...because home doesn't happen overnight.

I am one for two in the tidy wardrobe department. The coat / broom closet is organized enough but the other wardrobe? Not so much.

misc wardrobe before 2

When we moved in, this wardrobe became the designated catchall. At the time, my goal was to simply empty the moving boxes. I didn’t give these items much thought. The wardrobe houses my sewing machine, sewing box, lunch boxes, decor accessories, random craft supplies and other items that I couldn’t find a rightful spot for elsewhere. It’s a jumbled mess.

misc wardrobe progress

Until today, that is! {The closet series is lighting a fire under my a$$ as I had hoped. Need motivation to clean out your closets? A few words of advice: start a blog, make your first series an in-depth look at your closets then hold yourself accountable. It’s working liking a charm for me.}

When organizing any kind of closed storage, the first thing I do is empty it out. Even if I know the majority of the items will ultimately stay. I usually end up taking over entire rooms {see above} but this allows me to start with a blank slate and sweep up dust bunnies.

misc wardrobe progress 2

Then I survey the contents and get real. Real real.

When was the last time I used this? When will I use it again? Will I use it again? Why do I have a broken lamp? If I really loved this lamp wouldn’t I have fixed it by now? How many vases / baskets / candleholders does one house need? Yes, this was free but free junk is still junk. Whoa, I didn’t even know I had this.¬†And so on. I try to be honest with myself. No hanging on to things I like but will never use. If I haven’t used something in the last year, chances are I’m not going to miss it.

In this instance, I filled an IKEA bag {also found in the wardrobe} with a collection of vases, baskets, decorative spheres, etc. Several larger items didn’t make the cut – a lamp base, a few hurricane candleholders and some larger vases. I haven’t touched any of these items since we moved in over a year ago. Heck, I don’t think I’ve even looked at them! Most of the items are leftover from our previous house. That house was much larger than our current home and had a different aesthetic, too. Time to move on.

Once I’ve collected the items I’m purging, I take them straight to my car. Mostly because we don’t have room for loose stuff to hang around but also because it forces me to actually drop it off at a donation center. I don’t have space in the back of my car for purged items + groceries so I will swing by Goodwill next time on my way to the grocery store. There is a donation center across the street from my regular grocery store which makes things easy. I don’t know about you but, if I had the extra step of loading a bunch of to-be-donated items into the car while simultaneously getting approximately two to three kids ready to go out the door, um, Operation Donation Drop-off would not happen.

Fact: I almost always have a bag of items waiting to be donated in my car.

misc wardrobe progress 3

With the wardrobe cleared and its contents whittled down, I begin putting items back in. Fragile and infrequently used items go up top. Heavy and regularly used items go down low.

misc wardrobe before

I’ll share the “after” later this week in another ‘Making the Most of Small Closets’ post but I thought you might like to witness the method behind my madness. It’s amazing how much lighter and accomplished I feel after a good purging session. Do you have any methods or tips for editing your belongings?

FYI – I’m not donating the IKEA bag. That bag is awesome! It has already paid for itself on my numerous trips to IKEA and Goodwill. Not to mention, it’s great for packing up birthday and Christmas gifts to take / bring home from parties. I plan on keeping mine in my car.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

23 Comments

19.November.2013

I have one of those fabulous Ikea bags!! I leave it in my car as well. As far as purging closets and such, I need to do it again soon, since things are starting to find their way into piles. I have two closets in our playroom/craft room that need a bit more organization. I cleaned out one today and moved my Christmas presents to a different location so I can get wrapping when the Christmas stuff comes out!! The other closet, it looks like craft supplies and fabric threw up!! Ugg.

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19.November.2013

I love that rug! Could you tell where did you get this?

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replied on November 20th, 2013

etsy!

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20.November.2013

Hi! Can you share which Goodwill in Cincinnati you visit? I live in Cincinnati and I look for great thrift stores all the time!

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replied on November 20th, 2013

I go all over depending on what other errands I’m running at the time. I usually drop off at designated drop-off centers though…not a store.

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20.November.2013

ok, this is totally off topic, but what style of levi’s are you wearing? you look great in them! inspired by your post, i’m off to tackle some clutter in my house!

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replied on November 20th, 2013

They are Levi’s 535 Leggings. I found them at Kohl’s. Love ‘em! They hold their shape and just get better every time I wear them.

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20.November.2013

nice closet but I love your shirt! Where did you get it? :)

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replied on November 20th, 2013

It’s a plaid button-up. I found it on the clearance rack at Old Navy but was told it’s available online only. It was deeply discounted because of that but nothing was wrong with it. For $11, I couldn’t pass it up!

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20.November.2013

I love that IKEA bag too! We use it at Costco for our produce since we don’t like to take home extra boxes that they use to “bag.” Soooo handy!

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replied on November 20th, 2013

We have a giant bag like that, but ours is from Costco! It’s the best!

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20.November.2013

I love getting rid of stuff I don’t use anymore. Quick question – where did you get the jeans you’re wearing in that one photo?

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replied on November 20th, 2013

My jeans are from Kohl’s. They are Levi’s 535 Leggings. I love them! They hold their shape and get better with each wear.

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replied on November 22nd, 2013

I was just going to ask this same question!?

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replied on December 3rd, 2013

I was going to ask that too! Popular question :) They look great on you! I am happily surprised they’re just Levi’s from Kohl’s! I figured for sure they would’ve been much more expensive.

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I spy Greta’s favorite board game–Blokus! We play that game with no rules for too many hours, her and I.

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replied on November 20th, 2013

I like to think of it as rearranging miniature furniture ;)

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21.November.2013

That’s a nice start! We have been purging and organizing our little garage for over a month now. I have days where I get rid of almost everything I touch and then days where I am so attached to every item and I couldn’t possibly give them away. I don’t know why we’re so stuck. Hopefully all your organizing will be the extra push I need to finish before the new year.

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21.November.2013

You look amazing! Is it clean eating, good genes, time at the gym? Do tell! Give us a post on what you do to look so great.

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21.November.2013

Do you have a Salvation Army near you? Goodwill is notorious for not doing any good. Please take a moment to do some research on this FOR PROFIT compay.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-hrabe/the-worst-corporation-in-_b_1876905.html

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replied on November 21st, 2013

Thanks for the link. We do have a Salvation Army nearby that I drop off at also but not as frequently. It usually depends on where I am when I remember to make the drop off.

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21.November.2013

*company. Sorry to hop on a soap box! But once I realized what was happening with my donations I switched to Salvation Army.

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I totally love a good closet purge. I just tackled our catch all closet and made it into a kids closet for toys, games, art supplies and school stuff. I love how its working out for us. It feels so good to get it sorted, doesn’t it?

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