Closets are always a challenge – which is why we hate to clean them out in the first place!
The easiest way to clean out a closet it to determine your ‘problem area’ and deal with that first. If you have shoes everywhere, invest in an over the door shoe holder. If your clothes won’t fit on the rod, use thinner hangars, or a double rod. If you have clothing and accessories on the floor, maybe you need to add shelving to house sweaters, scarves, and purses, etc. If there are things in your closet that don’t really relate to clothing (bank statements, kids toys, files, sport equipment) find them a new home. Once you know what the problem is, it will be easier to tackle.
Cleaning out a closet takes time, so schedule time in your day to get it done. If you can, delegate some chores to others (run the extras to the basement, have them to their OWN closets, run to the donation center).
Take everything out of the closet. Take the time to assess the contents. If clothing or accessories are stained, out of style, or too small/big, toss it or donate it. The goal is not to put back items that are really not in use anymore. Review what is left that you have decided to keep.
Create areas in your closet for different categories: shoes, hats, sweaters, skirts, etc. This will be a time saver when you go to put clothes away and when you look for something to wear! If you need shelving, baskets, pretty shoe racks, add them to better utilize the space.
To keep the closet clutter away, instill the one in, one out rule. For each new item you buy to put in the closet, be ruthless and force yourself to donate or pitch one item. Keep a box or basket in the closet and call it your ‘One More Time’ basket. You can take stained or unpopular items out and right into that container. Once it is full, go through it ‘one more time’ to make sure you don’t have anything in there by mistake – then toss or donate what’s left!
Check your closet weekly and take 15minutes to straighten and deal with any encroaching clutter before it gets out of hand. When you put your clothes away after doing laundry or coming home from the dry cleaners, that is the ideal time – you are already in there, so take some extra time to make sure it’s as pristine as it was when you finished cleaning it out!
Reward yourself when you are finished – you just tackled a huge task and tamed the clutter in your closet!