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Project Sanctuary: The Closet

Project Sanctuary: The Closet

Moving is exhausting, you guys.

I just moved for the first time in over four years and I somehow, simultaneously, have too much stuff and also not enough stuff. I have too many things, but need an entire living room set.

As I’ve been unpacking, I keep noticing the need for so much more storage space. This was most evident in my office situation as well as my bedroom/clothing. I have been feeling so overwhelmed by the need for shelving and dressers and drawers and desks and then finding the right ones that I’ve sort of just found myself a little paralyzed and stuck in a mess of clutter.

Finally, yesterday, I decided that I was going to stop complaining about the lack of storage space I had and instead focus on paring down what I own so that there would be less to store. Seemed a little obvious once I’d made the decision, you know?

Now, obviously, this is much easier said than done. Parting with things can be hard, but I’ll admit – the frustrations with the clutter were so high that the thought of getting rid of most or all of it was extremely appealing. Have you ever had the desire to just toss everything and start from scratch?

Yeah. That.

I decided I’d start small. My new closet is a small space and I have yet to buy a dresser. I have a hanging rack in my closet for jeans and sweaters, but that’s about as far as any sort of storage goes. In order to make my closet feel less cramped, I decided to look through every piece, and for every five pieces I had, I’d choose my least favorite and pull it out. I did this twice. I ended up with a small pile of clothes that I could live without, but this wasn’t making a big enough dent. So, I did the opposite — I went through each item, and for every five I counted, I selected my favorite piece and put this in the “safe zone.” This felt SO much more productive, so I did it again. I counted out every five pieces, and for each five, I picked a favorite. I pulled everything else out, leaving me with just the pieces I’d identified as the ones I truly loved.

What’s next?

I rolled and folded the piles of the clothes I pulled out, put them in a suitcase, and took them down to my storage unit (for $25/month, I could not resist this tiny piece of space, particularly during this time of sorting and purging).

The idea is that I will go [almost] 3 months without those clothes, building a wardrobe out of only what’s left. At the end of this time, I’ll go through what I’ve had out and decide what not to keep. Then, I’ll bring the suitcase back up and go through that, deciding which items I missed and which I’d totally forgotten about.  I say almost 90 days because I want to sort through and do the next purge before the end of the year, starting 2018 with a clutter-free slate.

Any tips? I’ve heard of Project 333, which I feel was a sort of inspiration for this kind of minimalist paring-down sort of goal, though I didn’t count out to 33 pieces. A quick survey looks more like 60-70 pieces if I include the jeans and sweaters that aren’t hanging. To be honest, this makes me want to go even further and get closer to 30 pieces, but I’ll start with this. There’s a suitcase full of clothes that’s already been removed from my apartment, and I’ll take this energy on to the next area of my apartment — like all of that office stuff I mentioned earlier that’s been stressing me out.

The goal is to create a space that is both cozy and productive, inspiring and restorative. This is my first time living alone, first time truly creating my own space, and I want to make it my sanctuary.


[photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash]

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