Spring cleaning is here! And it’s one of those things that people always talk about, but never seem to do as much as they intend to. I want to spring clean my whole house, but I’m not sure how to tackle it. But closets? I can handle those. Here are six steps for cleaning out your closet:
1. Clean your floor or use your bed. This is a crucial first step. It may sound strange, but you’re going to need space to sort all the clothes in your closet (as well as random knick-knacks and empty paint cans that ended up in there). You don’t want to have to throw it all immediately in the laundry! So clean your floor, and make your bed so that you have a clean space to work with. This may require cleaning your room, but that could be a nice spring cleaning bonus.
2. Make piles. These should be specific to you and whether or not you plan on donating anything. Here is what I would recommend: One pile for each type of clothing or accessory (pants, belts, pajama pants, etc.), then one pile for trash (you know you have items that have completely lost their elastic), and one for donations. You can even make a pile of clothes to bring to that friend who loves hand-me-downs and always asks where you go things. Or to a clothing trading party.
3. Gather all the hangers. As you are placing items in a pile, make another pile just for hangers. You can keep hangers on clothes if you want, but there are going to be a lot of stray hangers and you need to put them all in once place. If you cleaned your room and your floor in order to make room for all these piles, you’re going to feel like your room has gotten way too messy too fast with all these piles in your room. Don’t add to it with just letting hangers go all over the place. Keep them together. You can even sort them. Keep the wire ones in one pile, and the skirt/pants hangers in another. Whatever keeps you sane.
4. Sort (and be ruthless). Now take it one pile at a time. Go through all your dresses or pants. The bonus side with having sorted piles here is that you’re weighing a dress against other dresses that you own, rather than on its own. So yes, the blue polka dot dress is cool. That’s why you bought it. But looking at it in the context of your other dresses and you begin to see that maybe you have one too many blue dresses, and the polka dot one that you planned to wear but never did can probably find a home somewhere else.
5. Organize and plan. Before you put everything back in the closet, think about how to arrange it so that it stays organized. If you have to spend some extra money on belt hangers like the ones in the link (which I included because I just found out about these last year, and they’re a godsend!), or take a little while to DIY some shoe storage (I’m a fan of repurposing the wire hangers), then go for it! Think strategically about what might not only organize your closet, but help it to stay organized. After all, the point of cleaning out your closet is to reduce clutter. Try to find some organization tactics that reduce the clutter even further!
6. Stick with your plan. When you put everything back in the closet this first time, remind yourself that this task will be a lot easier next year if you keep stuff organized. Remember that you can hang a belt on a belt hook very quickly, and keep up with your good work.
Best of luck!