The real trick to keeping a well-organized closet is making consistently good decisions about which items deserve prime real estate in your living space. Here are four mental strategies to complement a great physical organization plan for your closets:
Get happy. Approaching a closet feeling stressed, depressed, overwhelmed, fat, frumpy or otherwise self-critical is a recipe for making bad decisions. Plan at least 30 minutes to do anything it takes to get into a positive frame of mind before opening that closet door: exercise, meditate, listen to music, make a list of things you love about your life, and so forth.
Anticipate objections. Borrow this trick from effective sales professionals; think about all the things you might say to yourself and plan out responses in advance. For example:
- ‘It was expensive.’ Perhaps it can be resold through a consignment store or online.
- ‘I love it. I wear it all the time!’ Yes, unfortunately it shows.
- ‘I love it, but just haven’t found the right opportunity to wear it.’ If you’ve put a garment on and taken it off more than once, it’s unflattering and you know it.
- ‘It will motivate me to lose weight.’ More likely it will depress you; motivate yourself to lose weight with the idea of buying something new and stylish.
- ‘It’s too big now, but I should keep it in case I gain weight.’ Do you really want to make it that easy to gain?
- ‘It might come back into style.’ That’s unlikely, but even if it does, the garment will be old, faded and musty by then.
- ‘It has sentimental value.’ A lot? Pack it away as a keepsake in long-term storage (attic, basement or garage). A little sentimental value? Take a photo and jet it.
Be introspective. Not every piece of practical advice is a good fit for every person. For example, popular wisdom for closets is to group like items -types, styles, colors, lengths and so forth. But, if you are not really great at putting stylish outfits together or always running a little late in the morning, you might try recruiting a friend whose style you admire to help you organize in a different way – by ensemble, for example.
Finally, if you remember one thing, always place emphasis on convenient access over storage is a golden rule for making closets functional and keeping them organized over the longer term.