Pretty much everyone has had this experience; you open your closet door, look inside, and say wow…I can’t believe how much stuff is in here! That thought can lead to other thoughts…do I need all this stuff? How much of it do I actually use or wear? Even if I wanted to buy some new clothes, I’d be hard pressed to find a place to put them. Maybe it’s time to de-clutter and organize my closet.
Over time most of us tend to accumulate more and more stuff, especially when it comes to clothing and accessories. A situation known as “closet overload” can sneak up on you and stress you out. It doesn’t have to be that way. It may seem daunting, but if you address your closet overload situation with purpose and a plan you’ll be amazed at how easy it can be once you get started, and how worthwhile it is when you complete the process. Unless you are the type of person who regularly evaluates their wardrobe and culls as needed to keep things really current, it is most likely that you could benefit from “operation closet declutter”.
First things first. You have to evaluate every item in your closet. You need to determine what items belong in each of these three categories: keep, donate or toss. Create criteria for what will stay and what will go. For example, do you still wear an item? Is it in style? Does it still fit? Is it too worn or shabby to wear? Is it consistent with the style and quality of things you are now wearing? Does it have a stain? Have you worn it in the last year or two? If any given item does not measure up, it is time for it to go. Don’t be sentimental, unless you have a warehouse and space is not an issue, (in which case you probably wouldn’t be reading this) let it go…it’s freeing!
Please remember, for those items you can’t use which are still in good and wearable condition, it’s very likely that someone else can really use and appreciate having them. Now is an especially good time to think of others and practice kindness. We are happy that The Closet Works has teamed up with our community to donate clothing to those most in need. Alternatively, you could donate gently used items to organizations of your choice.
Simple Lion Heart Life wrote in a 2019 article, “it’s estimated most people wear 20% of their wardrobe, 80% of the time”. So why hang onto clothing that you are simply no longer going to use or wear? Someone else will make good use out of those things. And a bonus…you will have lots of room for NEW STUFF!
Unless your closet is large enough to handle all of your clothing, for all seasons, you may want to consider “seasonalizing”. Perhaps you can take your core wardrobes and separate them by season. You may have some space in another closet in the house where you can effectively “swap” for the seasons. If not, maybe you have some available wall space where we can create a freestanding wardrobe closet.
According to The Organized Home, there a few ways to properly store off-season clothing so it remains in good shape. The first is to make sure items are clean prior to putting them away. Folding is recommended rather than hanging for longer storage times. Do not use plastic or cardboard packaging, as moisture, mildew and insects are more likely to cause damage. Lavender keeps the moths away and keeps clothing smelling nice. Lastly, store clothing in a dark, cool and dry spot, preferably on a high shelf in a closet. Stay away from the attic and basement which are not often climate controlled.
Having a set plan in place will keep the clutter from coming back. Create a system that works for you. Maybe purging each season works for your lifestyle as you transition your wardrobe from fall to spring. Others might prefer the one-in one-out method where for every new piece of clothing that comes in, one goes out. Some set a time stamp and purge clothing based on the last time they wore it. Whatever routine you set in place, make sure it is a convenient time where there are no distractions and stick to it!
There are many types of closet accessories and storage ideas that will enable you to make a lot more room in your existing closet effectively doubling, or in some cases even tripling, your available space. Some of these include double or triple hanging, drawers with dividers, hampers, special jewelry storage units customized for specifically what you need to store and organize. How about space saving ways to effectively store scarves, belts, ties, and all kinds of wardrobe accessories which keep them accessible, wrinkle-free and clearly visible.
There are lots of benefits to purging items and reorganizing your closet. Minimizing the time you take choosing what to wear, having space for new items to update your wardrobe, reducing the stress associated with “where it that, I know it’s in here somewhere”, and, of course, the endorphin rush that comes from having an organized closet. You may have the potential to turn your unwieldy, cluttered closet into your personal boutique! If you get stuck along the way or just want some help from the professionals, please reach out to us for a free design consultation with one of our experienced space optimization specialist. Not only can we help you get organized but we will work with you to ensure that you have the most appropriate type of storage and organization to meet your specific needs.
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