With the current social situation – social distancing – you may be looking for things to do at home.
This may be a great time to do some cleaning and organizing, and why not choose your closet for a makeover.
Not only will you make your closet more organized and pleasing to look at, you can donate some items to a local charity which may be in dire need at this time.
Here are 5 easy ways and techniques to clean out and reorganize your closet. Use one or all of them to help you get your closet cleaned.
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Reasons for Closet Cleaning
1. If your Closet is too full, Clean it Out
This may seem obvious – and maybe it should be. You know if your closet is too full – i.e. you have too many clothes.
A good tell is if, when you look to get dressed for the day, do you struggle to see what clothes you actually have in your closet. This could be that you have shoes piled on top of one another. It could be that you cannot move your hanging clothes to allow some airspace in between…you have a cluttered closet and you should be cleaning it out.
2. You have Installed or Are Installing a New Closet Organizer
If this is you and you have recently installed a new custom closet organizer, then you definitely want to clean out your closet before putting everything back into it.
And if you have already decided that a new closet organizer is in your future, then you will also want to clean out the unwanted and unnecessary clothing and shoes before you install the new organizer.
Cleaning Out Your Closet Techniques
1. Get Rid of Duplicates
An easy way to get rid of duplicates is to sort your wardrobe by item type and color.
While this may not seem like a way to get rid of unnecessary clothing and shoes, it can actually be a great help to clean out your closet.
For example, when you sort your shoes by color, you will see exactly how many pairs of black flats or black boots you have. This will allow you to see the duplicates. Once identified as a duplicate, you can keep your favorite one and get rid of the other.
2. If you Love it, Keep it
When looking at the items in your closet, ask yourself if you love the item or not.
It is pretty simple – If you love it, you should keep it. If you don’t love it, you should get rid of it.
Keep this mantra in mind:
Love It or Leave It
But, remember – you can’t possible LOVE everything so this technique should work to rid you of some of your least favorite wardrobe items.
3. Bring Something In, Something Has to Go Out
This closet cleaning technique is more of a maintenance program than a way to clean your closet on a one-time basis – and it can be extremely effective.
For those super shoppers, you may find yourself needing to clean out your closet more often than others.
As is obvious, the more you bring into your closet, the more it gets filled – and possibly cluttered.
Use this rule to keep your closet clean and organized. If you bring in a new sweater, you must get rid of one of your sweaters. If you want to be a little less strict, you can substitute that sweater for a blouse or even t-shirt. Take that further and you can even substitute getting rid of a pair of pants for a dress. Whether you choose to substitute or not, just remember the rule: Bring one in, Take one out.
Using this method on a regular basis may be a way to completely avoid having to do a yearly closet purge at all – well worth considering, in my view.
4. Items Unworn Must Go
You may have heard this technique for cleaning out your closet. If you have not worn it in a certain period of time, you should get rid of it.
But…what exactly is that period of time? And, how do you know what you have worn or not worn in that period of time?
I will let you decide what time frame you prefer to set for this process. If you are a person who loves to change your style season by season, then you can have a shorter time frame in which to evaluate whether you have worn a piece or not. For you style icons, you can set this time frame to 3-6 months.
For others who don’t follow fashion trends as much or just prefer classic dressing, you can use a 1 year or even 2 year time frame for evaluating whether you have worn something or not.
Whichever case or time frame you fit into, there is a simple way to track what you have worn or not.
When you have worn something, simply turn the hanger the other way. This way, you will know exactly what you have worn most recently – and find out what your really don’t wear at all.
For shoes, you can turn them backwards when you return them to their shelf so you can know that you have worn them.
For some – dare I say, Type A or obsessive personalities – this lack of symmetry may bother you. But, trust me, the slight distraction in an otherwise clean and organized closet will be worth it
5. Dedicated Number of Hangers
Decide on a dedicated number of hangers in your closet.
This closet has too many hangers – and hence, too many clothes!
When your closet is empty, hang your hangers on the rods. Leave about 1 inch of space between them, and count how many will fit. That is the number of hangers you should limit yourself to.
If you really need more hangers, you can leave a little less space between the hangers. This will give you a few more hangers. If you don’t have to, why do it? After all, clothes do like to and, in fact, need to breathe.
The more space your hanging clothes have, the happier they will be.
A Cleaned Out Closet – Organized and Uncluttered
In this closet, the hangers are spaced even more than 1 inch apart, leaving sufficient room between the blouses, top, shirt, dresses and pants. Bravo! So bravo that this closet owner could even add a few hangers – but only if they really want to.
When you are finished cleaning your closet
Think about this – If you do this well enough, you may even want to splurge on a new closet organizer design. With a good hold on what you want to keep, and what you actually wear, you will be well prepared to design a custom closet to suit your real needs.
For example, if you know that you wear a lot of t-shirts or sweaters – which tend to be better off folded on a shelf – you should incorporate some shelf space in your new closet design.
If you wear a lot of dresses, then you will need a high hanging rod which may take up some space which could have been used for a double hanging rod system.
Also, if you are a shoe shopper and love your shoes and boots, you will definitely need to allocate space for your beloved shoe stash.
For the shoe-ie or boot-ie, check out this custom closet shoe shelf…
Admittedly, if you have installed this custom shoe closet, with the amount of shoe and boot storage it has, you should not have to clean out your shoe closet very often.
For those with less shoes and boots than on these shelves, you could take a portion of this custom closet unit and use some of the shelves for tops, sweaters, shorts or even handbags.
Your Newly Cleaned Out Closet
Imagine being able to have your closet look like this – this after you have cleaned out your existing closet of all unnecessary items.
With the addition of a custom closet organizer, you can space your clothing, shoes and accessories properly, you can see what you actually have – not to mention that you have a closet which looks beautiful – it even has space for some decorative accents like a plant and wall art.