I love the 80/20 Rule so I try to apply it to everything, even clutter.
The “expert” advice from professional organizers didn’t work for me. It was more complicated than the clutter!
I needed something fast and simple and I found it.
The 80/20 Rule Helps Declutter Your Home
You may have heard of Pareto’s Law. Whatever you are doing, approximately 80% of the benefit comes from 20% of the effort. A business earns 80% of its sales from 20% of its customers. You call 20% of your friends 80% of the time.
It applies to clutter, too. You use 20% of your possessions 80% of the time. This makes it a lot easier to zero in on unnecessary items and their natural collecting point….closets. After all, you can always shove in more and forget it.
Start With Your Closets
Closets are where clutter takes root and multiplies. There are so many dark crannies in the back for stuff you don’t want to grow like mushrooms. You can’t be sure what’s in there but it’s unlikely to be anything good.
More likely, it’s mostly clothes that don’t fit, are out of style if they do and unflattering,
which is why you shoved them in the back. And hiding behind those, I guarantee there are some buried treasures you’ve completely forgotten about. You can start enjoying new-to-you outfits again tomorrow – if you declutter your closet today!
The best reason of all to clean out your closet is the new empty space. Once there is physical room, wonderful new things will come into your life to fill it up.
If you’re like me, most of what you really wear isn’t in your closet! The 20% of clothes you like and the ones that fit are in the bedroom on chairs, in the laundry basket, hanging in the laundry room or maybe draped over exercise equipment.
It seems as if the closet is storage for clothes we don’t wear! So how can we change that?
The easiest way is to take EVERYTHING out. But where do I put it? A guest room if you have one, even the living room, dining room, even the garage. I admit to once stashing things in the trunk of my car. There will be a temporary mess, but the results will be worth it.
Once you have that glorious empty space, you’ll be much pickier about what you put back into that closet.
How Do I Know What to Put Back?
Start with the clothes in your bedroom and neatly hang them in the most convenient part of your closet. Getting dressed will be much easier with your favorite clothes neatly hung and easy to find. The same goes for purses and especially SHOES!
We ladies all have too many shoes and they don’t fit in our closets. The 20% I wear all the time are in the hall closet by the front door. The others look colorful on shelves in my closet for the rare times I wear red shoes, bright blue shoes or ultra high heels
Then go treasure hunting. Pretend you are shopping among the clothes you took out of your closet. Would you buy that dress today? If so, hang it right next to your favorites. Keep going until you have 20% of your clothes back in the closet.
Find Buried Treasures in Your Closet
I once found a fabulous cashmere sweater that was fifteen years old and fit perfectly! It still does and now it is 21 years old. My older clothes were all made in the USA and of fabric and quality impossible to find today. You may have a silk robe or tailored wool pants you haven’t worn for years.
Try on a few things each day. If you still love them, make room in your closet. If the thrill is gone, take them to the Goodwill. The empty space in your closet will attract something better to replace it.
Every week, go shopping again until your closet is full of things you love to wear and make you feel and look great.
That’s the 80/20 way to clean out your closets. And you can do it over and over again with every room of the house!