The 5 R's of Cleaning Your Closet


If you’re stuck in a rut, or you just really need to throw some stuff away, cleaning out your closet is a great way to find some inner peace. More and more studies are popping up supporting the idea that cleaning anything actually gives a person a better mental state and reduces stress.

Knowing where all your stuff is at any given time is incredibly helpful. It’s great not only when you need that burger spatula for that spontaneous grill session, but when you’re trying to move or get organized.

Before you get started on cleaning out your closet, you’re going to need to allocate a lot of time to get it done. Closets big or small can both literally and figuratively hold a large amount of stuff. You’re going to want to pause at times through this process. Even though you are just rummaging and cleaning a physical space, you’re going to find yourself rummaging and cleaning your head. Believe it or not, this is going to be a deep, perhaps even spiritual, process.

Tips Before You Begin

Make space: You need to have a considerable amount of space available to clean effectively and to keep the overwhelming feelings at bay. Make sure you have space to use as buffer zones while you move everything from one place to another.

Put on music: If you’re like me, getting a good playlist going is a must. This is a great time to listen to some of your favorite music, or maybe even that one record that you’ve been meaning to listen to but haven’t had the time.

Get comfortable: It’s best to wear clothes that you can easily move around in and don’t mind getting a little dirty. Cleaning your closet is a chore that might contain a little more mystery than we’re comfortable to admit.

Now that you’re grooving to some righteous tunes, you’re nice and comfortable and your buffer space is ready, let’s begin the barrage of reasons why cleaning your closet will lead to a cleaner life and a little peace of mind.

1. Remember

The first mole hill you will run into is the memories that come from cleaning your closet. Maybe it’s that once used Halloween costume that you hastily put together last October, or maybe it’s a memento from a past relationship you forgot to stow or throw away. If you’re even a bit sentimental, you’re going to find something that makes you want to stop and think for a minute or two. Finding memorable objects are a great time to reminisce and reflect. This can be a great opportunity for nostalgia or catharsis depending on the item and it’s meaning to you. You are metaphorically cleaning your head as well, so it’s important to give some thought to those old emotionally intriguing things. As life gets faster as we get older, sometimes we forget to make time for ourselves to reflect.

“Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around every once in awhile, you could miss it.”- Ferris Bueller

2. Rediscovery

Memories serve as a nice segue into the next factor of cleaning; Rediscovery. You’re going to find so many things stashed away, you’re bound to find something you’ll rediscover. Rediscovery is also about remembering your dreams. Sometimes we are so busy with what we’re doing to earn money and survive, we forget what we were trying to do. Sometimes it’s important to take a second and remind yourself who you are, and rediscover what makes your eyes wide and impassioned.

3. Repurposing

This might only apply to crafty and thrifty people out there, but cleaning your closet and finding new uses for items is a great use of the resources you have. Not only can you save money, but you can find solutions to persisting problems. Make sure you clean regularly to find these new purposes, and to always keep these new project ideas on your mind.

4. Release

Repurposing is a great transition into release, otherwise known as getting rid of stuff. No matter who you are, there will always be things to get rid of and if you’re moving or just clearing out. Releasing those excess items into the world and out of your hair can be extremely pleasing. Items you meant to repurpose is a great place to start. Sometimes we hoard things that we just simply will never use again. Don’t make the mistake of rationalizing everything in your closet, you will not be using everything. Go through your clothes first.

There are bound to be items in there that you can either donate or get rid of. Go through and ask yourself if you’ve worn or used that thing in the last 5 years. If the answer is no, then out the door it goes. Additionally, getting rid of a bunch of stuff can create more space. Both physically AND mentally.

5. Relief

Now that you’ve remembered, rediscovered, repurposed and released, it’s time to organize and relieve yourself. Your closet should start to return to its former glory. Take a second to revel in your success. Let yourself feel the waves of relief now that you know where everything is kept, and that it’s all ready to go. You have looked into the past and cleansed your mind for a better tomorrow. Forget what they say about life being short. If we take chances, our lives can be long and well lived. What’s in our closets is living proof of that. Sometimes we need to meditate on the trail we’ve taken so far to get a better picture of the path ahead of us.

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