Part 1: How to Declutter & Edit Your Closet

Up next for projects is my master bedroom closet! Originally, I planned to do my office, which is next to the foyer that I completed during the One Room Challenge. However, the cramped, crowded space was starting to add stress to my life, so closet it is!

Here is where I started…

Can you believe I cleaned it out over the holidays too?

It all began when we went to the beach a few weeks ago. We stayed in a nice three bedroom, two bath condo. Mr. Bayou and I were both amazed at how comfortable our family was in the space, even though it was over 1,000 square feet smaller than our house and missing a bedroom and bath. The sparse countertops, empty drawers and closets, and minimalist kitchen were the exact opposite of the overstuffed, superfluous spaces we had back home. The furniture was comfortable, sized appropriately to the space, with a great patio to sit and watch the waves.

Our favorite beach spot isn’t minimalist, but it is decluttered and comfortable. It’s Shipwatch 501A, if you’re looking for a place to stay in Perdido Key, FL.

What was really interesting is that my husband and I had the same reaction. We felt like we could breathe there. We decided that moving into a smaller home wasn’t the solution. We needed to pare down and declutter, and we needed to finish spaces that change the way we live in our home (like our back patio). We also realized that having a television in each child’s room is incredibly convenient, but that’s a different post…

The sparse countertops, empty drawers and closets, and minimalist kitchen were the exact opposite of the overstuffed, superfluous spaces we had back home.

Coming home from the beach, I wanted to dive in to every room and get to work. However, with school starting soon, working from home, and the fact that other people live here too, I decided that might not be the best idea. Instead, I plan to tackle things room-by-room.

One of my big takeaways from the One Room Challenge a few weeks ago was how rewarding it is to fully finish a space before moving on to the next project. So, I plan to do the same with decluttering.

My first thought was that I’m not naturally a very organized person. I’m more of a piler than a filer. I also really like stuff– the more the better. However, those thoughts aren’t helping me feel better in my home. That old thinking is being replaced by a new mantra, “I love having space in my home to live and grow. I’m thankful for all the things, but they aren’t serving me or my family well when it adds stress to our home.” I’ve watched decluttering shows, read books, and listened to podcasts, but it really hit home when I saw how living in an edited space affected my mood and made everyone feel more peaceful.

It’s time to declutter and be more purposeful and intentional about what I bring into my home. I hope you’re on board too!

That old thinking is being replaced by a new mantra, “I love having space in my home to live and grow. I’m thankful for all the things, but they aren’t serving me or my family well when it adds stress to our home.”

Master Closet: The Plan of Attack

Week 1: Edit extra items & declutter

Week 2: Relocate items that don’t belong

Week 3: Update lighting, clean shelves, & touch up paint

Week 4: Add organizers and bins to make it pretty and functional

I’m giving myself a month to do this project, because I know it’s a doozy. I have no intentions of becoming a minimalist or going extreme Marie Kondo (great book though!). However, a change is needed. I can’t wait to enjoy my updated space.

This closet renovation from Jenna Sue Design is so dreamy. My project won’t be this grand, but I love the fancy light and wallpaper on the ceiling. (SOURCE)

How to Edit & Declutter Your Closet

  1. Set Your Intention // This is really important if you want to be successful, and I think it was the thing missing last time I tried to get organized. I want my closet to be filled with items I LOVE and feel GREAT wearing. I also want to be able to FIND my things easily. An added bonus — I want to AVOID unnecessary purchases. Decide how to think about the stuff you’re going to sort through. Choose to focus on what this is going to do for you and how it will make you feel.
  2. Choose 3 Style Words // This part is the most fun to me. Choose three words that describe your style, even if it doesn’t describe you yet. My style words are SASSY, NEUTRAL, BOHEMIAN. Use these words to guide you when you’re unsure about whether to keep or toss something.
  3. Set aside time to get started // I took the better part of a day, but if that doesn’t work for you, break it up over a week into shorter bursts. The other reason I took so long is because my closet was packed to the brim! You could take 15 minutes each day and go through a small section at a time.
  4. Recruit a Buddy // I needed someone to tell me that it was ok to part with things that weren’t working for me, particularly items that were new or expensive. My 13-year-old daughter did great at this. Marriage tip: Don’t ask your husband. He might feel obligated to tell you that you look wonderful in everything or may cause you to question getting rid of something that was expensive or just isn’t your style.
  5. Try Everything On // This is really important, particularly if you’ve gained or lost weight. Remember, you are only keeping things you LOVE. A pair of jeans that are too tight are not going to make you feel good, even if they are new and cost a fortune. If you haven’t had major weight changes, you may be able to skip the try-on, but I still recommend it. It also forced me to really see how much stuff I had.
  6. Notice What Looks Great on You & Repeated Items // Do you look best in certain colors? Do you have 17 white tops? I noticed that I’m drawn to neutral and muted colors, and bright colors aren’t really my thing. However, I do look great in red. I also prefer off-white over white, and charcoal gray tops look better on me than black. I like a scoop or v-neck top, and I have enough white shirts to last several seasons. These observations will help guide purchases in the future. Make a note in your phone for later. Do you have a signature style or clothes that never really work for you? My style is skirts and dresses– I love wearing them. I really don’t like collared shirts or hoods because they get caught in my hair. What are yours?
  7. Edit the Excess // I used a few questions to guide me on what needed to go.
    -Is it in good condition? (Toss anything with stains, holes, etc.)
    -Will I really wear this, or will it sit in my closet five more years?
    -Do I have similar items that I prefer?
    -Do I love it?
    -Does it bring me joy?
  8. Make a List of What You Need // If you toss out all of your jeans, you might need to go shopping. I use my notes in my phone for this. Write what you’e looking for exactly. Ex: High rise medium wash straight leg jeans with no holes
  9. Be True to Your Style // I realize that I’m a style blogger and love trendy clothes, but not every trend works for me. It’s ok to stick to what you love and feel great wearing.-Does it fit well?
  10. Toss, Sell, or Donate Items // Toss the obvious items that aren’t in good shape. Then, decide whether you want to donate or sell what is left. If you’re planning to sell them, consider local resale shops or an online retailer. Before you send used clothes, ask about special requirements. Most resale shops won’t accept items with tags removed, for example. You can also sell clothes on Facebook Marketplace or in a garage sale, but it can be very time consuming. If you choose to donate clothes to a shelter or charity, make a list of what was donated and the condition of. the items. When you drop them off, ask for a donation receipt for tax purposes.
I found this pic on Instagram searching for closet ideas. I love how the clothes are grouped by color and everything is edited. (SOURCE)

Download the Cheat Sheet

I created a PDF to guide you through the activities for Week 1. Click the link below to download it for printing.

Download the PDF to help guide you through the editing process.

If you need more help with this, I highly recommend my coach, Edie Wadsworth. She just did a little mini class on this topic and will be digging in to this more in her coaching program soon. You can find out the details at www.lifeingrace.com.

I’d love it if some of you will join me and share your progress on social media. I still have quite a bit to do, including sorting through accessories and handbags.

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