Extreme Makeover: Closet Edition

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That old saying “two heads are better than one” is very applicable in matters of downsizing and organization. Despite my ruthless “take no prisoners” determination at the start of a clean-out-and-refresh project, somewhere in the middle, I waver, thinking, “Maybe I’ll find a use for this,” or “Oh! So-and-so gave me that, so I’ll just stick it here for now.” Sure, the results are always still an improvement from where I started, but I never feel truly purged. Inevitably, I always have a stash of random items that I have to tackle all over again during my next clean out. It’s a vicious cycle.

Knowing myself the way I do, I was excited about the Ziploc® Fresh 180 challenge, “Closet Showdown.” It dares you to rope in a friend to put a hard eye on your closet clean out — and then you do the same for her closet. It’s a great idea if you have a friend who fits the bill, but although I fashion-swapped aplenty with friends back in my 20s, I’m not doing that as often now that I’m in my mid-40s.

I do, however, have a gremlin in my house who perhaps knows my closet better than I do: my 15-year-old daughter. In fact, I’m beginning to wonder if she has a Star Trek-style transporter device connecting our closets, because she often traipses off to school in my favorite scarf, my new jeans or the top I couldn’t find. Thank goodness her foot is two sizes bigger than mine!

So I presented her with this challenge. She loved the idea of digging through my closet and telling me exactly how terrible my fashion choices were as we plowed through the challenge’s purge and sort portion. I had a mighty large “toss” pile when all was said and done, which I re-sorted while she took a break. I guess I couldn’t expect a 15-year-old to appreciate a nice pair of charcoal dress slacks or a paisley twin set! With age comes wisdom, along with an inclination toward corporate meeting attire, I suppose.

I did make it a point to mention that my style-worthy “keep” pile would have been larger if certain items hadn’t been transported through the ceiling into her closet above. That comment elicited quite the eye-roll.

After giving my purged closet a thorough dusting and vacuuming, we restocked it following advice from the challenge — rehanging by use, such as dressy, business, active and casual. I did try something new this time — I hung coordinating separates together instead of my usual “pants here, skirts there, tops elsewhere” system. I’m curious to see if this helps on days when I’m rushed.

After stowing my bulky seasonal items in a few Ziploc® brand Space Bags® and Flexible Totes, and resorting my shoes into a sensible order, we were ready to tackle phase two of the challenge — her closet. After all, turnabout is fair play.

She was not quite as gung-ho in attacking her closet. Apparently, I just don’t “get it” when it comes to faux-vintage superhero T-shirts and knee-length sweatpants, but we did manage to squeeze a few items out of her closet and into the “toss” pile. I could see her heart wasn’t in it, so I didn’t push further because I had achieved my ulterior motive — confiscating the majority of my pilfered goods.

I left her a few Ziploc® brand Space Bags® and Flexible Totes, so she could tidy on her own. Maybe she’ll be inspired to do a closet smack-down the next time her best friend sleeps over, which is fine by me. As long as they stay out of mine — ah, wishful thinking.

Disclaimer: I was paid to develop this post and to provide related images for Ziploc®. As always, all opinions are my own.


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