I don’t have a lot of space in my 700 sq ft apartment. In terms of closets, there’s 4 in my home that each serve their own purpose. The one that I really needed to clean out was my main one in the main living space. No matter where you live, I think most people have that “Randoms” closet where you throw in all the junk that doesn’t really have a place anywhere else.
Mine was full. I couldn’t even really close the sliding doors shut properly. This a huge red flag that I needed to get my shit together.
I started with pulling out everything. As I did that, I sorted whatever I pulled out into piles. By the time an empty closet stared back at me, I was surrounded by piles of winter hats, winter mitts, boxes, and a huge trash pile (and other things).
This was the moment I saw a closet for what it was: both a treasure trove of lost valuables and a black hole monstrously consuming everything you threw into it.
You really don’t know how much crap you have until you literally lay it all out before you. Between my husband and I, we’d accumulated so much stuff that I’d forgotten I even owned. (Closet-cleaning is also good for going down memory lane, FYI.)
Alas, I was re-united with the Mariner’s ball cap my husband thought he lost last year, yoga matts long forgotten, and a pair of runners that looked practically new from lack o use.
Before putting stuff back in, I decided to put away the big, seasonal stuff back first. This made sense as I rarely reached for it and these were the things that needed the most space. Once packed away, I put away the other items in a way that would give the future me the best possible chance of finding it again. Minimalism really is helping your future self stay sane.
I tore the house apart a few days ago looking for an umbrella I KNEW I had. I even looked (what I thought at the time) thoroughly in the Randoms closet and turned up nothing. Resigned, I bought a new one, giving up on ever finding the thing again. Of course it was in the closet the whole time.
THIS IS WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT!
Organization sounds really boring and intimidating (especially when faced with organizing a gigantic mess) but it saves so much time, energy, and money in the long run. I need to continue to find projects like this around my house as I explore deeper into the world of minimalism. I know for a fact that my future self will thank me.