I have an amazingly gorgeous sequined knit teal top I bought ten years ago and never wore. By all sorting systems, it should go in the donate or consign pile. But yesterday I paired it with a fringed red woven jacket and a print scarf and it looks terrific. I finally figured out how to wear it, and that magically transformed it from clutter to a wardrobe asset.
I've been in closet bliss since I shifted from sorting stuff piece by piece into stay-or-go piles, to creating outfits I'm excited to wear. I started with pieces I love and pair and accessorize them one outfit at a time. Playing with my favorites helps me understand what works for me. Other items just don't appeal in the same way - the contrast makes it clear.
It's a slower process than imposing a rule on each piece. It's worth it. I have constant creative breakthroughs. I'm recognizing the thinking that led to my bad buys. And I'm having a blast doing it in a way that makes sense to me.
It's more than a way to approach closets. It's also a way to approach life. Focus on what you want and what you don't want loses its draw.
Look out house! My, there's no stopping me now!