January is Clean Out Your Closets Month. An organized closet helps you focus, makes decision-making and getting ready easier, and helps make better use of what you have.
Clear obvious clutter first. Broken lamps, furniture, bags of clothing to donate, dog crates and old textbooks are just some of the non-clothing items I’ve found in clothes closets over the years.
If you still need more space after removing the obvious clutter, here are some simple suggestions:
- Extra bedding goes to charities, under-bed storage, linen closets or top shelves in plastic storage bags.
- Store these in well-labeled, stackable bins in the basement, attic or garage:
- Off-season clothing, coats and sporting goods.
- Sentimental items you don’t wear but want as treasure.
- Clothes that don’t fit your life today. If you don’t expect to wear an item in the next 6 months, it doesn’t belong in your closet. Keep clothes for today’s life and the life you want.
- Ditch the fat jeans, so you keep up your good habits! Or
- On a job search? Fine tune your professional look so you are ready for interviews and the new job.
- Recycle dry cleaner bags and empty hangers.
- Purge shoe boxes. Yes, I know they’re pretty, but the shoes are prettier, and we need to see them, not the boxes. Over-door shoe racks let us see what we have.
- Cut out duplicates. Recently, we made space by removing dozens of un-loved t-shirts from my sons’ drawers.
Optimize the space and stuff that remains by using your vertical space. Use any blank wall or door, including the wall behind your hung clothes, as storage space. (Check my Pinterest page for visuals!!)
- Use over-the-door hangers, 3M Command hooks or permanent metal hooks mounted to the wall or woodwork.
- Mount a hanging soft shoe sorter on the wall for handbags.
- Purchase hanging sweater stackers and mount on your closet rod. Roll sweaters in the compartments.
- Double-hang your clothes to increase rod space.
- Add high shelves in every closet for large items or off-season clothing.
- Add a hook or 2 for “Clean-ish clothes” (not dirty enough to wash, not clean enough to get re-hung). Limit your clean-ish clothes to two hooks, and wear stuff again until it’s ready to wash. Don’t let clean-ish stuff congregate on chairs or dressers. It becomes difficult to determine clean or dirty vs clean-ish, and looks terrible!
- For visual learners: Hang everything on hangers, so kids or adults can see what they have. Use dressers or shallow bins on shelves just for small or tough-to-stack items like undergarments, socks, jammies, t-shirts.
- Make this review process routine, twice a year. Remind everyone that new stuff can’t come until we purge the old, and make it fun, or wrap up with a treat when you’re done!
Embrace an organized closet today, so you can see and use your clothes better tomorrow!
This is part of the Jan. 22 edition of Colleen CPO's Blog.