Day 4 - The Disaster of my Dresser
“What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. It is always the same step, but you have to take it. —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars”
For every item I throw away there seems to be ten to replace it. My dresser is always a sore spot. Next to the dining room table, the dresser top seems to be a depository of random items that desperately need a home. In blog post 3, I touched on how Brandon was inspired to fold our clothing differently, allowing us to see all the clothes we have without having to rummage through our drawers. I was initially put off to this idea because I didn't want to "relearn" how to fold my own clothing. I quickly realized I needed new habits if I truly wanted a more simplistic and clutter free life. Making and breaking habits is vital in the process of decluttering. It forces us to think, "Why am I doing this?" So I thought about the terrible habits I had created over the years and I ran with it. I removed all my clothing and refolded it in a more efficient way. I then refolded all of my children's clothing drawers as well! But, fast-forward a few years and I needed to do this again; too many new outfits came in with nothing coming out, and too many drawers had reverted to their prior state. My system was once again a ruined mess of unmanageably overstuffed, disorganized drawers . So let's camp here and talk about folding and organizing your dresser drawers.
First, why does this matter?
Well, ask yourself this question. Does the state of my dresser drawers really matter? I mean that sounds like it's for fancy organized people, right? Wrong, you deserve to be able to open up your drawer and see everything you have right away. No sifting, sorting, and disheveling stacks of clothing just to find that one sweater you think you have. A messy drawer or stack of clothing naturally causes us to only use the items we can see right away because of daily time constraints, leading to the use of only whats on top and never seeing or using the clothing you have shoved to the bottom! This cluttered space aggravates and leads to more stress throughout the day. So what's a girl to do?
Pull it All Out!
Open your drawer and pull out all your clothing. Thats right, all of it! Make a big pile of tops and go through piece by piece and as #Mariekondo would say, "does it spark joy". If the answer is "no," then throw it on the donate pile because it can go to someone else. If the answer is "yes," and you love it, then put it on the fold pile. Once you've decided on everything you're keeping, separate the pieces into smaller piles by color. If you have a top with multiple colors just go with the dominate color.
Time to Fold
Now, I hate laundry and I hate folding it even more so I'm no laundry goddess over here, but I do love to reorganize so I don't abhor this folding process when it comes to cleaner drawers. Take your shirt and instead of simply folding in the sleeves and then in half, as we've always been taught to do, you're going to fold them a little bit tighter. Try to see how small you can make your shirt "package." With this process you'll have more folds than usual but this will make putting away and organizing your drawers a breeze! Take some time to practice this. You can find complete freedom in this method, or you may not enjoy it the first time at all ,and you'll probably have to force yourself to keep going...or is that just me? Once you've gone through and folded all your shirts by color, move on to your pant drawer and even sock drawer! This fun method to folding will open up so many new opportunities since you will be given more space and be able to easily find your clothing!
What to do if you don't have drawers. I know many people exceed dresser drawers and also have stacks of clothing on shelves in closets. My first question would lead back to Day 3's discussion about living inside your space. If you can't fit all your clothing inside your dresser, then items need to be removed and you need to be able to live in that space. If you are tight on space and using closet shelving is necessary, I would suggest getting shallow bins or boxes in which you can neatly fold and store your shirts in an upright position. This way you can see what you have instead of playing jenga with your sweater stack every time you want to wear one.
The Fun Part - Putting it all Away!
There is nothing better then putting all your clothing away neatly, closing the drawer, then quickly reopening it to admire your job well done!
Take your neatly folded stacks and put them in your dresser drawers by color. When you organize your clothing by color it will save you hundreds of "getting ready" hours every year. You stop searching for that one shirt you know you have, and can easier go to the color and find it in seconds. This is also easy to maintain; much easier than you'd think! The brain loves colors and will more easily remember where the item is when it's with like colors. I personally have my drawers and closet color coordinated, and as a busy mom of three, I don't have a lot of time to get ready and get out the door. So believe me when I say this trick works and is full proof!
Maybe you've put your items away and you find that you have so much more space! Yay for you! But maybe you don't have quite enough items to keep everything from falling over. Simple metal bookends from Amazon (click on the word bookend for the hyperlink) will do the trick! Check out my video below on how to use them. It's simple, use the bookend to keep items tight as you take them out over time. Silky shorts just aren't going to stand up by themselves no matter how tight I fold them.
So to conclude, simplify your clothing by: pulling everything out of the drawer, throwing out what you don't want, folding them so that they can stand upright, and putting them back in color code order. I can't wait to see who does this and the pictures posted in the comments and on our facebook group!
What will you simplify today?