Last week? Last year? When you moved five or ten years ago? Never?
Be honest with yourself, it is probably time, right? All too often I hear that people are afraid to start because it is such a big job, and it can be. I will try to help you break it down into a few smaller steps if you do not have the time to dedicate several hours at a time. So, here goes..
- Put yourself on a shopping diet...do not buy anything new until you have a better idea of your current inventory. Chances are, you will discover a few items that need to be replaced as you work through your closet. Maybe that is your reward at the end?
- Do some quick sorting. Take a pass through your closet and pull out anything that you know you want to get rid of. Too small, too big, soiled, torn, out dated, not your style? Let it go. It will make your job a lot easier in the following steps!
- Next, identify categories in your closet. They might include...
Long sleeve tops
Short sleeve tops
- Choose a category and tackle it! For example, take all of your sweaters out of your closet, dresser, cedar chest, etc and put them all in one place. Sort like sweaters together by style and color. Now if you are looking at your collection and find an abundance of grey cable knit sweaters for example, decide which ones you like the best, look nice on you, get worn often and let the rest that you do not love and wear go. Be honest with yourself. Ask yourself the last time you wore it and if it has been a while, why? Remember we want to purge, not just organize your stuff and put it back. Maybe that is all the organizing you can do for one day, and that is fine. Find a way to put the sweaters away neatly.
- Each opportunity you schedule time to work in the closet, choose a different category. Before you know it, you will have made it through them all.
- Do not go out and buy baskets, totes, hangers, etc until you have sorted through everything and know what you actually need...not what you think you need!
- Once you have gone through your entire list of categories, you can look at your wardrobe and the way you store it in a new way. One example in the closet below is the use of the hanging canvas shelves, it previously stored handbags. This was not the best place for the handbags though, considering the prime location and the frequency of accessing the bags. It made more sense to repurpose those shelves for seasonal storage. Right now, they house sweaters. When sweater season is over, they can store summer tanks and tops that do not hang well. This left the handbags homeless, so we moved them up to a less convenient shelf but still very accessible.
- What to do with the items you are not keeping? That may be a different answer for everyone. Some people will simply donate the items to their favorite nonprofit. Others might like to try and recuperate some of their cash and have a garage sale or find a consignment store. What ever you decide, remember that your time is valuable and so is your storage space.
We added a few inexpensive tap lights to the inside of the closet and an over the door hanger to organize scarves.