Is your clothes closet as clean, organized, and streamlined as you’d like it to be? According to the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), we wear 20 percent of the clothes we own 80 percent of the time. Most people even have “skinny” clothes or outdated items that eat up space in their closets.
When your closet is cluttered, it makes finding clothing to wear a frustrating ordeal. Since the 3rd week of March is “National Clean Out Your Closet Week,” let’s get started on the organizing! Below you’ll find a plan on how to achieve this in 7 simple steps.
1. Remove things from one shelf at a time.
Start out by removing things from each shelf. It has probably been a while since you’ve cleaned your closet (if you’re like most of us), so the shelves probably need plenty of dusting.
2. Sort and categorize items.
Grab several bins or boxes to temporarily hold clothing and other contents from the closet. Label the bins with titles like “Keep,” “Pack Away,” and “Donate.” Also have several laundry baskets to place some of the clothing in. Keep items you have worn regularly (and a few nostalgic ones if you’re really attached to them). Donate anything that you don’t wear, that is now outdated, or that is damaged and you don’t want to repair. Wash anything you’re keeping that hasn’t been washed in the past 6 months or longer. Finally, categorize accessories like belts, scarves, shoes, and hand bags in the bins if they aren’t already organized in your closet.
3. Clean surfaces & vacuum floors.
Break out dusters, rags, and cleaning sprays. Wipe down the all the shelves in the closet. Make sure to wear a dust mask if you have allergies. Clean the floor with cleaner if it’s hardwood, and vacuum it thoroughly.
4. Hang up or fold what you actually wear.
If you don’t have matching hangars, I suggest you invest in purchasing some if it’s in your budget. This will streamline the appearance of your closet. When you rehang clothing, you can organize by type of item, size, and/or color. Leave room to add the clothes that need to be washed. Pack the out of season clothes in containers (add cedar balls to prevent moths), and store them in places like under your bed or in the basement. Put all of your accessories back in the closet, grouping each type in one area at a time.
5. Schedule laundry and plan donation drop-off or pick-up.
Pull out your paper or digital calendar to schedule loads of laundry (if there’s a lot of it), and the day and time you will hand over donations to friends, family, and/or non-profits. If you have high-end labels, you can consign or sell your clothing as well.
6. As the loads of laundry are completed, add the clothing back into the closet. If you have more clothing than space, either donate more of it or store it in bins with the out of season clothing.
7. Repeat this process.
Keeping your clothes closet organized will require periodic maintenance. Ideally, perform this routine seasonally to prevent clutter and dust colonies from forming.
After you organize and clean out your clothes closet, you have built up the momentum to take on linen closets, under the kitchen sink, and the notorious junk drawers. Let the Spring Organizing continue throughout the season!
Happy (Almost) Springtime,