The main goal of the closet clean out is to remove items that don’t belong in the clothing closet – because it’s essentially your dressing center. If it doesn’t help you get dressed, then it probably needs to go.
I understand that some homes have tiny closets in comparison to other homes, and if that’s your case, then you’ll have a more difficult challenge to organize items than a person with larger storage accomodations. If that’s you, I hear YOU. This is still for you – especially for you. And, if you have gigantic amounts of space, then your stuff gets the honor of having lots of stuff that may be spread out more – this is for you too. No one is exempt from stuffy or messy situations! Well, maybe the true minimalist. But even they have to clean out the closets, too. 😀 (Am I right???)
Stick with the following rules of thumbs and you’ll be looking into or walking inside the closet over and over again…because it’s SO MUCH more spectacular!
When is the last time you cleaned out your clothing closet?
If it’s been a while, or if you’ve been slowly re-working several areas in your home to get things well organized, then your closet may have collected some random items in the process.
If your closet is feeling stuffy, because of the extra things stored in there (you know, for now!), or perhaps you have different sizes of clothing from weight fluctuations cramping your closet space, or the stuffiness could be from the seasonal clothing you’ve been alternating between.
No matter how your closet became stuffy, it’s time to clean it out so you can feel the wonderful difference it makes in your every day life. It’s totally worth the 1/2 day or less cleanse!
I’ll guide you through the process with these rules of thumb, so you can get it done as soon as tomorrow.
First, start by removing items stored directly on the floor – you may have items like suitcases, boxes of papers, containers of photos, books, electronics, technology/software boxes, special occasion clothing, bag of donations, shoes, hangers, etc.
Sort items into 3 piles: donate, doesn’t belong in the clothing closet, and belongs in closet.
Next tackle your upper shelves…
Remove items that don’t belong – for example: books, papers, or electronics that would be better stored in an office or similar area. Donate items you no longer like or want – you probably have a pile started for donations.
Go ahead and straighten up items you want to keep – like folded clothing, shoes, accessories or containers of seasonal clothing.
Items like blankets can be great stored in a clothing closet if you have the space to do it neatly, otherwise add them to the pile “doesn’t belong in the closet” and find a new home for them (not right now, but LATER, lol.)
If you’re in need of LOTS more space in your closet, the fastest way to gain that space is to remove bulky items that you can donate or store elsewhere – like coats you rarely or never wear and formal gowns.
Finally, tackle the hanging clothing items on your rods. As you flip thru a section of clothing toss anything you wouldn’t be caught dead in next year. The “looking at the future you” trick will help you start being that person faster.
You change…your style changes, trends change and clothing gets worn out. Keep clothing that you love how you look and/or feel when wearing it. Some things are forever clothing – like a favorite tshirt that you’ll never, ever, EVER throw away.Melody Granger, Professional Organizer
Okay, now that you’ve purged your clothing, place all the matching empty hangers back onto your rod. Toss the broken, stretched out, or ugly hangers. Or donate the uglies and extreme amounts of extra hangers.
Straighten up and arrange the clothing you’re keeping in a way that is natural for you, for example, you just naturally place certain items together – intuitively or instinctively.
Make sure your arrangement is visually appealing to you, as well.
Here are some different ways that people naturally organize clothing:
By clothing type: shirts, skirts, pants, dresses, jackets, cardigans, suits, dress shirts, party shirts, sexy shirts, camisoles, lingerie, etc.
By the way it feels – by texture or fabric type – denim, modal, cotton, sparkly, etc.
By outfit. This is great for the person who forgets which outfits they wore and loved! It’s also great for children (or for the daddy who has to dress the child and doesn’t know which pieces of clothing to pair together for an outfit.)
By activity: athleisure wear, PJs, lounge, dressy, casual, work, church, formal, cleaning/painting, school, sport, etc.
By length – sleeve length, pant length, dress/skirt length, etc. This is the best way to customize a closet design for maximum space.
And by color.
There are seriously so many ways you can organize clothing!
The correct way is the way that you think about getting dressed – do you think in color first? Or do you think by activity first – exercise, church, comfy-casual, classy-casual?
Group items together in a way that makes sense for you.
Personally, I organize by clothing type – For my shirts I organize by sleeve length first. Then, I tend to organize by the style of neckline, and sometimes I’ll take it up another level of organization and organize by color within each of those categories. (did you follow that??? lol) My sweatshirts and jeans get folded on a shelf. Nicer dress pants are hung by the waist – with groups of capris, and groups of longer dress pants, and my dresses are hung together by length. 🙂 Hope that made sense! I have a video that can visually help you see what I’m describing. Tights, athletic pants and tanks/camisoles are folded and placed in my easiest to access spot – because I wear them the most!Melody Granger, Professional Organizer
Really, it’s up to you how to organize your clothing. As long as your way makes sense to you and your clothing is super easy to see, access and functional. If you’re happy with the results, then your closet is happy, and that’s all that matters.
Okay, vacuum or sweep the closet floor now.
By now your closet should feel like it has breathing room. Ahhhh…
As you replace items back into the space – like suitcases and other items you pulled out at the beginning of your closet cleaning – you’ll want to move things around until you find the best way to arrange them that’s easy-easy to use and is also looking pretty darn spectacular.
Keep loading items back into your closet – replace folded clothing, lining up shoes, suitcases, purses, and finding a place for extra blankets (if you want to keep them near the bedroom). If I didn’t name what’s in your closet, pretend I did.
Congratulations! You’re making your closet look spectacular again!!!
If you need help deciding on closet organizing containers, start here.
Finally, let’s touch on the items that didn’t go back into the closet…
If you had items that didn’t belong in the closet, put them in the area you think you’d like them to be stored. If you already have the space available to put these things away, go for it. If you need to tackle these items at a later time, then revisit the area(s) when you’re ready for your next clean out.
If needed, any items you have stored inside brown shipping boxes (that aren’t attractive), you can begin cleverly
disguising storing the items in decorative containers.
Or dare I say… spectacular containers!
One last thought that I want to stick with you, no matter what you are transforming or organizing: You want your space to look great and function well. When you take away the ugly items, you’ll be left with the beautiful things. Not all things are necessarily ugly, but if you aren’t feeling good vibes about an item, it’s not so beautiful to your spiritual eye.Melody Granger, Professional Organizer
I’d love to hear about your closet clean out, especially… what are some things you discovered that you forgot about or lost??? Personally, the last time I cleaned out my closet, I found some missing boots that I assumed I donated since I couldn’t find them!