Hanging there in our closets are reminders, both good and bad, of who we are, who we’ve been, and who we’ve hoped to be. -Tim Gunn
Spring cleaning season has blossomed and what better place to start then your closet?! Let’s dive into our closets and see how they can be organized and optimized. Here are specifics on how to clean your closet to ensure a safe, successful procedure:
- Get Set. Although closet cleanings can be done in intervals, an uninterrupted push actually aids your ability to purge. Seeing all the clothes in one day allows you to quickly rank the best and worst, making it easier to purge what is poisoning your closet.
- Get Pretty. As this is a somewhat intense procedure, let’s do what we can to make it as lovely as possible. Wash and style your hair and slip on any shapers that you regularly wear, under some loungers. You want to give all the clothes in your closet their best shot at not being tossed when you try them on!
- Get Ready. Put on some music and grab a beverage! Make sure you have a full length mirror or go one step further and invite an honest friend over to help. Also, lighting is super important! Mornings with the blinds drawn provide ample natural light, but if you only have time at night, ensure you have great lighting.
Grab some bins, trash bags, or wheelbarrows and start sorting into 5 piles-
- Keep Pile: When you walk by the mirror in these items, it should compel a brief pause, during which a smile flutters across your face. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does have to flatter.
- Archive Pile: Archive all that is tired, seasonally inappropriate, or just inconclusive. Then reassess in 3-6 months, and ditch anything you’re still not ready to wear immediately. If you don’t plan to wear it within the calendar year, get rid of it.
- Repair Pile: You have exactly five days to go to the dry cleaner, cobbler, or tailor with these items. If it’s not urgent, it’s not important enough to fix.
- Give-Away Pile: Donate items that don’t fit your body or style but are in good condition. If you are having a difficult time parting with an item that no longer flatters your figure, find a specific friend to give it to.
- Throw-Away Pile: Items that are stained, torn, or otherwise beyond repair. Enough said.
Ask yourself these 5 questions to help you determine what to keep and what to get rid of –
1. Would I buy it today?
Rather than focusing on how long ago you purchased something, or how much it cost, it’s most beneficial to evaluate your belongings through the lens of the present. By asking yourself if you would buy something today, you’re able to clarify whether it still truly appeals to you.
2. Will I wear/use it tomorrow? This week?
Most people think that the best question to ask when decluttering is “when was the last time I wore/used this?” While that question is certainly a good starting place, the answer is usually vague at best. It’s difficult to recall when exactly the last time was that you wore it. The past is a blur in our minds, and using it as a measure of whether or not to keep something doesn’t guarantee we’ll gain a definitive answer about an item’s necessity.
As with the first question, asking yourself if you will wear or use a particular item now is ultimately more revealing of whether or not it should stick around.
3. Do I have space for it?
This question is one of the most important when you declutter your home and one that often isn’t prioritized. While your feelings about various belongings are vastly important, it’s ultimately your spatial means that decide what or how much stays and goes. Overcrowding only decreases the accessibility to all things, limiting your ability to get to the items you truly love and need.
4. It is unique?
It’s important to consider your belongings in the context of a larger collection of things. Rather than evaluating an item on its own, it’s important to consider how it relates to the rest of your collection. Do you own many versions of an item? If so, are there ones that are in better condition, or that you prefer for subtle reasons? By comparing like items against each other, you can better cultivate a well-rounded collection, full of unique pieces, each of which, then, serves a distinct purpose, and thus, earns it space in your home and in your life.
5. Does owning it/wearing it/using it make me feel good about myself?
This question is the bottom line when it comes to decluttering. Any material belongings you bring into your home, you do so on a voluntary basis. With that in mind, it’s just silly to surround yourself with anything other than that which makes you feel abundantly great about yourself. Surround yourself with things that make you feel beautiful, that conjure strictly happy memories, that make your life simpler.
3. Clean & Organize The Space
With your closet now empty, you have a clean slate to work with before you put it all back together!
- Clean. Wipe down shelves and rid the dust from walls and in the corners. Wash the mirrors and windows and vacuum the floor.
- Organize. Grab some handy organization systems and supplies. You are aiming to provide a place for everything- nothing scattered across the floor or stuffed on a top shelf.
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4. Put It Away
It is time to take care of those 5 piles you created in step 2 of this process.
- Keep Pile: Put all items from this pile back into your closet in an organized fashion. You might have to arrange and rearrange the space several times to get it looking exactly like you want it to.
- Archive Pile: Put this pile into a nice basket that is mostly out of sight, but not out of mind. Revisit this basket in 3-6 months and if you still don’t have plans to wear it, get rid of it!
- Repair Pile: This pile needs to go directly into a bag and that bag needs to go into your car right now. You have 5 days to make it to the dry cleaner or tailor, otherwise you need to get rid of it!
- Give-Away Pile: This also needs to go directly into your car. Next time you are out and about, stop by the thrift store and unload your donation.
- Throw-Away Pile: Take this pile straight to your outside trash. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.
5. Make It Pretty
Now that you have everything put back and in its place, it is time to add a personal touch and create an area that makes you smile. I love baskets, so I added some fun, useful baskets to hold my purses that used to be in a pile on my floor. I used the same baskets to catch the piles of PJs I had on my top shelf. Everything has a place and I love the way it looks. Consider adding a picture of your family or a picture of you and your girlfriends. Maybe hang a fancy mirror- whatever you think would spruce up your space. Have fun with this!
Now you have a lesser, neater, easier to manage closet. Your own personal boutique in which everything fits and flatters!
Here are some images of my most recent closet purge:
My closet is such a mess! I don’t know why I hang on to old clothes that no longer fit or flatter, I think I have some clothes in there that haven’t been worn in 3-4 years! It makes mornings very difficult, deciding what to wear. I need help in my closet for sure!
My absolute favorite laundry hack is having my husband do the laundry. Saves me a ton of time. 😉
I could really use a few 3 tier shoe organizers. My husband piles stuff on my shoes and I could just lose it.
My laundry hack – I always buy my kids the same kind of socks. So every sock matches and I don’t need to dig around for matches…
I have been trying to save enough to get new closet stuff. We rent in a pre-war apartment with badly set up closets, so this is needed.
My houseld hint is to break unused lavendar of lemon verbena soap in two, and put a piece per drawer in each. Lasts much longer than sacets. Also, put unused mint tea bags in storage bins to repel mice.
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Only laundry hack I know..if it is a hack..haha..is I never use the amount of liquid that the bottles says to use..I can use 1/2 with no issue..I think it is a way to get you to use up your detergent so that you purchase more.
I have a horrible closet too..the one straight rod across the top..tiny weeny thing. But, that is condo living with a beautiful view..so I put up with it.
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Using coat hangers (or hangers) to hang belts or accessories on. Saves space.
My favorite laundry hack is to throw a wet washcloth in dryer with clothing that has wrinkles.I hate to iron!
I like to use a bit of tea tree oil on some loads like towels and socks that tend to get a bit musty. THe smell is great and it is naturally antibacterial so that is good for keeping them smelling good longer.
I just learned this tip. To keep clean laundry from piling up, wash, dry, fold and put away a load before starting a new one. It never occurred to me before to do it that way. 🙂
My favorite hack is using a mesh bag to keep socks together. Each kid has their own basket and hamper (clean clothes are folded in the basket and dirty are in the hamper) this eliminates guessing which clothes are clean or dirty and also keeps them off the floor.
if you have a stain sometimes i use CHALK it soaks it right up and folding sheets i love that hack as well seen it on tv