It’s that time of year again! Spring cleaning! Let’s start with the closet. Or even if you have started already, let’s move on to tidying up your closet space!
Cleaning the clutter from a closet can be a frazzling experience. Still, once the job is done, you can bet you will smile wide and proud at your freshly organized closet space. You may even make a couple extra dollars during the process! We’re not just going to move somethings around. We are going to clean and organize your space. Let’s get right into it.
Step 1: Take everything out. Don’t run away just yet. This may seem daunting but look at it like a five year old. Drag everything out, and have fun with it. Make a mess of the area outside of your closet.
Once you have everything out of your closet, it’s time to do a little pre-organizing. First, we need to go ahead and start weeding out items we know we won’t be keeping.
Step 2: getting rid of junk. While you are deciding which clothes to toss, donate, or sell, we want to keep a couple questions top of mind. These questions are super basic but if you can remove all emotion and answer them honestly, you will save yourself a lot of time.
Ask yourself these simple questions to decide what to toss and what to keep:
- Does it fit?
- Have I worn it in last 12 months?
- Would I buy it if I found it today?
- Does this look awesome on me?
- Is it damaged, torn, or stained?
Step 3: Separate things that don’t belong in the closet. Locate any heavy items like loose knits or sweaters. These things shouldn’t be on a hanger. Instead, fold these up and put them in a drawer. Make sure that when you are folding your heavy clothes that you aren’t just shoving them all into drawers on top of old clothes. Store all your items in a way that makes sense and that is easily accessible. If you find that to be an impossible chore, perhaps there are more things you can still get rid of or you have too little storage space. In almost all cases, the former proves true.
By now you have a decent sized pile of throw away clothes. If not, you need to start over. But perhaps your old clothes still have some value outside of their sentimental grip on your conscience. If you can donate, or even better–sell these items, then it will make it much easier to get rid of them. Your old garments will either be going to a good cause, like helping those less fortunate, or to the greatest cause: helping yourself with some extra cash.
Step 4: Execute the purge. The best strategy in this circumstance is to just try and sell everything. So the first thing you need to do is trash two types of items: Damaged, stained, unwearable items and underwear. Take the remaining items to a resale shop and see what they will take.
At this point you can do one of two things: try another resale shop or donate the remaining pile of clothes. To be honest, anything left over from your first resale shop probably won’t provide enough money to justify the gas to travel to a second resale shop so I would probably just donate the remaining clothes anywhere I could.
Step 5: Miscellaneous organization. Another tip for organizing your closet is to use your closet doors as storage space. One of the best purchases I ever made was a hanging, over-the-door shoe rack. It doesn’t have to be anything special, as this may be totally hidden once you close your closet doors. A plain white cloth shoe rack with what I call “shoe holsters” works just fine for me.
There are usually two additional things to address in virtually every closet. One, the space above the hangers, and two, the floor. The space above the hangers can transform into a cluttered, storage space nightmare in most homes. If you want to avoid this, you may consider picking up some storage bins or at least some shelf dividers. These are usually low maintenance, thin space dividers that just help you keep random things separate from each other. Like sweaters from bags and purses. Again, this doesn’t have to be anything expensive or elaborate. Just functional.
There is a neat little trick called the backwards hanger. This will help you speed up the closet cleaning process in the future. It’s really simple.
When you return all your clothes to your closet, make sure all the hangers face one direction. From that day forward, every time you pull something off the hanger, wash, and return it to the closet, hang it with a hanger facing the OPPOSITE direction.
After a couple months, you’ll notice some of your hangers haven’t been touched! They are still facing the opposite direction. This should really make it easy for you to make a decision on what to keep or toss the next time you want to clean up your closet space.
That’s it! All you need to know to get your closet cleaned out and organized for spring.