A Good Old-Fashioned Closet Cleaning

Dec. 2014 Group 2 426While cleaning someone’s clock seems to have a negative connotation, (I guess depending on whether you’re the one being hit or the one doing the hitting.) cleaning someone’s closet is close to the nicest thing you can do for a person. And since not everyone will let you into their closet just because they know your neurosis is strong enough that you may physically die if you don’t get your hands on it (Thanks, Amanda. I know you truly love me!) I suggest doing it for yourself. A little post-holiday pick-me-up. A gift for your nerdy side, if you will.

It’s one of those things that we dread and put off for months-or years- and are astounded by how little time the task takes once we actually do it. Nothing like  killing yourself with shame and anxiety over your procrastination on something that takes 5 minutes to do!

In the case of my bathroom closet, it  took 25 minutes start to finish. I timed it because I wanted to know just how long this task I had put off for, hmm, at least 2 years would actually take me. 2 years of dread vs. less than half an hour of work. Our mental procrastination scales are very warped, aren’t they?

Here’s my closet the way it was. Belts flung around, piles of stuff stacked on top of piles of other stuff. Clothes, empty toilet paper rolls for crafts we never do, a blue basket of who-knew-what. Every time I looked at my closet I thought “I need to clean this.” And then I never did. Sure I would tidy it up, but it wasn’t functional because nothing had a great place of its own.

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And everyone knows (or should know) the only way to remedy that is to empty the space you’re cleaning completely. Set a timer if you tend to get carried away with the details. Leave that for another day. This is not the time to start washing out your makeup brushes or sampling your array of lotions. This is a purge and sort. Keep the big goal in mind, which is to put your closet back together in a reasonable amount of time so that it’s organized and will serve all your space needs.
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Here’s all my crap. I had like 3 or 4 of those gigantic peroxide bottles! I could have kept Lady Gaga blonde for months! This is the point to pick out the trash and/or giveaway stuff. Since this was my bathroom closet, I had no “Goodwill pile.” If it was my coat closet, I would have needed one. After picking out stuff you no longer have use for, pick one category of stuff to work on and put up everything in that category…and only stuff in that category! I did my towels first, since they were easy and getting them out of the way made it look like I had a lot less stuff to deal with. (Organizing sometimes takes strategy just to overcome our own excuses!)

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Here’s my top shelf. First aid and medical on the right and makeup on the left. I DID NOT sort my makeup on this day! I know it’s a temptation of mine to get off onto cleaning tangents and before I know, I’ve spent hours organizing all my hair clips and bands, and I’m still surrounded by huge piles on the floor and I have no more energy to put it all back together. If that’s your cleaning story, you need to remember to set a timer and not get caught up in the little stuff!

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Hair stuff…Also not sorted, well at least not in a way that everything’s standing up straight and it looks magnificent, but that wasn’t the purpose of this. The styling products, combs, and brushes are on the left. The headbands, clips, and beads are on the right. And that’s GOOD ENOUGH!Dec. 2014 Group 2 428

***TANGENT ALERT*** I had to really, really work hard to get to a point where I could be okay with “good enough” instead of “perfect”- which doesn’t really exist anyway. A lot of people with messy, unorganized houses are actually perfectionists, surprisingly. They don’t clean because it takes them hours to do what most people do in minutes and it gets exhausting. If you fall into that category-and I did-work on the “GOOD ENOUGH” philosophy! It will turn your life around. If you take on one project, don’t let it become ten projects. If I did this closet 5 years ago, after an hour, I would have ended up with perfectly organized hair stuff and makeup. (I would have started on the tiny items first.) I probably would have gone shopping for the perfect containers and I probably would have left the new baskets by my front door and piles of stuff sitting around the closet floor for a week or two until I got back to it. Trust me. Focus on Finishing your organizing project. You can always go back and take one category and go nuts. One day I’ll get my makeup better organized-probably. But if I don’t, it doesn’t really matter, because I know where it’s all at. And I can get to everything else in my bathroom easily. My family can quickly find everything they need and the best part is, my husband didn’t come home to a gigantic mess and ask what happened only to be confused by my response that, “I’m cleaning.” If that scenario rings a bell for you, we share a private laugh. And I love you!

(Click Here to view my post on why I blog about organization so much.)

Third shelf. Nuff said.Dec. 2014 Group 2 429

I love glass containers. They just pretty everything up! I stuck band aids in here instead of with the first aid stuff on the top shelf because my daughters need to be able to reach them. You know, for when they have those owies that they swear are there and are killing them, but you have to squint to see them when they point them out. Moms and Dads get it.

The point is, you have to find what works for you!Dec. 2014 Group 2 430

And here’s the finished closet, in all its simplistic goodness! 25 minutes! Best part is, it’s actually finished!

Perfectionists and Procrastinators, there is a better way…and it’s called GOOD ENOUGH!Dec. 2014 Group 2 426

Here’s your challenge, should you choose to accept it, and I recommend that you do: Pick ONE area that drives you crazy. Set a timer for a reasonable amount of time, take everything out, and put it back in so it’s nice and neat and WORKS! Don’t get carried away with details!!!! You’ll be surprised how quick and easy it is if you’re goal is Functional instead of Perfect, which, as I’ve already said, DOESN’T EXIST ANYWAY!


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