I realize all my CRAP is using up valuable physical and metal energy. I am not a hoarder by any means, but we have lived here for 12 years, and stuff just accumulates. Plus, I get sentimental about stuff people give me, so I end up with more stuff than I need.

It is really liberating to GET RID of stuff. If I feel funny about it because of sentiment. I take a digital picture and then I KEEP them MEMORY, which is what I really value - and then pass the OBJECT on to Goodwill so somebody else can get some use and value out of it.

The emptier my house gets, the happier I am!!!!
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Katybarstool

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Re: Cleaned out closets by thinking backward!
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2012, 12:02:57 AM »
My son didn't know I was going to go through his wrdrobe! He was working, but I just got so fed up of him not being able to find anything, that I decided to go for it. I think he was quite pleased when he got back.

A few years back, when all the boys were living at home, they went on holiday together for two weeks. I hired a huge skip and gutted all their rooms. They were amazed when they came back and saw that they actually had floor space! And, no-one asked for any of the stuff that had gone. I just think boys - at least mine - don't place much value on 'things' - and they always seem to wear the same stuff over again, so they don't need stacks of clothes.

Kathyx 

JaynaB

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Re: Cleaned out closets by thinking backward!
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2012, 12:04:24 AM »
Great thinking, Abbey!  Doesn't it feel GOOD to get rid of stuff?

I went through a similar process a few months ago, ending up with a half-empty closet, a whole empty dresser drawer, and an under-bed bag filled with stuff I'll revisit eventually before throwing it out. Plus a big bag for the Sally Ann store. Some of it I had not worn in more than a decade.

Now if only I could get my dear husband to do the same with HIS half of the clothes... but he still has every t-shirt he ever owned, and most of the other clothing as well. Sigh.

Bucky

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Re: Cleaned out closets by thinking backward!
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2012, 12:48:54 PM »
Now if only I could get my dear husband to do the same with HIS half of the clothes... but he still has every t-shirt he ever owned, and most of the other clothing as well. Sigh.

Hi JaynaB - welcome!   ;D

Just an idea for all your husbands t-shirts - what if you took the ones he no longer wears and made a quilt out of them?  That way, he could still have the "memory" of his shirts, and a useful quilt in the process.

I have a stack of our sons baseball shirts through the years that I want to make into a quilt for him.  I've never made a quilt myself, but it doesn't seem like it would be that hard.  Or, you could pay someone to make it for you (which is what I did with my late mother's clothes and had them made into memory quilts for my brothers, my Dad, and myself).

Bucky
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hootyhu1

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Re: Cleaned out closets by thinking backward!
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2012, 06:30:57 PM »
I have never thought of cleaning my closet out like that but that is a plan!!!!! we will be moving here soon and I wont be huge and preggo anymore (thank God! I am ready for this baby to come!) and we will be moving to the north west so I am not sure what I will be needing (I guess my flip flop collection could go now). But, I am going to do this with mine and my kids stuff but I wil have to wait on my husband to go on deployment for me to tackle his stuff.

Good idea!

MissyLouWho?

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Re: Cleaned out closets by thinking backward!
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2012, 09:07:11 AM »
This really works!  My 9 year old was given way too many bags of clothes recently from friends and family who outgrew them and she wanted to go through them and donate most.  She was overwhelmed with it all.  We're talking 50+ pairs of jeans and pants, and well over 200 shirts, and tons of other stuff.  By using the "backward method" she was able to gather a huge trash bag full in minutes and free up a few drawers in her dresser!  She was so excited with her progress she went on to fill another whole bag.  She wants to do one bag every day until she has nothing but a 'normal amount of wearable clothes, mom', haha.  As soon as I get some energy, I am going to tackle mine too!

THANK YOU for such an easy cleaning tool!!!

Meld256

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Re: Cleaned out closets by thinking backward!
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2012, 11:54:41 AM »
A66ey,

This is a great idea!  I did something similar with a closet, and it does work.  Sure saves time, too, when you pick just the things you DO wear all the time and take the rest out.  "Divide and conquer."  :) 

That saves me from looking at a shirt/jacket I've had for years thinking "well, I might just wear it again."  If I haven't worn it in 2 years, it goes to Goodwill.  I actually have some extra room in the closet and a big dresser drawer empty-that's exciting!

JaynaB,
I could've written that same sentence about my dear husband and getting rid of half his clothes.  He has shirts and shirts...and shirts. If they get old and raggedy, he says he'll keep them for a grass-mowing/painting shirt.  However, how MANY of those does one need??  ::) 

susanep

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Re: Cleaned out closets by thinking backward!
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2012, 03:17:27 PM »
This sounds like a good idea. I think I am going to do this. Bucky, it's not that hard to make a quilt if you ever decide too. I am no great quilter either. I am working on a very simple one right now, and haven't made a quilt since my 20's,  although I have been making lots of little projects. (pin cushions, tote bags, place mats, etc.)

susanep :)

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gold55

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Re: Cleaned out closets by thinking backward!
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2012, 09:31:20 PM »
Great Job!!  I sure wish I could do what you did!  Good idea doing it backwards!  I'm still so bad about "maybe I'll wear it next year".....or when I lose that 10 lbs...rubbish, free up your life of all the baggage.  I'm going to try this weekend ;D
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susanep

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Re: Cleaned out closets by thinking backward!
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2012, 10:54:01 PM »
When my mom was still here, we mostly went down to her and dad's house, because they were slow, and didn't like walking up our stairs, etc. Well, today we took dad out with us, and then I went back down to spend some time with him, and he is still alone alot in his house, so on my way out I ask him if he would come up to our house and spend time if I make sure our dogs are outside. ( :-\)

Dad gave us a little talk about dog obedience today.  :) So, anyway the rest of the week I will be busy as much as my tired body will allow, and be cleaning, and taking out junk. (this will not I say NOT easy with my husband who doesn't like getting rid of anything) he has been trying though.

I will do the taking out of junk kind of quietly.  ;D

susanep
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