Not everyone has a spare room that they are able to convert into a large walk-in wardrobe, so, odds are, you have limited space in your closet. This is why it is important to get organised and ensure the space where you keep your clothing, shoes and accessories clean and tide. Everything you own should be easily accessible and visible as you open the door so you don’t lose anything or waste time looking for the perfect addition to your outfit.
As each new season comes in, there are a number of easy steps that you can lead to make sure you stay on top of this:
Collect some boxes or bags
Before you dive into your closet, you’ll need to get some boxes or bags together so you have a place to pack the clothing that will not return to your closet. You can use anything that you already have from shopping bags to garbage bags to delivery boxes. Have these close by and ready for when you need them later on in the process.
Empty your closet
Next, you’ll need to completely empty your closet from top to bottom. Make some space on your bed or the clean floor for the piles of clothes, shoes and accessories that are sure to build up as you do this. Be gentle and avoid throwing them into a large messy pile as it will make it more difficult to sort later on. By the time that is done, you should have a nice clear closet.
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Dust and clean your closet
Get out your vacuum cleaner and dusting cloth and clean your closet from the floor to the shelves at the top. You may need a step ladder in order to do this properly. Your closet can collect dirt from various places including your own dead skin cells, dirt outside, pet hair, and any pollutants that are circulating through your home.
If you keep your shoes in the closet, that is probably one of the main culprits with 80 percent of dirt coming into your home through your shoes. If you have the room, it might be a good idea to keep your shoes separate from your clothes to avoid that dirt being transferred.
Organise items into categories
When it’s finally time for the most difficult part of the process of going through your clothes and working out what you’re keeping and what you’re not, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Take a look at what doesn’t fit you or your current style anymore and make the decision to cast it aside. You may also have clothes that are ruined in some way, which should also be easy ones to separate from those going back into your closet. You may want to have four main categories; keep, donate, toss and recycle.
Parting with some items that still fit you or that you feel you have a sentimental connection to, so you may need to make some tough decisions. You may choose to use the KonMari Method of choosing which items to keep and which items to get rid of if it’s proving to be quite difficult to part with clothing that you’ve loved, or hoarded, for years. This involves asking if an item sparks joy before choosing to keep or discard.
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Assess and upgrade any storage space
If you think you need to change your storage space or transform it somehow to make it seem more organised and orderly, take a look at your space before you start putting your clothes away and see what you can do to upgrade it. It’s important to consider the type of clothing you have and how it will be best stored in your closet.
If you don’t need long hanging space, you might be able to add an additional rod below the existing one so you can have a more spaced out hanging space. Adding some matching storage containers to sit on your shelves or on the floor may also be a more neat way to store certain items. Installing some hooks on the back of the door is great for storing accessories and a shoe rack on the floor can help with storing your shoes.
There are also some simple design choices you can make to maximise the space. Some of these include adding lighting, hanging a mirror or painting it a lighter colour. One more thing to make your closet look neater is using coat hangers that are all the same style.
Organise the clothes, shoes and accessories you are keeping
Once you have made all the necessary improvements to your closet, you can start putting all the clothing, shoes and accessories you are keeping back into your closet. You can decide what is the best way to order everything based on your lifestyle. You can divide your clothing based on whether it’s office attire or casual or if it’s easier to put all the same type of clothing, for example, pants or shirts, together.
You may also need to think about how you are storing certain items and whether you are doing that correctly. This may include your winter woollies, linen clothing, lingerie and jewellery.
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Donate or sell clothing
If you have clothes to donate or sell, it’s best to get this done as soon as possible so you don’t have bags cluttering up your home. Find out where your nearest donation box is and take them there as soon as you can.
There are many ways to sell your clothing aside from having a garage sale. Take some nice photos showing the clothes off and write descriptions explaining the frequency of use, the size and other important pieces of information. Some of the websites where you can sell your clothing include Gumtree, Depop, Carousell and Yordrobe. You can also check in with your friends to see if they want anything before you start selling things off.
Start any recycling projects
If you have chosen to get creative and see if you can repurpose some pieces of clothing, it’s a good time to start designing and begin these projects as soon as you have a chance, once again, to avoid creating clutter.
Examples of ways to recycle old clothes include turning old t-shirts into a blanket, turning a shirt into a tote bag, using jeans as a draft stopper or even turning a sweater into a hat.
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Keep closet organised
The final step is to keep your closet organised for as long as possible. Take care as you put your clothes away after you wear and wash them and think about what you already own before making any new purchases. Mark your calendar for when a new season rolls around so you can take another dive into your closet and do it all over again.
Words by Jessica Testa
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