Organize Your Closet… already. Of course we all want that picture perfect closet; let’s get real, there is a reason we’re all fascinated with those awesome organized closet pictures.
It’s hard work!
My closet is a place I have trouble dealing with for two reasons: 1) not because I can not organize it, but because, 2) I will want to do it all at once, which stops me from even starting.
I like everything to have a place and my closet has become the place for all the stuff that doesn’t have a place. It represents a never ending to-do list. Literally, looking at it, being in it, thinking about organizing it, or even putting clothes away makes me irritable!
It is an awful feeling to be in a space you feel you are not meant to be in.
That being said, after recently taking a Financial 90 Day Bootcamp, I was tasked with finding a place for home goods – an inventory area if you will. Although my house is spacious, my closet is the largest storage area.
I’m sure you can see where this is going.
I thought to myself, organize your closet.
None the less, that “place” was going to have to be in my closet and that was already occupied with other stuff.
It was such a task however that I could not bear the thought of it. So, I had to figure out a way to tackle it in a way that fit my need to get all done at once kind of personality.
I had to figure out a way to tackle this over time that would not make me feel like I had to do it in one day.
Here is what I did and you can Organize You’re Closet Without Feeling Like You Have to Do It In One Day too!
First, take a picture(s).
This is going to be biggest reward. DO NOT skip this step! If you have a large closet, take pictures of each area. Here are some examples that I referenced when I was getting sick of working through the clutter. It helped me tremendously to keep going even though I was knew there was a lot to do!
Speaking of areas, that is step two.
Second, determine the areas of your closet to organize (and the priority of the area).
For example, if you have a sliding door closet you could break that out in three ways:
- Organize one side at a time: one day do the right side and the next day the left. Or one week on one side and so on.
- Organize your top shelf one day, your hanging clothes another, and the floor the third day.
- Similarly, you could follow the steps in the second step only on one half of the closet at a time, but break it out in sections (e.g., floor, hanging closet and top shelf).
Break it out in weeks or months if need be.
Have a plan so you will not get overwhelmed or feel pressure to get it all done at once.
Be sure to sign up below for your free How-to Finish EVEN IF You Stop Plan to Organize Your Closet. You’ll get un-paralyzed, smash your overwhelm and begin. But you’ll also be able to stop and still be able to keep your momentum and finish! You can also use it to transform any area of your home/car.
Third, do not purchase anything in advance before organizing your closet.
Create a board in Pinterest and name it: My Future Closet or Closet Ideas, etc. to resist the urge to go out and drop money on this project. Let the ideas sit there until you are finished with the reorg. You can make the board secret if you want.
Then, when you have completely organized your closet go back and visit the board.
For me, I started with the first area of my closet you could see. I started with the floor one day and worked my way up to the clothes the second day and finally, the top shelf.
I strongly suggest starting with the easiest area to keep your momentum going. If you can not identify an area then I suggest starting with one task:
- Pick out all excess hangers from the closet.
- Throw away unused shoe boxes.
- Put two items in a bag to donate (even if you don’t know what to do with the bag just yet).
Take baby steps if the clutter is too much!
Take it from me, the more you try to get done before you are ready the worse you are going to make yourself feel and that is the opposite of what we are trying to accomplish here!
My closet is big enough that I could comfortably break it into six sections. I felt the most progress with this section.
I realized at this point my project was going to take longer then I planned. By prioritizing each section, as mentioned in Step Two (my goal was about creating more storage space) I knew where to start.
A goal can help you compartmentalize the tasks of your project.
This is not how my personality works. I wanted to follow the flow of the closet; I was trying to meet my goals of creating this storage area more then organizing my entire closet, which meant decluttering.
Work through your closet as it suits your goals.
Clutter is no joke. Tackle this project with a plan no matter how small the area is so it is not overwhelming. Find sections you can work with and incorporate ways to move the purged items.
Here are some examples: if your clothes are worn with visible damage throw them out. If you don’t honestly love the thought of the item (e.g., how you look in it, how it feels, etc.) give it away. Money is always an issue too. So, if it is worth some money, but you just don’t love it, sell it.
As you are sorting, ask yourself, “if I was in a clothing store right now, would I buy this?”
Ebay can help you unload items. Think lots. Put clothes together in lots by size and sell them, but have a cut off date ending on Sunday night. You’ll get the best shopping traffic this way. The cut off will free you and the buyer from indecision.
Keep track of what you do, so even if it still looks cluttered you will know it is less cluttered then before.
Want to know what I mean?
I threw away over 50 wire hangers (these narrow no-slip hangers are a great alternative) and moved 30+ hangers to the laundry room – gave away two bags (and a large box) of clothes, threw away FOUR kitchen trash bags full of garbage. The amount of hats we have is ridiculous! The fabrics on the shelves were moved to another unused shelf in another closet.
The ben full of papers, where the paper towels are now, was purged to my children’s most meaningful works and stowed under my bed. (Already dreading the day the children ask where all the other work is.) One bag of summer clothes ended up there too. I put one box and two bags in the attic and bought peppermint oil, which I diluted with water, to deter possible intruders (e.g., mice) since it smells better then moth balls. You never know!
Two bags of clothes and a small bag of jewelry went into the sale pile.
Even when I look at it know, it seems cluttered; when I remind myself of everything above I accept this is about progress not perfection. Also, I did not buy anything to organize my closet and used my favorite hack on my husbands military gear.
It’s this simple!
Finally, look in your closet. Take a complete look around. Go sit down and write out your plan of action. Break it into manageable sections and don’t forget about cleaning (e.g., dusting, vacuuming, etc.) But most of all, take your time. This is your closet, it isn’t going anywhere; this approach will help you Organize Your Closet!
I want this to be successful for you and that means going at your own pace!
If you are feeling overwhelmed by life check out our post on Getting It All Done with Life Hacks for the Best Multitasker! Or maybe you are just trying to deal with anxiety (and don’t know where to start), which you can read more about in our post Saddle Up Buttercup….battling anxiety.
Looking for some more organizational inspiration? Find ideas for Organizing Baby’s Stuff here.
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