Cleaning out your custom closet is more than just an excuse to go shopping, although most of us would categorize less closet space as a reason to go shopping, and not an excuse. There's a difference, right? Either way, the closet can get messy very quickly, which will begin to eat away at your time in the morning getting ready for work, leading you to feel rushed. Feeling cluttered and rushed out the door increases the probability that you are going to forget something important on your way out. For the rest of the week’s sake, make it a point, this Sunday, to go through and declutter your closet. Use this checklist and guide to help yourself turn a mundane task into a project with an outcome to be proud of.
Let's start with the initial cleanout. The one that we have all been dreading. The one that probably brought us to this post. Doing this initial cleanout will make the weekly clean up seem like a cake walk.
Clutter Free Closet Steps:
Throw away any trash, meaning non-clothing items that only serve to clutter more. Your custom closet isn’t another trash bin.
Take out everything that you own in the closet and begin to sort them as followed:
Throwaways: This is for the items that are extremely worn down, and really should have been thrown out a long time ago. These items won’t even be accepted by most thrift stores or donation centers. If sections of the clothes are salvageable, you can cut it up and turn it into a rag for the garage if you’d like.
Donations: This is where some serious decision making and discipline has to come in on your end. If you haven’t worn the item in over two years it's a must to throw away. Also think about ways to repurpose these clothes if you are the artsy type; you could chop up old jeans to make a nice quilt, or repurpose tee shirts into a hip scarf- the ideas are endless as long as you can remain imaginative. It’s never bad to simply donate these items so that someone less fortunate can enjoy them just as well.
Items that you’ll work towards: This applies to most people that fluctuate in size throughout the year. Your favorite pair of jeans may be too small right now, but after your gym regiment starts to take its course, you could be right back in them, flaunting your stuff, and loving life. Put these items in a box, and then label that box with the size that it is. If you are really motivated to lose weight, make it a fitness goal to fit back into some older, and smaller clothes within 4 months.
Definite Wardrobe: This is the most obvious section and should comprise of most of your clothing. Hopefully you are beginning to see the extra space that you will have after this cleanout is all done. The shopping for more clothes part comes very soon after!
Organize your “definite wardrobe” section by what will be hung, folded, or stored into a cabinet.
After doing your initial closet clearout, take the time to clean the closet, so that there are no corners cut in this job and you can really take pride in your work once you are through. Use a broom or duster to wipe off the initial cobwebs and dust mites. Don’t forget the lightbulbs(turn off the light first, of course). Get any scuff marks on the walls with a scrubber.
Put some elbow grease into it! Run over dust collectors like the door knob or light switch with a microfiber cloth to guarantee all dust and grime is gone. Vacuum in and around the area to collect all the larger pieces of debris. Even if you don’t have a walk-in closet, treat the carpet or mop the floors after it's all said and done. If you take care of all this, your closet should be looking stupendous at the moment, just a little empty.
Ok, so you have now taken everything out of your closet, and given it a thorough cleaning. Once you have tossed the bags for trash and donated the donation bags, your floors and walls should be dried up, nice and clean and ready to re-organize. Let’s jump back into the re-organization project with these simple pointers.
Keep in mind husband and wife territories. Generally speaking, the husband will need less space, but sometimes this isn’t always true if they have a lot of suits and shoes as well. Take your sorted piles for hanging, folding and storing away and begin to reorganize them based on you and your spouse's needs. If you are single, first of all, live it up, take things slow and enjoy the ride; But secondly, you won’t need to find a balance so you can assume all of the space.
For those that do share the space, just follow these simple tasks based on what you already have pre-organized. It’s easy to get the flow of things. Firstly, you want to categorize your custom closet’s hanging space by categories. A man’s side will mostly contain jackets, windbreakers, pants, slacks, sports coats, suits and a few shirts that wrinkle easy; while a woman's side of the closet will include(but is not limited to) nightgowns, pants, long/short sleeve blouses, jackets, shawls and dresses for all occasions. You can continue to organize further by color or day of the week if you’d like- the key is to assure that you have adequate space to suit both your needs.
Once the hanging section is taken care of, fold up your tee shirts, shorts, underwear and socks neatly and store them in their proper spot. From that point, return all of the shoes to an orderly place on the floor. Then, from the shoes, it goes to your accessories, where you may need a jewelry drawer to store things conveniently. You can hang scarves on a hanger and place bags on a shelf if space permits.
In the event that you declutter'd properly and you still don’t have enough space for all of your wardrobe, you should consider hiring a professional organizer to come design and install a custom closet for you to work with from here on out. The investment is worth the time in the long run and surprisingly adds quite a bit of value to your home on resale.
Or, if you would like to learn more about the process that it takes to design and install a custom closet, as well as the industry-wide pricing model, download our guide below for more details.