While we tend to associate the season of spring with cleaning, there’s no time like the present to tackle clutter. In fact, just starting with your closet can help you gain a new sense of focus and purpose and help build the momentum and confidence needed for a more organized home. If you’re not sure how to tackle your hall closet, bedroom walk-in, or the tiny room with all your cleaning supplies, these expert tips can get you started down the path to closet perfection!
1. Don’t Buy More Stuff
If you’re delighted by the idea of a closet clean-out because it means cute totes, baskets, and hangers, you may need to rethink your priorities. In fact, many of us buy organizational tools that rarely solve our clutter problems, costing us money and actually adding to the items in our home we now must handle. Whatever you do, avoid the home good aisle until you have gotten the items in your closet pared down to a reasonable amount. Then, you can make a plan for storing them perfectly.
2. Purge by Category
According to famed organizational guru Marie Kondo, many of us are doing the de-cluttering thing all wrong. Instead of cleaning by room, which forces us to touch items of various purposes and values, it’s more effective to pare down by category. Books, for example, gone through and assessed as a group, are easier for us to sort through than the contents of our bedroom. Likewise, when it comes to closets, you might do well to go through shoes, then outwear, and then keepsakes or personal mementos.
3. Donate with Kindness
Since almost all closet clean outs will require us to get rid of a good chunk of our belongings, the question arises as to “what should I do with them?” Items that may be of value can be resold on sites like eBay, Etsy, or online garage sale groups. If they have an extremely high value, consignment might be a good choice. Finally, if you have neither the time nor energy to get back some of what you paid for an item, giving it to charity is always a good option. Just remember that donations are not an alternative to putting something in the trash. Items in poor shape, are extremely out of fashion, or that are dirty, torn, or stained are a better fit for a recycling center or other nonprofit that takes clothing items and turns them into rags or new post-consumer materials. If you wouldn’t find it to be good enough to gift your best friend, reconsider making it someone else’s problem.
4. Store Loved Items Carefully
After you’ve purged, you may be tempted to think your closet clean-out is complete. Getting rid of what you don’t need, however, is just the beginning! Marie Kondo emphasizes making sure that your items are lovingly sorted, folded, and stored so that they can be accessed in the way that makes sense to you – and take up less room in your closet. Taking just a few extra minutes during your laundry routine to fold your clothes like a pro, can add precious cubic inches to an already-cramped closet. You’ll also feel good about the way things look and strive to keep them to that same high standard over the coming weeks and months.
Are you ready to make a major change to your closet space? Before you give in to the urge to build a bigger closet, see if minimalism, mindful donations, and proper storage techniques create the room you’re looking for. You might be surprised at what a difference these tips can make!