Inspirational

Spring Cleaning Early

I decided the past two weekends were a perfect time for a little early spring cleaning. Our apartment has a large walk-in closet at the front, a medium closet in the bedroom and a linen closet in the hallway. My goal: get rid of all the junk we don’t use or need anymore and organize, organize, organize. The feat took much longer then expected, and I spent part of my day off today organizing my husband’s closet. I still have the linen closet left, but I’m happy to report that the biggest projects that were the large walk-in closet and medium closet are complete.

photo 1
My Closet

With both closets, I started by going through each piece of clothing one-by-one and asked myself several questions, like “Jen, when have you worn this last?” or “is this article of clothing irrevocably damaged in any way or not worth the money to fix?” I had so many old, old clothes that I could trace back to high school or college. I also had clothing that had been made so cheaply that I wore it a handful of times, washed it, and it fell apart or my hangers stretched them out beyond belief. I went through all of my shoes and donated or dumped shoes that I hadn’t worn in years or were damaged. I almost cried over tossing a pair of genuine black leather boots my mom bought me during the winter of my second year in law school. Instead of being smart and buying a pair of waterproof, specially made winter boots, I decided to wear the leather boots. The massive amounts of salt and water over the last four years absolutely destroyed them. I finally bought a pair of winter boots this year (5 years after moving up North) so the winter snow can stay far away from my fall boots.

photo 2
Husband’s Closet

All of the closets in our apartment have wonderful oak wood custom built-in shelves. I love them so much, and they were a huge reason why I fell in love with our home. Before the massive cleaning we weren’t using the shelves to their full potential. Now, they house our heavy sweaters, dress pants, camis and tanks, and shoes. In the future I may buy riser shelves because there’s still a ton of room on the shelves we could be using. Between both of the closets we decided to donate four plastic garbage bags of clothing and shoes. I pared down to things we actually wear and can stand the test of time. When I really take a look at the things I wear on a daily basis, I discovered that I gravitate toward more classic staples that I can wear year around with a few fun prints and colors. I color-coded my clothes as I hung them up, and made sure that the hangers matched. At some point I’d love to upgrade to wood hangers. As for shoes, I rarely do open-toed shoes so pretty much all of my shoes (except for a pair or two) are closed toe because I feel most comfortable in them. There are a few staples missing that I hope to add to my wardrobe over the next year or so:

Missing staples from wardrobe: flowy lace top, flannel button-up, chambray button-up, jean jacket, leather pants, casual floral shirt, pink cardigan, cream/tan cardigan and a navy blue cashmere sweater.
Missing staples from wardrobe: flowy lace top, flannel button-up, chambray button-up, jean jacket, leather pants, casual floral shirt, pink cardigan, cream/tan cardigan and a navy blue cashmere sweater.

All of the odds and ends that we clung onto for years made cleaning out the closet a huge ordeal, which included figuring out what to do with a vintage Dell computer that I used through most of high school and all of college. It sat in my closet for five years before I decided it was time to say goodbye. I backed up all pictures and documents (so many memories), and then my husband and I destroyed the hard drive so no one could recover anything. Despite its age, the Dell still booted up and allowed me to save everything, but it ran like molasses. I can’t believe it’s nearly 15 years old! We also had a lot of old artwork, and of course, our framed degrees and awards that never found a place outside of the closet. I hung on to most of the artwork and the degrees, and hung up a few pieces around the apartment. I bought a pack of six cream colored bins for storing odds and ends we wanted to keep, and in the future I’m probably going to buy a few more for the the linen closet.

Even though I used precious weekend hours to get our closets back in working order, it was totally worth it. Clean, organized closets make me happy.

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