The following is a guest post from Tamara.
When we visited Texas this holiday season both my husband and I came home with more stuff. (My mother stills gets joy from giving her children, their spouses, and grandchildren gifts.) Well, one of my goals for 2014 is to get more organized, specifically with my closet.
For some time now, I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to get my closet under control and finally stumbled on a few things that have been a huge help. Here are my five tips for organizing your closets.
1. The Get One, Remove One Rule
For every new item I add to the closet, I remove one item. And while this rule has helped me not add too many items, it hasn’t helped me assess the stuff I do have. Enter minimalism and Project 333.
I started reading about minimalism last year. Minimalism is a lifestyle choice where you only acquire and use the materials possessions that you need. Instead of the seven pairs of jeans I have, I might keep one. Honestly, I’m not sure I could commit to something that drastic (at least I think it’s drastic), but I can get on board with only acquiring and using what I need. Besides, this philosophy helps with one of our other goals of being good stewards with what God has and will give to us.
3. Project 333
Courtney Carver, a blogger I found through learning about minimalism, started this challenge called Project 333. It’s designed to get you to use only 33 pieces of clothing (including accessories and shoes, but not workout or lounge gear) for 3 months to reinforce the idea that you don’t need a lot to dress for your life.
4. The Two-Year Rule
Another rule I’m using is to remove any item I no longer love, haven’t worn in two years, or items that are torn, damaged, or not salvageable. With these four things, I’ve been slowly tackling the closet, but now my pile of unwanted items has grown. I need to get them out of the house before I change my mind, so I’ve been thinking of where to take my stuff.
I don’t want to donate the items to Goodwill because the stores in our town are more expensive than Walmart or Target. And to me, that defeats the purpose. If you’re going to mark up my stuff, then I may as well sell it myself and make a profit (another idea I’ve explored and will talk about in a later post).
I wanted something to make sure my stuff went to a good home to someone who needed or wanted it. I read about Freecycle and decided to sign up. Freecycle is a network of people who exchange items for free. Not only can you give away your stuff, you can also get someone else’s stuff…all for free!
I signed up and requested membership in the Tallahassee group. After I was granted access, I started to receive emails about free stuff. You know from reading the subject line whether someone is giving or looking for items. And the good thing is you also receive updates if someone has taken the offer already. A few days into my Freecycle membership, and I’m excited. Recently, I read about a family who lost their home in a fire and need all sorts of stuff that I have. The mother even wears my size shoe. How about that?
All in all, I’m excited organizing my closet this year and the opportunities it’ll give me to bless others with good stuff I no longer use. It’s forcing me to really think about what I need to survive. But more importantly, this process is making me question what other needs in my life are really being satisfied by keeping so much extra stuff in my closet (like those six pairs of black shoes). Believe it or not, it’s this reflecting that is helping with the main goal I have for 2014, which is to get to know myself and God better. And who can’t use more of that?