Before you add any more items to your
Find a clear area to place the contents of your closet, because you are going to empty it all out! Take out everything: hangers, clothing, shoe boxes, sheets and blankets, etc. Having a coat rack or drying rack will help you hang up your items to take stock of what you really have.
Now you will sort all of the items into categories. You might want to start with three easy groups: “Keep”, “Toss” and “Donate”. Use large plastic storage containers, cardboard boxes, or just separate piles for sorting these three categories. Once you have your items in the right categories, try sorting them into subcategories (“Clothes”, “Shoes”, “Accessories”, etc.) You may even want to go a step further and organize by season (“Summer,” “Winter,” “Fall,” “Spring.”)
Tip: Keep smaller items, such as jewelry, in jars or small plastic containers so they don’t get lost in the shuffle.
While doing all of this categorizing, you will probably notice that there are some items in your closet that don’t even belong there. Hopefully there is no food, but you might have random housewares or kitchen equipment lying around. Take this time to return these items to where they belong, but quickly come back to your closet so you don’t get sidetracked!
Get real with yourself and these items. This is where a lot of people need to take a step back and really take inventory of their items and recognize what they need to keep and what they want to keep. There are some questions that can help you decide whether an item is a want or a need:
- Have you worn this piece of clothing in the last 12 months? (If not, then you probably won’t wear it anymore, so why not get rid of it?)
- Does this piece of clothing even fit you? (Don’t save clothing that is too big or small. Dress for the body you have now.)
- Do you need multiples of this item? (If you have more than one of something, is it really necessary?)
Any time that you answer “no,” either add that item to the “Toss” pile or the “Donate” pile. Some items you just need to throw out, but if it is still in decent shape, consider selling it (garage sale or online,) or giving it to a shelter or consignment shop. You can even re-gift some things!
Get cleaning! Yes, now that you know what you are going to put back into your closet, you can focus on getting the space neat and clean before you put things back. Wipe the walls and shelves of your closet and vacuum the floor before organizing it with the items from the “Keep” pile.