What’s in your closets? Perhaps you have sheets in your linen closet for a twin bed you got rid of ten years ago? Or maybe the coat closet still has your child’s toddler snowsuit hanging in it… but he’s now 20 years old. And then there’s your bedroom closet that, when you look inside it, is like taking a walk through the decades because you haven’t gotten rid of anything since the 90s.
For many, their closets have become extensions of the junk drawers in their home -- the “catch-all” places to quickly stash things until the next time you need them. And before you know it, no matter how hard you try to control the clutter, just like the junk drawers, your closets are bursting at the seams.
Here are some tips for organizing your closets and keeping them that way.
Clean it when:
- You stare at a full closet and still can’t find anything to wear
- Your closet is so stuffed full that it’s hard to re-hang clothes
- Clothes still have price tags on them
- You’ve run out of hangers!
Clearing the clutter
- Remove everything (yes, everything) from the closet. If you don’t remove it all, chances are the same unworn clothes will continue to be moved around the closet.
- Sort into categories - pants, skirts, dresses, shirts, etc., to really get a look at what you’ve got
- Get rid of duplicates. Who needs five pairs of black pants?
- Ask yourself, “Would I buy this today?” If the answer is no, donate or sell it.
- Apply the 80/20 rule: we wear 20 percent of our clothes 80 percent of the time. The other stuff either doesn’t fit or is out of style. Take it out!
- Don’t have an entire day to de-clutter? Just take an hour a week, working your way through one foot of your clothing rods at a time.
- Live by the one-in-one-out rule: if you bring something new into your closet, get rid of something to make room for it.
- Organize clothing so that like items are hung together -- shirts with shirts, pants with pants, etc.
- Aim for your closet to be no more than 75% full so clothes can hang straight and for hangers to easily move across the rod
- Use slim-line type hangers -- they take up far less space
- Cascading skirt and tiered pants hangers will allow you to store more clothes in less space
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Clean it when
- You have no place to put clean sheets and towels
- You can’t find a complete set of matching sheets
Clearing the clutter
- Pull everything out to see what you have
- Sort everything into categories: flat or fitted sheets, pillow cases, bath towels, etc
- Keep two sets of sheets per bed -- one on the bed and the other clean and ready.
- Keep two sets of towels per person, if you change towels twice a week and do laundry once a week. Adjust accordingly.
- Sheets don’t always retain their fresh smell after being stored for a while. Try adding a scent-enhancing product when washing.
- Store frequently used items between waist- and eye-level and keep other items, like blanket and flannel sheets, up higher or lower.
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Clean it when:
- It’s too stuffed to hang coats
- Out-of-season items are taking up needed space
- Use coat hangers or other sturdier hangers
- Use an over-the-door shoe organizer for things like umbrellas, scarves, mitten, etc.
- Put shoes and boots on a mat or in a basket on the floor
What to do with all of the purged items?
- Keep a donation box handy. When it gets full, take it to your favorite charity.
- Donate old towels to a local animal shelter.
- Donate sheets and towels in good condition to women’s shelters, homeless shelters, or Goodwill.
- Clothing that’s in good shape and still fashionable can be taken to resale shops or sold on website like e-Bay or Poshmark.
If you find yourself needing better storage in your home, reach out to Craftsmen Home Improvements to learn what options are available. Fully bonded and insured, Craftsmen Home Improvements has been providing complete interior and exterior remodeling services and top-quality products to Cincinnati and Dayton residents for over 20 years. Click here to request a free in-home consultation.
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