Spring Cleaning: 1 Year Rule

Courtesy of goodhousekeeping.com
It's that time of year again...Spring Time! The time of year when our instincts scream for us to open windows and start the "spring fling" process. One area we itch to attack is our closet. 

If you are like me, you store your clothes by the seasons. Of course, I go with cold and warm, but still...it is kind of seasonal. Even my shoes are stored by season (see my other blog on shoes). It helps keep our closets orderly and reduces our need to re-iron everything when it comes time to wear. 

Today, my mission is to slowly start the transfer from winter to spring with my clothing. Because it still can snow all the way through Memorial Day here in Indiana, I tend to keep a couple of sweaters and one pair of boots where I can get to them easily. Only thing is, I have two bins of clothing under my bed. While that isn't a bad idea - in fact, it is an excellent idea. My problem is that they are winter clothing, not my spring attire. 

So, this brings me into the purpose of this blog: simplifying and minimizing my winter wardrobe using the one year rule. This rule helps us determine what we like and don't like. Now, don't get me wrong, I like the sweaters I have stored, I just don't feel good in them. Why do we keep things we don't feel good in? Possibly because we think they'll fit and look better if we lose a couple of pounds. Or, we think that sweater we wore in 1986 will suddenly come back in style. I don't know about you, but I'm a few sizes larger than I was my senior year in high school and we all know that Stacy London and Clinton Kelly of TLC's What Not To Wear really emphasize our need to dress our age. I'm over 40 - not under 20. 

To get started, you'll need:

  1. A box or other disposable container for tossing what we don't need or use
  2. A storage container large enough to store what we keep
  3. A bar of soap to keep the moths out
  4. Willpower to get this done
  5. Timer
Why a timer? Well, I'm a HUGE fan of Flylady.net. She states that we can get anything done in 15 minutes and less. There used to be a show similar to Style's Clean House on TLC (I just can't remember the name). They would give you 30 minutes to quickly sort through the clutter into three separate sections of their yard (yes, we're talking about entire rooms of stuff). These piles consisted of keep, toss, and sell. You see, they did the same as Clean House where they sold items that were potentially a treasure to someone else. 

One of the key purposes of doing it quickly is to not dwell on the why. The reasoning is that we tend to put an emotional value on our possessions, no matter how they make us feel. We may hold onto that reindeer sweater we fear wearing in public just because Aunt Edna knitted it for us. Someone else might find value and love for a reindeer sweater more than we do. Even if we do love Aunt Edna, who we probably don't see more than once a year. 

Or how about that maternity sweater we absolutely adored while carrying junior, but really cringe to wear now as it makes us look like we're still expecting, despite junior now being 13. 

The key is that if you haven't worn it in a year: get rid of it.

My goal with this project is to also identify how many sweaters I really do NEED. I'm emphasizing the word need as I don't think 20 sweaters constitutes a need, unless my name is Ivana Trump...who I am far from resembling. 

One of the things I am searching for in this process is also a feeling of freedom. A freedom from clutter and consumerism. When our surroundings are cluttered, our mind and heart become cluttered. We embody chaos, and in reality, who wants to feel chaotic. I know I sure don't.

So, get ready...get set...attack that closet!


  1. At the end of the sweater cleansing, I had 4 bags full of sweaters! Wow! I didn't even think I owned that many! But, it feels good! Although I no longer have enough sweaters to not wear one twice in one month.


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