Closet Tough Love
Spring cleaning your closet can be stressful, exciting, overwhelming and relieving- all at once. Take a deep breath and make the plunge.
Your Cleaning Tools: Before you start, invest in some tools to help you organize. Buy some neutral colored hangers in non slip velvet- like Huggable Hangers, black plastic garbage bags, shoe bags and accessory bags. Thin matching hangers are good because they will give you more space to hang clothes, the clothes are protected from stretching out and the consistency of hangers gives your closet eye appeal. The plastic bags are for things to toss and for things to donate. Return/recycle the metal hangers to your dry cleaners.
Make your bedroom closet your main working closet. Save a separate space to store out of season clothing, formal items and clothing that you think is classic, but not exactly for today.
Remove clothing from the closet and hang on a clothing rack or place on the bed. Clothing has to be removed from the closet to properly edit.
Dust and vacuum- if the walls are dingy, you may want to paint. (I like a crisp white, but some experts like bright colors.)
Listen to music that makes you smile. I clean to Michael Jackson.
Assess What’s There: Try on everything. Do not return clothing to the closet that doesn’t fit or look good on you. Take inventory of what you have and start to edit. Ask yourself how many of your jeans still look good, how many white blouses do you need and so on.
If you have twice as many of any item than you need, it’s time to shed a few. Let go of clothing gifts that you don’t love. Remember, it’s not the person that you are letting go of, it’s just the object.
Don’t hoard items you haven’t worn. Yes, you paid a lot for it, but can you wear it three ways? (How about one way?)
Cast a cold eye on sweaters and tees that have started to lose their shape and pill; toss out anything that looks ratty, doesn’t fit properly or is stained.
Will repairing an item or altering be more costly than the item is worth? It may be smarter to toss and replace. Hang on to stuff that makes you smile. Your Christmas sweater or the reindeer pin that your kids made you when they were in second grade does not count as clutter.
If you can’t decide about whether to toss something or not, ask yourself if you would buy the item again- the answer will be your tell.
Still struggling? Ask a trusted friend to help. A second pair of eyes can be helpful.
Organize & Clean: Arrange your closet like a boutique. Divide up clothing by item. Hang skirts with skirts, pants with pants and so on. Then break it down by color and type of clothing. I don’t hang my sporty clothing with dressy items. Keep the closet floor uncluttered. Fold or roll tees and thin sweaters. Again, divide by color and theme. Use dividers to keep stacks neat.
I like vertical hanging shoe bags to hold my shoes. That way I can instantly see and access. Make sure that your shoes are in tip top repair and condition. Re-purpose shoes that are uncomfortable (that will never change), scuffed, cracked or worn and cannot be repaired.
Your shoes tell the world a lot about you- it’s said that your shoes are a window into your soul (no pun intended). Fix or let go of stained, run down or scuffed shoes.
Hang the scarves you wear on the velvet hangers, use jewelry bags or clear plastic (labeled) containers for your costume jewelry and earrings.
Belts should be rolled or hung on a belt rack. Belts are usually a ripe area for editing: discard belts that don’t fit, are out of style, worn out or stretched.
Pat Yourself On The Back: Remember, no two people organize the same way- make sure that your organizational system suits your personality. Being organized is a learned habit and one that takes time and discipline to master.
Sell: Find a resale shop that will buy your style of clothing. I have found that resale can be a lot of work with little profit, but it might ease your conscience.
Donate & Recycle: Sort through your discards and donate your excess to your favorite charity or to a women’s shelter. Always keep one of those black trash bags in your closet so that you can continue to edit throughout the season. We love The Denver Assistance League