It’s Monday morning and you wake up to the buzzing of an alarm clock. After slapping at it a few times, you finally hit the ‘off’ button and drag yourself out of bed. You jump out of bed and walk over to your closet to pick out your clothes for the day, and – “gasp!” – it’s an absolute disaster! Who could find anything in there?
Instead of getting your feathers ruffled, set aside a couple of hours that evening to clean your closets. You’ll feel much better afterwards.
Start by pulling everything out of the closet or space you need to organize and sorting it. When you’re done with that, here are a few tips for getting that disorganized closet into ship-shape.
1) When in doubt, throw it out!
I know… you really treasure that porcelain kitten statuette that your girlfriend gave you in second grade. Guess what? You’ll probably never use that in any home for any purpose, so keeping it really is trivial. Throw it away!
Keeping a clean house and an organized closet is about reducing clutter above all else, so the most logical first step is to get rid of things you’ll never use.
Don’t assume that if you shove that porcelain kitty into the bottom of a box that it’s okay to leave it there. It’s not.
Other items to throw away:
– Outdated home dÃ?Â©cor
– Things from ex’s or people you don’t really know
– Other ‘sentimental’ items that you never think about unless you’re cleaning out your closet (ask yourself: “When’s the last time that I looked for this and couldn’t find it?”)
– Clothing that doesn’t fit or is damaged
– Empty boxes (seriously!)
– Anything else you can manage to part with
An even better idea is to take the items that you’ve discarded while cleaning out your filthy closet and donating them to a local church, charity, or consignment shop. These donations are usually tax deductible and it serves the community as well as the environment.
2) Ditch the cardboard boxes; say ‘hi’ to plastic tubs.
They’re free, they’re convenient, and they’re everywhere. Cardboard boxes are a household organizing staple, and they’re cluttering closets everywhere. Lose them.
Get rid of all of the cardboard boxes that you currently keep things ‘organized’ in and switch to “Rubbermaid”-type tubs. These are much easier to label (that’s coming later) and stack than cardboard, plus they won’t fall apart after you open them twice.
Don’t pay attention to any particular brand. This is all about preference. Choose tubs to organize your closet that are appropriately sized, stack easily, come with lids, and are very durable.
I prefer tubs with hinged lids so that I’m not constantly searching for a lid that fits right. Also, the rubberized plastic tubs work much better than brittle, clear plastic which has a tendency to break easily.
3) Label everything.
Every bucket, tub, box, and shoe space (if you want) can and should be labeled. Some masking tape and a permanent marker will do the job just fine, but if you’re a little more particular (like me), you may wish to purchase a labeler. I own two of these handy organization gadgets: one is produced by Brother, and the other is by Dymo.
These electronic labelers can either be stand-alone handheld units with pushbuttons, or you could even purchase one which effortlessly connects to your computer for more flexibility.
Whatever way you choose, be sure to label everything in your closet or space. Also, even though it seems like common sense, be sure that all of the labels that you put on boxes face outward. What’s the point of labeling something if you can’t ever see it?
4) There is a season (turn, turn, tur–you get the idea).
Everything for home decorations to gift wrap to winter outerwear is stored in your closet. Why? If you only use something during one particular season, store it somewhere else when it won’t be used.
There’s no need to keep a winter coat around just to clutter your room or occupy valuable closet space. Instead, store your seasonal items in labeled plastic tubs and keep them in unused portions of your house. Even a storage unit is perfectly fine to store things like summer / winter wear, Christmas decorations, beach gear, and other seasonal goodies.
If space is sparse in other areas of your home as well, consider purchasing “SpaceBags” or another similar system. You can vacuum all of the air out of the bags and, ‘voila,’ it fits!
5) Stay on top of it!
This is the hardest part. There’s nothing more tragic than to get completely organized only to realize a month or two down the road that it has to be done again. Keep cycling things in an out as needed instead of just piling more and more things into your closet. Don’t be scared to throw things away constantly
Following these easy tips will help you live an organized and successful life… as far as your closets go, at least.