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We wear only 20% of the clothes in our closet. It's time to give the 80% so others can wear them...now!
Elizabeth Hagen
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Extraordinary Results May Midmonth Newsletter
"It's Time for Incredible Impact On Your Closet!"
Greetings!

It's May! It's May!  Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and everyone is in a great mood!

I spent the last week in April attending the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) national convention in Orlando, FL and had a blast. It is great hanging out with people who have the same passion. As a board member the first day for me was the board meeting, the second day leadership training, and then the conference began.  It was great to catch up with old friends. 

Members of the VIP Circle

I was thrilled that some members of my Professional VIP Circle were at the conference and we got to have lunch together.  Paula Constable, myself, Martha Clouse, Judy Ozment (and Katherine Macey, not pictured).

After I came home from the conference I spoke at a women's event at Bethel Christian Reformed Church in Edgerton, MN.  What an awesome time!  Their theme was "What Not to Wear".  When you came in the doors you saw live mannequins wearing clothes from the 70's - it was great!

Clothes from the 50's
(I'm in the middle!)
I presented my "Fashion, Figures, & Fun" topic and shared how we need to dress for our figure; not like the pictures and models in the fashion magazines. I use the 'sticks and strings' method that I learned from Jan Larkey to help women discover that they often don't have the figure problems they think they have!

Stick and strings test

Speaking on fashion made me think that this would be a great newsletter to remind you how to organize your closet - now is the perfect time!

We are very proud of Chris' fiancĂ©e, Ashley, who received her Doctorate of Pharmacy from South Dakota State University this month.  Congratulations, Ashley!

Ashley's graduation

It's Time for Incredible Impact On Your Closet

I go through my closet twice a year - once in the spring and once in the fall and have been doing this for a long time.

Here is the process I use:

Closet Before
Closet - Before

Step 1: Take everything out - and I mean everything. Here is where you'll wish you had never heard of me! Yes, when you organize, things get worse before they get better. You need to trust the process and trust me!

Everything out of the closet

Step 2: The hard part. Start going through every shoe, every blouse, every pant...you get the idea. Take a hard look at your clothes. My guideline is if you feel depressed, tired, or ugly when you put the garment on - out it goes. You're never going to wear it anyway and someone else will absolutely love it!

This means you need to try things on. I can just hear you groaning in despair! You're groaning because you know that some of the clothes are not going to fit and this is not a good feeling. This is exactly why you need to try everything on. If it doesn't fit IT DOES NOT go back in your closet. If you're not ready to part with it (for whatever reason) put it in a storage container with a year from now marked on the lid. If you haven't opened that box in a year maybe that will be the permission you need to give it to someone who can wear it right now.

Supplies:
  • Black garbage bags (I hope you know why I say 'black!) for throw
  • Bags or boxes for donations
  • Box for clothes that can be altered to fit
  • Box marked "Take to Another Area"
  • Nice hangars
  • Clear shoe-box size bins
  • For more great organizing product ideas visit my blog
As you're going through the clothes put them in the appropriate bags and boxes. If you find things that you want to keep but don't belong in your closet resist the urge to go put them away somewhere else in the house right now (you can do that later!). If you leave the bedroom I will lose you!

For those of you who've heard me speak and/or have read my book Organize with Confidence you know all about the 'Elizabeth Circle'. Your whole bedroom is the Elizabeth Circle as you organize your closet and you cannot leave the circle until you are done! You may want some strong coffee and a sandwich!

Step 3: The fun part. What is left in your bedroom now belongs in your closet and you get to start putting things away. Hang up your clothes and put them back by category: Blouses, pants, jeans, skirts, jackets, etc. In each category hang your clothes by color - lights to dark. You can now see at a glance how many white blouses you have and know that next time there's a killer sale on white blouses that you don't need any!

Use the small clear bins for hosiery, small purses, belts, scarves, out-of-season shoes, etc.

Closet after
Closet - after

Step 4: Pat yourself on the back! You've done it! Your closet looks fantastic. But more importantly, you'll feel incredible! You can now get dressed every morning - not stressed.

Step 5: Take the bags/boxes out of your room right away, throw the trash out, bring your alterations to your wonderful alteration person, and take the donations away that day.

Fearless Organizing Assignment:
  • Set a date in your calendar to organize your closet
  • Get all the supplies that you need
  • On the date you picked in #1 organize your closet and be strong!! Give yourself a great reward when you're done!

My reward is to go shopping for a mother-of-the groom dress for Chris' wedding in July!
 
Enjoy the rest of May and I'd love to hear about your 'closet success'!
 
Fearlessly yours,

Elizabeth
 

Elizabeth Hagen
Professional Organizer/Speaker