I LOVE cleaning and organizing our master closet! Nuts, right? Well, I AM a professional organizer, after all. If you don’t love this task, here are some tips to get you going in the right direction…and I bet you'll love it once you are done!
The first thing I do is grab a bunch of empty laundry baskets. One I label “donate,” one “sell,” one “pass along,” and one “marinate.” All that is important here is that you have four designated areas for sorting, be it a basket, box, or even just a pile. The purpose of the “marinate” basket is for those items you are not clear on what to do with…you can’t make a quick decision. The rest of these baskets are pretty self-explanatory.
Because it is still fresh in my mind, I start with the fall and winter clothes, and set them on the bed. One at a time, and I mean literally, I pick up each item of clothing. (Here is where a Marie Kondo trick is helpful…) I think if I wore the item this past season, how it fit, how I felt it in, and whether I want to keep this piece moving into next year’s cold-weather season. If I chose to keep it, I put it at the back of my closet. If not, it goes into one of the four bins.
Once I have gone through all the fall and winter clothes, either designating a pile or putting it back into the closet, I take a minute to examine what I have placed in the marinate pile. By this time, I find that I am often ready to make a decision about many of these items. They’ve had a chance to “marinate” in my mind, and when I pick them up again, I have a pretty clear idea about what to do. If not, here are some things I consider. Is this item expensive to replace if I get rid of it? Does it have special meaning, and is that a good reason to keep it? Will I regret passing it along, or enjoy finding something new? These questions help me to make a final decision. If all else fails, I have gotten out my phone and taken a picture, then gracefully parted with the object. Sometimes, this is all it takes to make that final decision.
Next I conquer the spring and summer clothes. Once they are all removed from the closet, I usually take a quick minute to run the vacuum around the floor and in the corners, and dust a few things (the inside of the closet door, for example, shelves). This is easier when half the clothes have been removed. Then, I again examine each item one at a time. I also take the time to try on clothes to ensure they fit (ahhhh, the joys of winter!). This is also helpful because now I know what pieces I may want to start shopping for to be ready for sun and warmth. And it is always exciting to get new things in your wardrobe! Items I decide to keep get “prime real estate” in the closet now, ready to be worn.
Here is a tough part for some people…dealing with all those baskets! At NEST Home, I often do this task FOR people, and it helps relieve some of the work and time associated with finishing this task. I keep a list of all the local charities and what items they take, and my donated items go there. I also utilize some of the resale shops in our area, and Facebook and Craig’s List if I think there are items that are in good condition and might sell for a bit of change. The “pass along” items are usually already earmarked (in my mind anyway), for people who might appreciate them, those with kids, etc. This basket goes with other items in my laundry room. Why there? Because for us, we have to walk through it to get to the garage, and it is always easier to grab something when it is handy. Also, I get sick of it sitting in there, and this encourages me to get it done!
These closet cleaning and organizing tips work great for master bedroom and clothes closets, but also work with laundry room closets, those in the front hall, etc. The important part is removing the items, cleaning the space, going through each item one at time, and designating a “home.” I have found that when I have done this often enough with any particular closet, it gets easier and easier, and I often take the time not to clutter it up with things that don’t belong there.
I hope you have found these tips for cleaning and organizing your closet helpful. NEST Home is available to do your organizing, be it spring cleaning a closet, or any other area of your house, and consultations are free.
Next up: Spring Cleaning and Organizing: HOME MAINTENANCE edition!