After starting with clothes, my next minimalizing goal was the utility, linen, and coat closets. While this may seem like an unglamourous job, I was soon surprised by the “Wow” phenomenon.
Our apartment has three rather large closets. One is for shoes, boots, coats, mittens, hats, and grocery bags. Another holds the linen, cleaning supplies, and tools. The third houses our air conditioner (during the off-season), our drying rack, work bags, and several guitars and their cases. We tackled de-cluttering all three of these closets in one afternoon. As with my clothing, I took everything out and placed it on the floor and then picked up each item to decide whether to keep it, move it, or get rid of it. At the end, we had a pile of garbage and donations that looked like they would be too big to even fit in the closets, let alone fit in there with all of the useful items that we had placed back inside.
The “Wow” phenomenon
After de-owning, de-cluttering, and organizing the three closets, I marvelled at how much better they looked and then closed the doors. But over the next few weeks, every time I would open one of the closets to get something out, I would stop for a few seconds, gaze at the contents of the closet and how organized it was, and think “wow, I can’t believe how much better this is”. I’m also happy to report that knowing that our tools and fasteners were so well organized made putting together and mounting a new bathroom cabinet a much easier task. We also put up a few pictures that had been sitting around just because it was so easy to do the task quickly without dumping out the whole toolbox to find the right screws and drill bits. The tasks seemed so much simpler and the energy required to start them so much less.
Putting up a new bathroom cabinet and pictures that had been waiting to go up for months was very satisfying and an unexpected benefit of de-cluttering some closets—Wow, indeed!