14 April 2015

Hang Spring Cleaning

Note: Post title is a reference to a quotation from the first chapter of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows.

The Room of Flowers by Childe Hassam, 1894

Since late last year I've been on a bit of a decluttering and organizing kick, and with the arrival of spring my clear-out has gone into high gear. I'm by no means a minimalist, but lately I've been feeling a tad weighed down by my possessions, and I've been craving a more airy aesthetic for my space. The process has not been an easy one, since I hate the necessary step of making a mess of things and raising up dust as I sort through every nook and cranny, but by breaking it down into limited sessions I've been muddling through.

To keep me inspired and motivated and to reference handy tips, I made a "Lifestyle" playlist on my YouTube account filled with my favorite videos on spring cleaning and organizing. You can see the entire playlist embedded below, or head over to YouTube to view the videos individually--I found Dodie's advice for repurposing storage space and Rosianna's advice to repackage items especially useful.

I also thought I'd share a tip of my own for sorting through clothes that I haven't seen in quite the same form elsewhere. I think we all know right away which items of clothing we definitely want to keep, because they're the items we reach for everyday and love to put on. But for items of clothing we're not sure of--things that are getting old, or things that for whatever reason haven't been worn much--I have an easy process for making a decision. It involves answering a maximum of three questions:
1. Is this item in good enough condition to donate? That is, is it not too faded and free of holes, pulls, stains, and pills? If not, proceed to question 2. If so, proceed to question 3.

2. Is this item comfortable and comforting to wear when relaxing? That is, do you reach for this consistently on lazy Saturdays or after a long day out? If so, keep it. If not, toss it!

3. Does this item fit properly? If so, proceed to question 4. If it tugs, pinches, falls down, or rides up, donate it!

4. Do you feel good when you wear this? If you consistently put on an item and feel that it doesn't suit you, donate it--don't feel guilty about wasting money, since you won't get much use out of an item you hate to wear!
I hope that this process is helpful to others looking to streamline their wardrobe--I've found it pretty foolproof when applied to my own clothing, and my mother now uses this system to refine her closet as well. I've been applying this system with extra scrutiny lately to whittle my selection down to what I look and feel my best in, and with any luck when I'm done I'll have a lighter closet to boot!

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