PURGE The first step is the hardest. Don’t start this step unless you have a day or at least several hours, to work through this step. Your closet is bursting at the seams for a reason. The first part of this process is to remove everything from the closet. Placing it all on the bed ensures that you will stay with the project until bedtime.
Remember, if you cram your clothing back in, chances are they will be wrinkled and you probably won’t wear them if you don’t have time to iron.
FRESHEN THE SPACE While the closet is empty, take a good look around. Vacuum the floors and shelves, and remove any cobwebs. Are there any racks or shelves needing maintenance? Do you want to paint while the closet is empty, or add new pieces for organizing? If you have an air freshener, do you need to update it with a new scent, or change the canister? Is there dead space that you can utilize by adding a shelf, rack, or hook? As you look around, consider all areas not in use, and make the best use of them.
SEPARATENow that the space is ready, begin sorting your clothing. Use the famous “four-box” method. Line up four boxes. Mark one keep, sell, donate, and dispose. In the keep box, you will place things that simply need to organize. The sell box may be for items that have greater value, and that you are willing to take the time to list on your local fb sale pages or on craigslist. The donate box will be taken to the local shelter or goodwill or salvation army. And the dispose box will receive things that are worn out or severely outdated. As you pick up each piece, look it over. Is it still in good condition? When was the last time you wore it? If you know it fits, and you want to keep it, place it in the closet.
TURN ALL HANGERS BACKWARDSAs you place the items, turn every hanger backwards. In six months, when you purge again, you can simply look for any items with the hangers still backwards. If you find one, you know that this item wasn’t worn in the last six months, and should be considered for donation. This simple step will save you a lot of time when you go through this process again.
COLOR CODE Place clothes of similar color together to make choices easier. You may also discover that you have fifteen blue blouses, and decide to let a few go.
REMOVE As the closet fills back up, beware of packing the clothes back in. Once you have a full closet, start removing more items to keep it at that level until you are finished. Also, remove seasonal items and those things which really shouldn’t be in your clothing closet. Find new homes for those things, and store your seasonal items in boxes, trunks, or those empty suitcases. Remember, if you cram your clothing back in, chances are they will be wrinkled and you probably won’t wear them if you don’t have time to iron.
USE APPROPRIATE METHODSUtilize shoe racks or clear shoe boxes. Store sweaters folded on shelves or in clear sweater boxes. Locate some trouser hangers and heavier jacket hangers for those items. Hanging garment bags can also help with organization.
FINAL STEPSOnce you have cleared your bed or other workspace, step back and admire your work. You just successfully tackled your closet, and it should look wonderful. Load the boxes in the car that you are getting rid of to finish off the task. Next time you are in town, make a point of dropping off your boxes. Someone will appreciate the items you donated.
Now that you have organized your closet, it will be a simple task to keep it clean and sorted. A brush-up and once-over in spring when you pull out your summer items and pack away the winter ones will help keep the ball rolling, and by winter you will have developed great habits. Enjoy the fresh start that you will feel when this task is crossed off your list. What area are you tackling next?