Well, there’s the calf length jeans, the ankle pair, the boot legs, the ones with the tears at the knees (so current). There’s the skinny jeans and the ones you wear when you’re snuggled on the sofa watching the 2 hour Bachelor finale. Not to mention black jeans, washed jeans, and jeans with different waists. (Mom jeans are coming back for sure…remember, even Barack was caught wearing them!)
Seriously, though, if your closet is overflowing with work clothes you won’t ever wear again, bikinis that you have no business wearing, and jackets that were cute in 1975 but STILL have not returned to the runway, then your closet is not adding to your happiness. It may even be robbing you of joy.
Decluttering expert Kathi Lipp says, “Clutter is a part of life, but when clutter stops your life, that’s when you need to make some changes.”
Ms. Lipp says that clutter is a “physical manifestation of overwhelm in our lives.” And the the root of clutter, she adds, can be traced to fear, guilt, and shame.
Fear — What if I need this some day? Guilt – This was a gift from my mother; how can I discard it? Shame – I spent money on this item and I shouldn’t have and so I will keep it for the rest of my life.
She cites a fascinating statistic. In the U.S. there are more storage units than there are McDonalds and Starbucks. We are drowning in STUFF. Think of what we Baby Boomers are leaving for our adult children to sort through?? (I rather doubt that Alex will want my comfy jeans…)
A few caveats though…
Stuff is not inherently bad.
And a lot depends on your season of life. With little kids afoot, your house is taken over by Little Tykes toys. As it should be.
But we Baby Boomers are in a season of paring down. We know all too well we won’t be taking a darn thing with us at the end of the day. And in the words of decluttering phenom, Marie Kondo, we should retain only that which sparks JOY.
So even though I’m certain mom jeans will be coming back to fashion (as attested by Barack Obama), I can say thank you and farewell to at least 9 pairs of jeans, leaving me the 3 that spark joy.
Ms. Kondo suggests that we start decluttering with our closets, taking EVERYTHING we own and tossing it ALL on a bed, in full view, where we can begin sorting.
If we are uncertain about a particular item, Ms. Lipp suggests we ask three questions.
Do I love it? Do I use it? Would I buy it again?
We love our jackets. But we wear only 3 out of 10. So bye-bye to padded shoulders and fringy leather. If we haven’t taken up motorcycling by now, it likely won’t be happening. And as for disco, it had its 15 minutes of fame.
Ms. Lipp’s website has a plan for decluttering FAST.
And Ms. Kondo offers a method that WORKS. Here is a summary from Good Housekeeping.
6 Principles —
- Commit yourself to tidying up.
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
- Finish discarding first. Before getting rid of items, sincerely thank each item for serving its purpose.
- Tidy by category, not location.
- Follow the right order.
- Ask yourself it it sparks joy.
And five categories to tackle in order:
- Komono (a.k.a. Miscellaneous Items)
- Sentimental Items
So, don those comfy jeans, curl up on your couch, ignore the time-sucking Bachelor, and binge watch Marie Kondo’s viral Netflix show. Joy awaits.
And speaking of Joy, my co-blogger will be continuing this topic for Wednesday. Stay tuned!
Today’s Takeaway –
-Don’t forget to thank your stuff on its way out. Those ribbed turtlenecks served you well.
-Do a little bit each day. Decluttering is a way of life. Savor the process.
Enjoy the ride! And get rid of the storage unit!
Barclay and Joy