Closets are the final frontier of the decluttering and organization world. They’re the keepers of your clothes, memory boxes, and loose ends from other cleaning efforts elsewhere in the house. When you don’t know where to put something, you throw it in the closet. While this method may clear out the visible spaces in your home, it’s a short-term solution.
Before you begin your fun-filled summer with your family, take the time to tackle your home’s stuffed closets. It may not seem like you have enough time between work and the kids, but you can’t wait until you retire at 63 to finally address this mess. Let’s take a look at how you can clear out and organize your closet with ease and speed.
1. Empty the closet and analyze
The very first steps to deep cleaning your closet are to put on some music, get in the zone, and empty the entire thing. Pile everything on your bed or in the middle of the room. If you skip this part, you might be tempted to just ignore the items buried deep inside.
Once you have a pile, pick up each item one by one and ask yourself the hard questions about whatever is in your hands. Is this blanket in good shape? Is this dress still in my style? Do I have other shirts exactly like this one? This last question is relevant for many, as 62% of Americans say they own more than ten t-shirts in their wardrobe. Think about the items that you wear or use the most and put the rest in the donation bin.
2. Clean out the dust bunnies
An empty closet is a rare occurrence. Take this chance to truly clean it by giving your closet a good wipe down. Dust off the shelves and vacuum the floor to get rid of dirt and other allergen-inducing particles. While dust doesn’t pose as much of a threat to your family’s health as something like radon, which is the second leading cause of lung cancer, clearing it out of your home’s spaces will help improve your indoor air quality all the same. This is also a good opportunity to restock your closets with cedar blocks to deter moths from making a feast of your best clothes.
3. Sort Out Your Unwanted Items
You’ve done the hard work of determining what you want to keep in your home and what you want to get rid of. Now it’s time to decide where to send your rejects. Organize your unwanted items into three categories: recycle, sell, and donate. Anything that is torn or worn can go into the recycle pile, which you can bring to a sustainability center in your community. If you spent big bucks on something but never use it, like a nice bedspread or pair of designer shoes, sell it at a consignment shop. You can try to sell these items on online platforms as well.
One of the best avenues for getting rid of items is donating them. There are countless organizations in the country and around the world that are constantly accepting donations. In fact, over 14.3 million tons of donated American textiles help clothe families across the globe. Pick an organization that excites you, such as one that helps children in need or women entering the professional world, and bring your goods there.
4. Reorganize your space
When you’re ready to fill your sparkly and clean closet with the items you’ve decided to keep, make sure you do so in an efficient way. Otherwise, all of that decluttering will be for nothing when your shirts end up in a chaotic pile on the floor once again. Create order out of the chaos by building some shelves in your closet. Choose a material like wood, which is the number one most energy efficient material with which you can make products, so that strange plastic smells don’t rub off on your clothing. Make sure you have enough hangers as well and that you organize your items in a way that makes sense to you, such as by color or by season.
If you’re tackling your child’s closet, there are a few key strategies that can make everyone’s lives easier. Try labeling the days of the week on clothing hang tags so that you can pick out an entire week’s worth of outfits ahead of time. Your kids can dress themselves in the morning with little debate and fewer meltdowns. Be sure to keep their most used items at an accessible height for them in pull-out drawers and on adjustable shelves. If your children share one closet, clearly divide the space so that they each feel like they have the room they need.
You’ll be amazed at the sense of peace you feel when your closets are organized. It may be a relatively minor section of your household, but this small area of order can serve as a reminder that any space can achieve the same level of organization.