Drawing the line between work and home in a remote or hybrid setup can be difficult because of the lack of physical boundaries between these two aspects of one’s life. Indeed, the way work seems to spill over into people’s personal lives is undeniably apparent.
To give your life a semblance of healthy boundaries and balance, consider organizing your wardrobe as the first step to getting there. While sorting through your clothes and achieving work-life balance may sound unrelated at first, the former can lead to the latter in several ways.
How Does Organizing Your Clothes Help with Work-Life Balance?
The actions involved in organizing your closet can help you achieve the attitude needed for work-life balance. Simple skills like setting your boundaries, prioritizing yourself, and learning to take a break can all also be learned by doing something as quotidian as folding and storing your favorite leggings, pants, or hosiery into their proper places.
If the discussion so far has gotten you interested, here are a few tips on how to organize your wardrobe to achieve some form of work-life balance:
Take Everything Out of Your Closet
Start your wardrobe organization project by taking everything out of your closet. That means everything. Don’t leave a single stone left unturned in this endeavor. Then, clean up your closet with a mop or broom to clear out anything that’s still in there. You never know what you might find, such as some loose change or that missing sock you’ve been looking for.
When you’re done, this can be a cathartic moment. The process lets you air out everything that has been building up inside you for so long, and is a way to release pent-up energy from all the hours you spend working. This is a concrete way to get off your computer and focus on something other than the blue light of a screen. Try out this cleaning exercise every six months and observe how you feel emotionally and physically each time.
Evaluate Your Clothing
Saying goodbye to some clothing items can be a tough call, especially if you have some memories tied to them. But if you’re serious about decluttering your space, organizing your closet, and, in effect, getting your life together, then you’ve got to make some difficult choices. So, go through every single one of your clothes and decide whether to keep, donate, or throw each item out.
Once you’ve done this, you can put the ‘throw’ and ‘donate’ clothes in separate boxes to ensure that they don’t get mixed up with each other or with your ‘keep’ pile. This will help you later once you’re ready to put things back into your closet.
This difficult process of letting go is once again equally important in teaching us a lesson about what to throw out and what to retain. Oftentimes, while you’re at home, your mind tends to wander towards work-related matters, and vice versa. As a result, you may lose your focus in both areas of your life. Setting clear divisions between what’s still useful to you and what’s not lets you spot what matters most, both regarding your career and your personal life.
Create a Catalog of Your Clothing
After you’ve pruned your clothing collection, create an inventory of all your closet items, organized by clothing category. Look over your inventory and see whether there are any commonalities between pieces. You may notice, for example, that you have a lot of graphic tees or that you have a handful of blouses with similar patterned designs.
After assessing these commonalities, get a blank piece of paper or start a new note file on your device of choice and record each item there. Then, sort each entry you’ve documented according to color or type. You may just discover whether you’ve got way too much of one type of clothing and can further prune your collection accordingly.
You can apply this method to your own life as well. Essentially, you’ll be conducting a life audit and objectively recording any observations regarding your patterns from day to day. This can help you identify whether you’re putting too much of your time into your job and not enough of it into things that matter to you most, like your hobbies or spending time with your loved ones.
Organize According to Clothing Type
Once you’ve taken note of what clothing items you have, it’s time to (finally) place everything back into your closet. You can do this in a certain order, such as by clothing type. Once you’ve grouped them by clothing type, you can further sort them into more specific categories such as color. This is a great way to easily group and find each clothing item you need at a glance.
Remember that your space can reflect the state of your mind and your overall well-being. Given that you’re trying to achieve a clear balance between your job and personal life, you can try dividing your wardrobe into two main categories: personal outfits and work outfits.
That way, when you’re in work mode, you know exactly where to find your work outfits and corral all your job-related pieces there. Similarly, once it’s time to log off for the day, you can ignore that part of your wardrobe and go straight for your personal outfits. By doing so, you’ll know that reaching for that part of the closet means you’re finally winding down, and you can prep yourself for a good night’s rest.
Now that you’ve gotten everything down to a tee, admire your hard work and ask yourself what you’ve learned throughout the process. In assessing your space, were you able to look at the current state of your life and career? In evaluating your clothes, did you learn to let go of what no longer serves you? And finally, in organizing your closet, did you find that everything was in its proper place—and that you, too, are currently where you know you belong?
By regaining control over your surroundings and spaces through closet cleaning, you’re able to practice setting much-needed boundaries between work and personal commitments. This is especially helpful when both areas of your life feel like they’re spiraling out of control or are bleeding into each other.
So, whenever possible, take some time to reflect on where you’re at in your journey before returning to the daily grind. At times, clearing your space and your head of worrisome clutter is the trick to regaining your motivation and moving forward, regardless of the challenges ahead.