2. Check your emotional baggage, but don’t necessarily toss it. I have a serious problem when it comes to getting rid of my favorite clothes. I am not and never will be the kind of person who can easily part with anything. I try to check my emotional baggage at the (closet) door, but I know when to draw the line about tossing things. One thing I do keep in mind: while those jeans might have been “so cute!” or “perfect with that sweater” three years ago, they don’t work anymore.
3. Ask for second opinion. If you’re extra difficult about getting rid of old clothes, bring in a second opinion. The person should be someone who knows how to speak objectively in a way that you respond to well. Your best friend might drive you crazy when she speaks her mind, however, your sister might know just how to tell the truth without hurting your feelings. You love them both, but go with your sister. Otherwise, you’ll end up frustrated!
4. Take. Everything. Out. Picking through piles, sorting through bins, and flipping through hangers just will not cut it!!!! Even though it gets insanely disorganized, I think it’s the absolute key for bringing order back to the closet. My bed ends up becoming my work table for the job! I take everything out in chunks and creating piles as I go. I’ll start with the clothes that are now out of season, and putting them towards the farthest end of the bed, to be dealt with later, of course. Then I’ll start with the actual clothes: pants, sweaters, folded tops, hanging tops/blouses, and #allthedresses. I find that overtime the different clothes have been mixed in with the wrong category, so creating piles can help to resort as you go. A sweater that you found hanging with your blouses, move it on over to sweater pile.
5. Think Critically. As you’re taking everything out, start to put aside clothes you know you want don’t have a space in your closet for anymore. I typically use a chair by my closet to pile up the clothes I plan on giving away later. At the very end of the whole day, I’ll categorize and organize the give away pile to donate.
6. Create the vision! 90% of the time, how the closet was is how the closet should be. But while everything is out, reevaluate the space to see if there’s a better way to store your clothes.
7. Fold and Hang. While everything is out of the closet, now’s the time to really get the perfect folds, shirts buttoned up, and dresses on the best hangers. I personally find that it’s helpful to fold and hang everything before making the big migration back to the closet. That way I can gauge the amount of space each pile or chunk of clothes take. When it comes time to transport the clothes back, I do a few hangers at a time, organizing by color/type as I go. It’s the same way I sort playing cards or alphabetizing… I start with one (even if it’s in the middle of the deck or alphabet) and file the remaining things as I go. While I’m refolding clothes, I also have a second chance to decide whether to keep something or put it in the donate pile.
8. Commit to the organized closet. (At least for a little bit!) I have a tendency to see some extra spaces between hangers and want to REFILL! More space does not mean there’s a void in my closet! If anything, it means that I can better wear the clothes I do have because I can actually see what’s in there.
9. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Another issue I run into is that I generally want to completely reinvent my closet! “Oh, this season I’m ALL about tan and black, only!” Is that realistic? Probably not. It may influence how I shop in the future, but I don’t want to go through my entire closet disposing of my favorite colorful clothing because of a likely temporary mood.
What tips do you have for organizing and cleaning out closets?