Preparing for Change

Happy Monday!  Today is a big day for me- day one of my first level II fieldwork at a special services school district.  For the next three months, I will have the opportunity to apply everything I learned about occupational therapy with a pediatric population.  After that- another three months working at a residential neurorehab facility.  I am craving a routine after a routine-less summer and am experiencing a mix of emotions, but I am excited to begin this last chapter on the path to adulthood 😉

Change is something I try to embrace but I will admit- it’s hard for me.  The anxiety leading up to the change is what does me in- but then I always find a happy, new normal.  Within the last year, I’ve experienced a lot of change- my best friend moved across the country, my family moved from the home we built in Hunterdon County, NJ to a house in New Hope, PA; I finished the academic portion of graduate school, and I no longer work as an instructor at JW Tumbles- a job I held and loved for over seven years.  Moving boxes, hugs, a few shed tears, demolition, paint, and sawdust (my family is remodeling our new house)- I am finally starting to settle into a new routine and see beauty in the change.

One of the more adaptive ways I manage stress and anxiety is to organize.  I’m not sure if its a type-A thing or a me thing but having a clean and organized physical space helps me emulate that same mental state.  It’s almost like nesting- except without the baby.  So this past week, to prepare for a big change and quiet the anxious mental chatter, I organized my closet.  For this week’s post, I am sharing some of my tried and true tips to help organize and maintain a clean closet.

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| Use the same hangers |

This makes a surprisingly big difference in the appearance of your closet as it reduces visual clutter and increases uniformity.  I like these black, velvet, non-slip hangers for pants, shirts and dresses; and these wooden hangers with clips for skirts, shorts, and strapless dresses.  I tagged both items from Walmart but they can also be purchased at any Marshalls, TJ Maxx, or Home Goods.

| Organize clothing by length |

This will not only help you find specific items you are looking for when getting dressed each morning, but it can also help you visualize what you have enough of/ what you need to stock up on.  For example, I have all of my shirts hung on the top rack of my closet organized in the following categories- long sleeve, short sleeve, and sleeveless.  I have more than enough long sleeve shirts, but very few short sleeves so next time I go shopping, I have a better idea of what I need.  My dresses are organized by length and sleeve- all of my short dresses are hung in order from long sleeve to sleeveless.  I do the same for my maxi dresses, then I hang all of my strapless dresses together.    It sounds excessive but all it requires is a few minutes of rearranging hangers- super simple.

| Organize clothing by color |

Within each section based on length, each item is organized in rainbow order.  I start with black, then brown, then gray/ivory/white (darkest to lightest), then continue with the colors of the rainbow.  If you do anything to organize your closet, I would suggest putting the time in to do this.  I never have to search for anything in my closet because I always know exactly where it is based on the color of the item I’m looking for.  For my jeans, I continue with the ombre theme- darkest to lightest.  My dark wash jeans are hung to the left, then medium wash, then light wash, then white.  I have some patterned work pants and khakis/chinos that I hang to the left of all of my jeans.

| Organize shoes by type |

One of the perks of moving into the new house was a major closet upgrade- I am able to organize each type of shoe on a different shelf.  I like these stackable, white shoes shelves from Target.  Here are the categories that work best for me: sneakers, boots, flat closed-toed shoes, flat sandals, and heels.  If you don’t have enough room in your closet, you can still throw the shoes in labeled tubs to stay organized.  Within each shoe type, I also organize them by color because I have the space and I am slightly insane 😉 but this is definitely not necessary.

| Keep your closet current | 

If you haven’t worn it in a year, ask yourself why and initiate the appropriate next step.  About four times a year, at the start of each season- I like to go through my closet and do a quick assessment.  If something is dirty and the dry cleaner can’t save it, if it has holes, if you would be embarrassed to give it away- toss it.  Some bins accept clothing to be scrapped and recycled so search for something like that in your town.  For the items that are in good condition- you can either choose to donate them or sell them.

Use your judgement for the items you choose to sell- for example, I sell my designer purses, shoes, or brand-name exercise clothes and jeans because I know they are in good condition and I can get some money for them.  I use an app called Mercari to post these items for sale.  I have had a lot of luck selling Lululemon clothes, Michael Kors handbags, jewelry, designer watches, and Ugg boots.  It is simple and user friendly- you choose who pays for shipping, list your items at the price you wish to sell them, print a prepaid shipping label, and drop it off at your nearest FedEx or post office.  I have friends who have also had luck listing items for sale on sites like Poshmark and Ebay.  In addition to listing items online, I have had some luck selling clothing and shoes at Plato’s Closet.  Search for a location near you, bring the items you want to sell, and they will offer you money for a certain number of items that fit their current inventory needs.  You can choose what to do with the clothing they do not accept.  This is the super easy way to sell the items you no longer want because it all happens in an hour or two- you don’t have to go through the hassle of taking photos, listing each individual item, and waiting for a buyer to purchase.

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Here are some photos of my own closet:

Below is a picture of my (much smaller) closet from our old house to show you that these tips apply to closets of all shapes and sizes!

I hope this post gives you inspiration to organize your own closet and serves as a resource to you in the process.  Here’s to hoping I don’t do anything too embarrassing on my first day of fieldwork 😉 I hope you all have a wonderful week- happy organizing!  If you get a chance to utilize any of these tips- I would love for you to share! xx

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