Fall has arrived! The temperature is dropping, the sunshine is waning, and the kids are back in school. This is the perfect time to declutter your closet. Before you know it, the holiday season will be upon us, and you’ll hardly have time to breathe, let alone get organized! So, what are you waiting for? Here’s the plan…
STEP 1 : Empty your closet.
As you pull everything out, quickly sort the items into piles: “like with like.” No thinking involved. No decisions to be made. Just sort… Sweaters in one pile; shoes in another pile; jeans in a third pile; and so on. If, like many people, you find something that doesn’t really belong in your bedroom closet (yeah, you know… those wrenches hiding in the back), set those items aside and return them to their respective “homes” once your closet is finally empty.
STEP 2 : Decide what stays.
Now you have to think. As you go through each of your piles, item by item, be brutally honest with yourself. Is it still in style? Do you wear it regularly? Does it fit you perfectly? Do you feel absolutely fabulous in it? Do you love it? Answer “yes” to all of these questions, and you can keep it! Answer “no” or even “maybe” to any of these questions, and get ready to sell it, donate it, or toss it. It’s NOT going back in your closet! No more “ifs, ands, or buts” (or “butts”) about it! Seriously, when are you ever going to wear those 5-inch heels? They’re just not comfortable! And, by the time you diet your way to your ideal weight, styles will have changed and you’ll no doubt want to celebrate with a new flattering wardrobe anyway!
STEP 3 : Take inventory.
What’s left? Do you need a few items to round out your wardrobe? Do you need new containers or storage solutions? Decide what you will need, take measurements as needed, and search your house for functional items that would work well for closet storage. Use the items that you already own before you purchase anything new. If you do need to head to the store in search of additional containers or storage solutions, be sure to keep a few things in mind as you shop: double-hang clothing rods are great for storing shirts and pants; clear plastic shoe boxes are great for storing extra pairs of shoes; linen, woven, or lined wicker baskets are great for storing intimates, socks, and accessories. Buy only the storage solutions that you absolutely need and will definitely use right now.
STEP 4 : Update the closet.
Take advantage of your totally empty closet while you can (since it’ll likely be a while before it is ever empty again). Clean the closet from top to bottom. Add a fresh coat of paint. If needed, install a new shelving or closet organizing system. Place all storage containers in their planned “homes” to ensure a proper fit (before they’re full).
STEP 5 : Put everything away.
As you return all the “good stuff” to the closet, organize everything in a way that makes sense to you… by season, size, color, outfit, or style (formal vs. casual). Planning an organizational strategy that will work for you and that you will be able to successfully maintain is key. If you work with your current habits (rather than against them), you’ll reap the benefits of a much smoother and more relaxed morning routine.
MICHELLE DEO, “perfectly imperfect” mom, organizing expert, and speaker, helps overwhelmed moms, busy homeowners, and ambitious professionals learn practical time- and space-saving ORGANIZING SOLUTIONS. Her goal is to help women efficiently regain control of their environments and intentionally restore focus on their priorities… making space for the big (and little) things in life!
* free organizing tips, articles, checklists, and more @ www.realneat.com!