In seeking to acquire a more organized mind, my next area to conquer is closet organizing. I’m on a quest to simplify, organize, downsize and reduce what the experts call “decision fatigue”. In our world of abundance and too many choices, having multiple options can lead our brains to experience a slowing and sluggishness, leading to a complete inability to make decisions in some instances.
Case in point – have you looked in your closet lately?
When life is overwhelming, deciding what to wear to work, or even what to wear for a simple day at home can seem overwhelming. Have you ever turned away from a jam packed closet to exclaim, “I have nothing to wear!”
I have. Bet you have too.
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Steve Jobs was famously wary of decision fatigue. Like many people, he believed that the brain has a limited capacity for making decisions during any given day and that by the end of the day, we might well be left with an impaired ability to concentrate, make choices and generally function optimally.
Jobs’ solution to this? He threw out all of his clothes and filled his wardrobe with only jeans and black turtle neck sweaters. Now he only had one outfit and there was zero decision making involved for him getting ready in the morning.
I love this idea, but you may decide you don’t want to do this. However, there are other less extreme ways you can make the process of getting ready in the morning less stressful, so let’s take a look at a few of them…
Plan Out Your Outfits
One simple strategy is to plan out your outfits at the start of the week and then to wear them each day. This way, you won’t be in the same outfit each day but you also won’t need to make that decision each morning.
Of course you might find that the weather has changed by the end of the week. In this case, you might do better to simply have a selection of outfits to wear for the next few days and then cycle through them as appropriate.
Have a Wardrobe That Matches
Another tip is to make sure that lots of the items in your wardrobe match one another. That means most of your trousers should go with most of your tops. Perhaps you have two main ‘looks’ (brown and blue) and the clothes for each look are largely interchangeable.
This way, most things you grab should go with each other and form an outfit. Likewise, if you are short on items, you will have backup options that can replace what you had intended on wearing.
To make a start, sort your clothes by type. Hang all the jackets together, all the skirts and pants together, and all the blouses together. Then, within each category, sort the items by color – so all the white blouses together, all the navy pants and skirts together. With this system, you can begin to identify duplicate items and see how different items might pair together.
Keep Clothes Readily Accessible
Another tip is to make sure your clothes are as accessible as possible. Make sure that your drawers aren’t too full and that there’s lots of space in your wardrobe. This will make it easier for you to look through your clothes and will remove the temptation to just leave your ironing in a pile on the chair because you don’t want to have to work out where it all goes and stuff it in.
This basically means you need to cut back on your number of items – which will also have the benefit of reducing the amount of options you have (making it easier to come to a decision).
I read this idea on Melissa Howell’s blog where she did a series on home organizing. It’s a brilliantly simple suggestion – rather than stacking items like t-shirts and pants or jeans in your drawer, roll them into rolls. When you open your drawer, you can see all the colors and make a choice without flipping through piles of shirts.
She did the same folding trick for pants and jeans. Love it!
Do a seasonal sort
Twice a year, I do a seasonal sort. Currently, I’m culling through the summer clothes and packing them away, while checking out the winter bins to get them ready for colder weather here in the Midwest.
If you live in a changing seasons climate, it makes sense to put the non-season stuff out of sight. You don’t need to look at it every day if you won’t wear it for another 6 months.
Pick one of these ideas and get started today. Eliminate one spot of decision fatigue in your life to make for a more organized mind.