If you can’t locate any item you need within a matter of seconds, it’s probably time for you to clean out your closet. If your closet is full of clutter, it’s probably wasting your time in ways you haven’t even thought about. Three minutes hunting for a shirt here, two minutes digging out your shoes there--all the sudden you’re late for work and you don’t even know where the time went. If that’s you,
Never mind cleaning and reorganizing the whole house--just organizing the closet requires a day-long cleaning extravaganza. If you do it bit by bit, it could become a month-long ordeal. Even though it will take discipline, and even though your work area may look like a disaster for a few days, try to knock it out in a weekend. Piecemeal progress is not going to give you a revolutionized, decluttered closet. Mark it on your calendar, settle in, turn on Netflix or Spotify, and get it done.
Clean It All Out
In order to re-organize your closet, you have to get everything out. Even if your winter clothes are organized snugly at the corner of your closet and haven’t been touched, it will be difficult to rethink your system and come up with a better one if you’re leaving everything orderly in its place. Getting everything out forces you to sort through every item to determine what you don’t need instead of trying to anticipate before you’ve even looked. Seeing an item outside of your closet may give you fresh eyes to see whether it’s worth keeping.
When you’re trying to decide what to keep and what to get rid of, you will probably have a few emotional roadblocks that stand in your way. One of them is the memories attached to the clothes. You don’t want to get rid of a shirt that reminds you of a moment or day that you valued, like the dress you wore to the family reunion when you last saw your grandma before she passed away. Another is that it’s hard to throw or give things away that you spent money on, even if you never wear it- It’s much easier to leave it in the closet, thinking you might wear it someday. The third issue is that you invent all sorts of scenarios that lead you to think you’d wear that unworn thing in the future.
With this mindset, how do we ever get rid of anything? You have to be totally objective. Set a system in place and only allow yourself two or three exceptions. For example, place all the clothes you have worn over a three week period on their own separate rack. Consider the rest ready for donations or garage sale (barring seasonal items).
Set a New System in Place
Getting rid of clutter doesn’t always translate to getting rid of items; it may simply mean reinventing the way you organize them. Buy separate bins for your out-of-season clothes and shoes so you can place them on the top shelf or maybe even slide them under the bed until you need them again. Tackle your shoe problem with a shoe organizer that allows every pair to be visible. Hang your work clothes in a separate area so you don’t waste precious time when putting a professional outfit together. If all you have are a few racks to work with, consider investing in a closet system with separate drawers and compartments. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you have a system that works for you and stick with it.
For more ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com.