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My First Attempt (of Probably Many) at Trying to Declutter My Closet! - My Minimalism Journey, Part 2

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash
There’s something I need to tell you. I’m ashamed to admit it, but here it is:

My room usually is clean.

*whispers* But it’s really not.

The fact is, I like everything to look tidy, but when you actually open up all of my dresser drawers and closets, that's where the mess is.

And boy, is it a tornado of papers, trinkets, tchotchkes, jewelry, old electronics, pens, notebooks, and so many other random things that I don’t know what to do with!

And my closet is the worst of all. Actually, let me correct myself. I have two closets. One for my clothes that’s in the hallway (don’t ask, it’s a long story) and another that is in my room where I store all of my, erm, “treasures” that I hope to use one day. (But I haven’t. Even though I keep saying that I’m going to. I’m like Ariel with all of her human stuff. I have sooo many snarfblats and dinglehoppers!) And they are both horrible black holes when it comes to clutter. Everything I want to hide to make my room look “clean,” I put it all in there. And then promptly (and conveniently) forget about it. Which is very bad and all of these mole hills have suddenly made my closets the Mount Everest of decluttering jobs!

So as you can imagine, trying to tackle my closet(s) is probably the one adventure in my minimalism journey that I was looking forward to the least. But I decided to start to tackle it anyway. Maybe not all in one fell swoop, because I am only one person and I feel like doing this all at once would even make Marie Kondo question her existence and her love of tidying up (I feel like my closets could do that to a person).

Have you read my first post about my first attempt at decluttering? If not, you can read it here

Let’s Do This! (Or At Least, Start To)

Here’s what went down. I had already somewhat gone through my clothes (not just in my closet, but in my dresser, as well), because I noticed that some of my most frequently used pieces were um, let’s just say it: falling apart (or had holes where there weren’t supposed to be holes). But then I also noticed when I was going through my hall closet that many moons ago, I had previously gone through my old shirts and had bagged them up to give away! But guess where those bags were: on my closet floor! Oh, Emily. You really mean well.

After I took out my bags of clothes to give away (some that are still wearable to the thrift store, and the ones that were, um falling apart and full of holes, hopefully someplace where they can recycle clothes. I’ll have to look into it!) I started on the arduous journey of going through my closets, both the hallway one (full of clothes and random things) and the one in my bedroom (full of trinkets and doo-dads and god knows what else). Here’s what I found in both:

Things I Found In My Closet(s) and Am Getting Rid Of:

Three dresses. Two of which I wore to weddings, and one that I bought as an impulse buy and never wore. (The peach one with all the little cherries on it!) Also, I'm not much of a dress girl, so I have two that I've saved for special occasions and that should be enough for me now!

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
Two poster frames and one poster. I decided to give away one of my posters still in the frame, since I think the art print is just lovely and that someone might like it. The other frame had a giant poster of Atonement in it, which you might know is my favorite romantic movie of all time, and I have decided to keep that poster for now. You never know, I could get it professionally framed one day! (Also, the poster can’t be recycled, FYI)

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
Seven shirts to donate to a thrift store and three old shirts, one pair of pajama pants, an old pair of ripped (like old ripped, not purposely ripped) jeans, and tons of old bras (like warped and not my size anymore. Isn’t it weird that boob size fluctuates? The miracles of womanhood!) that I hope I can donate to a clothing recycling center.

Three decorative metal baskets. All in different sizes and all bought with good intentions but never used, sadly. I just don’t have the room, or really, any idea what to store in them!

An old iPad mini that died plus the new case with keyboard I bought for it just before it died *sob* So I will have to find the time to go to the Apple store so they can recycle my iPad and then I can donate the case. I really, really liked that case, you guys...

Multiple necklaces (including a Ravenclaw clock necklace with a broken chain that maybe some Harry Potter fan can fix or make it there own in some fun DIY way), a bracelet, a keychain, rings, and so other odd little trinkets! (Though I did decide to keep a headband and give it to my niece and I also found a small feather charm and decided to add that in there instead.)

A worn stuffed animal of the Fruit Cockatiel from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. That movie was full of puns, but I really didn’t appreciate that stuffed animal as much as I did it’s punny name. (It’s a bird made out of fruit! A fruit cockatiel! I can’t!)

In case you were wondering, this is what a Fruit Cockatiel from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 looks like. I just had one in stuffed animal form!
Old Halloween decor that I don’t display anymore. I will store it with my other Halloween decor until I can donate it closer to Halloween.

Old antique drawings someone gave me. Very pretty, but I will probably never display them, but hopefully someone else can give them a happy home!

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
A Pop Funko figure of Annabelle. You all know that I love me some horror movies and The Conjuring is one of my favorite horror movies ever, and I loved my Annabelle figurine when I first got her, but I’ve sort of lost my love of Pop Funkos, so I think it’s time to say goodbye to Miss Annabelle. Besides, I’d rather have the actual replica of her anyway! (Yes, I know, I have issues...)

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
A few old CDs I don’t listen to anymore. Besides, who even listens to CDs anymore? My parents. That’s who!

A book light for reading that I never really used. I mean, I can just turn on my bedside table, right? 

A whole big cardboard pack of Zevia Cream Soda that someone forced upon me and I was too shy to say no thank you (it has literally been sitting in my closet since last December). I am literally too nice aka a pushover. At least I can recycle the box and the (empty) cans!

An old season of Paranormal State that no one will take because it has one disc missing. Le sigh. If I had just found that one missing disc I could have traded it in at a used bookstore for credit! *shakes fist*

A random fake egg. I know. Um, why?

Things I Found In My Closet(s) and Want to Keep and Use:

A voodoo cookie cutter. I can’t believe I forgot about this when I could have been using it this whole time to make cookies of my enemies and then eating them to punish them without them knowing it! I feel so silly!

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
Two framed pictures that I want to hang up in my room. One is from my aunt who has passed, so seeing that image always reminds me of her (though it is of a harlequin clown and I have to say, my aunt never looked like one of them, thank god. I mean, my family is weird, but we’re not “let’s dress up as French clowns” weird)

A cute plastic plate I bought in Paris for a present for someone, but ended up keeping it myself because I thought it was adorable. I will definitely be using this as a full grown adult!

Cute jewel colored drinking cups I had stored away. I helped out at an estate sale and these were up for grabs, so I just had to get them! And like the plate, I’ll be using them! They’re too pretty not to use!

An old jewelry holder I made years ago when I was feeling artsy. Is it the best thing I’ve ever made? No. But did I paint it and add decorative knobs to it to hang my jewelry from? Yes. And does it technically work and looks somewhat okay? Heck yes! Why didn’t I hang this up before?? My necklaces are currently just hanging on a plastic hanger in my bedroom closet. They deserve better!

decorative hanger shaped like a door knob I need to actually hang up and use. (Should I hang my purse on it? Jewelry? Reusable bags? Face masks? The possibilities are endless!)

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
Lots of reusable tote bags that I have now gotten off my closet floor and have hung up all nice and tidy for easy access and use. (I guess I got a bit of that organization in along with the decluttering!)

A cute purse shaped like a book but the strap has fallen away that I’m hoping to repair and then use again! Though I am not a very handy or crafty person, so I will most likely need help repairing it. (My dad is handy and my mom is crafty, and I guess by having me, those things cancelled each other out. They must be so proud).

Something I’m Not Sure If I Want to Keep or Not:

This cute accent shelf. I bought it because I thought it was vintage-looking, but now I wonder if it’s a bit too much and colorful and not really me. So I’m going to sleep on it and decide another time. Hmm. What do you guys think? Yay or nay? (Maybe that fact that I'm questioning whether I want to keep it or not should be the answer to my question!)

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
The Results of This First Sweep of My Black Holes- I Mean, My Closet(s):

Now, I really wish I could give you a before and after shot of my closets, but again, this is just my first attempt at cleaning them. If you saw both pictures, you would probably still wonder which one was the before and which one was the after. I’m going to have to go in for another sweep and then hopefully once I’m done gutting it, I can go on to organizing it!

But in all honesty, it really wasn’t too bad going through my closets. I think it was because I knew I didn’t have to clean out both in one day, and that I was breaking it up into small chunks, which made the process a lot more palatable and fun. I was able to look at the items, determine if I really wanted them or if I was going to use them in the future, and then either put them in a pile to give way or put them in a pile to keep (or you know, that one pile where you have to think about whether or not you want to keep the items or not). Plus, the walk down memory lane and all the head shaking over what I was finding was pretty amusing!

It really made me realize that I had a lot of things in my closet(s) that I had bought with good intentions to use, but never did. Maybe I was waiting for the right time, or when I finally moved out, but it actually made me think, “why am I waiting? Why can’t I use it now?” I guess I was just waiting for the right moment or time to use what I had collected, but what’s the point of having it if I’m never going to use it or display it? And when is the “right” time? Why can’t it be now? I may not be exactly where I want to be in life, but it doesn’t mean I have to live in limbo! So I’ve decided that now is the best time, and the things I’m going to keep are going to be put out on display, either on shelves or (finally) hung up on my wall, and what will stay in my closet will only be seasonal or storage-like things.

I mean, that sounds pretty reasonable, doesn’t it? I like to think so.

My Tips For Going Through Your Closet(s) And Getting Rid of Things:
  1. If you’re going through a certain large area (like, your closet) and you’re feeling overwhelmed, try to focus on just one area, say, your clothes, or trinkets. You’ll feel less stressed and you’ll be able to zero in on what you want to find and declutter.
  2. Have bags or boxes ready to put clothes, trinkets, or whatever else you may find ready once you start decluttering. Then make sure that you know which bags or boxes have what in them and where you want to donate or give them away to! So either label your bags/boxes or keep them in different sections so you don’t get confused (like a section for giving things aways, or a section for things to donate, or even a section for “I-still-don’t-know-if-I-want-to-give-this-away-yet-so-I’m-going-to-sleep-on-it-pile”)
  3. Don’t think that you have to donate everything you’re getting rid of! If you think a friend or a family member might want an article of clothing or something else you’re giving away, ask them, send them a picture, and offer it to them. You never know what a friend might be in need of! (But don’t force them to take it! Tell them to be honest with you and if they don’t want it and no one else you know does, go ahead and donate it! Trust me, there’s someone out there who will make use of what you give away; you just don’t know them personally!)
  4. Look into where to donate certain items. There are tons of places that you can donate clothes and other things, so be sure to have a place (or places) in mind when you’re decluttering. Clothes and household goods can go to thrift stores or charities, very old clothes in bad shape can be recycled (look into places where you can do that in your area!), CDs, DVDs,video games, and books can often be traded in or bought at (extra cash for you!) used book or game stores, and so on. You can even try your hand at selling clothes, jewelry, and other things online on Ebay, ThredUp, Etsy, or at clothing retail exchanges!
  5. And be sure to remember to look into whether certain items can be recycled or not (as a lot of things like DVDs and DVD cases can’t or glossy posters) to reduce what you throw in the trash (and what ends up in landfills!).
I know this definitely probably wasn’t the amazing transformation that you and I were expecting, but I’m so happy with the progress that I made! Though I have to admit, because of all of my closet decluttering, everything that was once in my closet, is now in my room and my room is a hot mess. That’s something that they don’t tell you when you’re trying to go minimal: it’s going to get more cluttered before it gets less cluttered. So watch out for that! (Maybe make that tip #6?)

That was my first attempt at cleaning out my closets! Was it a success? I’d say so! Do I have a lot more to do? Oh yes! There were certain things that I wasn’t able (or well, lost the energy) to do, like going through my Harry Potter Funko collection, plus some storage boxes I have filled with other small knick-knacks, memories, and trinkets. So keep a look out for future blog posts about what other crazy things I’ll find in not just my closets, but my actual room too. (Where does this stuff even come from?? I know a lot of these were impulse buys, but seriously, what was I thinking? Ah, well. One man’s trash and what not!)

What did you think of my adventures of decluttering my closets? Were you amazed at what I found? (And frankly, what I had kept in my closet for so long?) Have you ever decluttered and gone through your closets? What was the strangest thing you found? And also, if you have tips for decluttering and minimalism in general, let me know in the comments!

Stay Weird,
Emily


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1 comment on "My First Attempt (of Probably Many) at Trying to Declutter My Closet! - My Minimalism Journey, Part 2"
  1. The cursed cookie cutters look like so many fun! I admire your ability to part with things, I'm always second guessing myself when it comes to decluttering. Great post! Felt like I was with you and acting as a supportive friend, haha.

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