You know the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day”? Well you can apply this to a totally overstuffed closet. You don’t need to be able to do this all in one day, and that is why many people simply don’t get started as they think “one day I will clear this out”
Simply breaking it down into manageable steps will have you feeling great in no time as you not only get rid of things you don’t need anymore, or donate some things but you will feel a sense of accomplishment. It is amazing just how good a cleaned out closet makes you feel as clutter is a stressor and if you face it first thing in the morning trying to find clothes to wear then you are stressed already!
Tips to Clean a Closet
Step One – Find garbage bags. That is your first chore. You could do boxes but they are harder to get into the car and you may be tempted to pull things back out, so garbage bags are easier. Even if that is all you do today, that is a start, you have got the ball rolling as every time you enter your bedroom those garbage bags are there!
Step Two – Make room on your bed for throwing things as you are going to do this very quickly. I tend to use the 5 second rule. Grab the first item you see in your closet whether it is clothing, shoes, sports equipment, purse, knickers or what have you, and look at it for 5 seconds and decide whether it is garbage, donation, or keeper. So keep those three categories in mind.
Then simply create 3 piles on your bed or the floor or wherever and take it off the hanger and throw it into the right pile and DON’T look back! If you have not worn the item in months or used it, or it doesn’t really fit or it needs repairing and you just don’t want to, then get rid of it.
If you are really keen you could create a “repair or mending” pile, but chances are you are not going to get at it if it’s been in your closet this long.
Do, this for at least an hour if you can but even 20 minutes will get a lot done, or even a few pieces before you go to bed if you are using the floor, but chances are once you get started you will want to keep going.
Step Three – Clean it out. Go through the entire closet including boxes and things way at the back, you may be surprised to find clothes you didn’t know you had. If you do and you think you would wear them put them in the keeper pile and try them on later.
Get out the vacuum and cleaning cloth and really clean the closet. You could even paint it if you were really motivated but at least totally clean it and make it smell fresh.
Step Four – Get those donation clothes into those garbage bags you had purchased earlier, and label them donation. Then get the garbage ones and put them in a bag and label them also. Check with your local municipality but some areas recycle clothes in their blue boxes etc.
Take both sets of bags out of the room and go right to your car, or friend’s car or somewhere out of the house so you can take them to clothing donation boxes next time you are out. This way you will not go back and rummage and you don’t want to trade off closet clutter for room clutter.
Now in your room there should be one pile of keeper clothes, shoes, purses or whatever things you keep in your closet that you want to keep.
Step Five – Set up. This is where you really need to go through your lifestyle and your routines in your head and try and figure the easiest way for you to organize this closet so that you can get at your things and they are likely to go back the same way rather than on the floor. This is where you customize your closet for you.
If you have a dresser for your “unmentionables” then you only need to keep larger pieces in the closet but if the closet is the only place for all your clothes then you need to come up with some other ideas.
It all depends on your budget. If you can afford to treat yourself to a nice well-made closet organizer and have it installed then this will be great, but if the budget is tight you can purchase a few affordable add-ons that will simply hang in your closet and are not expensive.
There are Shoe Carousels that can hang in your closet which will get all those shoes off the floor and where you can find them easier, giving you more room on the floor for a few simple storage boxes for your boots or seasonal clothes.
You can box up your seasonal clothes to give you more room in your closet when space is at a premium. Simply purchase plastic totes and place your clean seasonal clothes in there so they don’t take up hanger room but are still neatly in the closet.
Hanging Shelves – If you need space for smaller items, such as t-shirts, or underwear for example and you need to store everything in the closet then using these hanging shelves is an affordable way to conquer closet clutter. Just don’t weigh them down too much.
Clear Colourful Bins of Different Sizes – You can get see through bins with a hint of colour that you can keep belts, and scarves and smaller items in and these can be placed on the shelf over the railing. By being clear you can see quickly what is in them so you are not dragging down all the boxes.
Jewelry Storage – You can simply put a hook on the inside of the closet door, or you can hang this up in the closet itself and with the clear pockets you will find what you need quickly.
Hang up all Your Keepers! – Take all the clothes you are keeping and hang them up nicely. Maybe splurge on some decent hangers (wire ones are too hard on clothes). You could keep tops and blouses on one side and skirts and pants on the other, or you could put outfits together on the hanger so you are ready to simply get dressed.
Add a nice hamper – Get yourself a hamper so that when you change you simply throw your clothes in there and keep your closet and room neat.
Now that you have learned how to conquer closet clutter and there is room left, maybe it is time to go shopping!