Tag Archives: closet organization

It’s National Clean Out Your Closets Week!

This past Monday marked the official first day of Spring, and for those of you in Washington state (especially the Puget Sound area), some absolutely beautiful weather days followed.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to put the parkas and snow boots away and pull out some t-shirts and golf shorts!

For many of us, deciding what to wear is our first big decision of the day.  It sets the tone.  It puts us in a certain frame of mind.  It prepares us for what lies ahead.  Is there a better way to start the day than with a clean, organized closet filled with just those items you love and feel great in?  I think not.

Here are five tips to quickly and painlessly clear some closet clutter:

  1. Schedule time.  If you haven’t done it in a while, an entire closet purge could take several hours.  Schedule at least 3-4 hours to get the process started (hopefully even completed).  Trust me, it’s a great use of time.
  2. Set yourself up for success. Get in the mood for some tough decision-making.  Grab a friend to help.  Turn on some tunes.  Schedule a significant reward for project completion.
  3. Have plenty of supplies ready.
    • If you are planning on changing your hanger style, buy twice as many as you think you need. Same goes for shoe boxes, underbed storage, belt hangers, etc.  It’s always better to have supplies to return than not be able to finish the project because you came up short on supplies.
    • Set up a system for removing what doesn’t deserve valuable closet space: resale, storage, donation, discard, gifting, etc..  Whatever you decided doesn’t deserve a home in your closet, needs to go somewhere.  Immediately put donations in your car. Move storage items to their new home.  Schedule a drop off/pick up date/time for items you are gifting.
  4. Touch everything and ask yourself the following: 
    • Do I love it and feel great when I wear it? (good color, style, fit, etc.)
    • Did I use it this season or can I see myself using it next season? (is skiing really still your thing?)
    • Am I keeping this because of guilt? (impulse purchase, spent too much, it was a gift, etc.)
  5. Put items away efficiently.  Anything that goes back in the closet should be grouped in an organizational system that works best for how you make decisions.
    • Do you select items by color (black vs yellow)?
    • Do you select items by purpose (work vs play)?
    • Do you store outfits together within the closet?

A functional closet can reduce stress (I’m certain most of us have felt the frustration of being late because we “can’t find anything to wear!”); save time (no more time wasted searching for that one black turtleneck you absolutely love!); and save money (how many times have we repurchased items we already own?).

Spring is here . . . are you and your closet ready?

Cindy Jobs




Member Color - WebNational Association of Professional Organizers, Seattle Chapter President
ICD_LogoTag_Horz_72 websiteCertified Premium Subscriber, Institute for Challenging Disorganization

Seasonal Closet Swap: A Closet Full Of Nothing To Wear?

Closet Closets can be a huge headache or a great source of joy.  Simplifying by downsizing and organizing can turn our closets from frustrating to functional.

How many times do we stand in front of our completely full closets and say “I can’t find a thing to wear!”?

The change of seasons gives us the perfect opportunity to take stock of our closets.   When it’s time to move the winter things out (thankfully) and the summer things in (happily), take a few extra minutes to critically analyze each piece of clothing.

Ask yourself:

  1. Do I love it and feel great when I wear it? Does it project the image I want people to have of me? (Love it?)
  2. Did I use it this season or can I use it next season? (Use it?)
  3. Am I keeping it because I feel guilty about spending money on something I really don’t use? Unfortunately, keeping a bad purchase doesn’t make it a better purchase. (Guilty purchase?)

If your answer is “yes” to #1 and #2, and “no” to #3 about everything in your closet, then you’re in good shape.   If you can’t, then it’s time to take a serious look at reducing the items in your closet.

Because apparel items are so personal, sometimes it’s hard for us to be critical about what we should keep or get rid of.  For this project, enlist the help of an honest and trusted friend to help you.

Use the following roadmap to help you de-clutter your closet, giving yourself a bit of breathing room.

  1. Carve out enough time to go through the entire process.
  2. If possible, purchase enough of the same style of hangers (plastic, wood, flocked, etc.) as you possibly can. Having all your apparel hanging at the same level will make it easier for your eye to focus on the item, not the disarray.  You may want to also invest in multi-tiered hangers if you have multiple pairs of pants that you know you will be keeping.  Pants on multi-tiered hangers take up much less space than if they are hung individually. If you are also hanging skirts, each style of hanger also comes in a clip version for this purpose.
  3. Set up six boxes, bags, or staging areas:
    1. KEEP: For items you are planning on keeping in your closet.
    2. THROW: For items that are worn out, stained, etc.
    3. GIVE: For items to give to people you personally know.
    4. DONATE: For items in good repair that can be donated to a local charity.
    5. ALTERNATE SIZE: For items that you love and will fit into within the next 6 months. Date the box/bag with a review date.
    6. SEASONAL: For items you love, but won’t wear for several months.
  4. Take everything out of the closet. Yes, everything.  Even if you know you are keeping it you will (hopefully) be moving it to the new, uniform hanger style.
  5. Sort your apparel by type: Work vs. Casual.  Then fine-tune the sort by style or color:  short sleeve vs. long sleeve, etc.; black, white, color, etc.
  6. Touch every piece of clothing and ask yourself the three questions mentioned earlier: Love it? Use it? Guilty purchase?
  7. Put the items you want to keep away on the new hangers and place them back in the closet in groupings that make sense to you: work; casual; sleeve length; color; etc.
  8. Process the THROW/GIVE/DONATE/ALTERNATE SIZE/SEASONAL boxes, moving them to their appropriate new home.

Being organized reduces stress and saves time and money.  This is never more true than in our closets where we need to create space for all the aspects of our lives from work to recreation.  Plus, our closet is one of the first areas we see in the morning.  Getting the organization right here will set you off on the right foot for the rest of the day!