The dreaded bedroom closet. Filled with dusty shoes, piles of sweaters and forgotten t-shirts. Closet organization can be one of the toughest tasks to accomplish when completing a decluttering project. It is often one of the most-used spaces in the home as well as the most neglected.
But the bedroom closet can be one of the best places to start your organization journey. It offers a lot of bang for your buck and you can begin to enjoy the fruits of your labor right away. A clean closet makes it easier to get ready in the morning. It makes your bedroom more relaxing. And once you check it off your list, it can give you confidence to move forward in decluttering the rest of the home.
Before you begin your closet organization…..
Before you begin a closet organization, set yourself up for success. I always suggest to my clients to begin with these steps:
Gather three boxes: one for garbage, one for donation and one for the “maybe”pile
Remove anything and everything from the closet that doesn’t belong there. Sports equipment, paperwork, leftover pizza from last night.. you get the idea.
Write down a mission statement. A mission statement includes 3-5 sentences about what you want to accomplish. For example, I want to organize my closet so I can get dressed more easily in the morning. I want to remove clothes that no longer fits me. My goal is to make getting ready enjoyable every morning instead of a chore. Don’t overthink your mission statement. Just write from the heart and your true desires will become clear.
Choosing the Right Time…..
The right time to complete a closet organization differs for everyone. Most often my clients that want a closet organization service are going through some kind of life shift – career change, recent weight loss, new baby. There is a definite correlation between changes in your life and changes in your closet.
I would suggest choosing a time though when it is most convenient for you and your family. Pick a week when there isn’t much going on and you have the time to dedicate to the project. Saturdays and Sundays work well when a tight time frame might be needed to motivate you. If you take care of kiddos, choose a day when there is reinforcement there to keep them occupied.
The right time is whenever you can dedicate 100% of your effort, attention and focus to the project. When you are preoccupied with others things, these types of jobs never seem to get done. You become disengaged and unmotivated. Give it all you got to get the results you want.
Have a plan for the rejects…..
Hopefully by the end of your closet organization, you have a lot of stuff heading out the door. But what do you do with it all? One of the worst things you can do is let it linger somewhere else in your home… or worst yet in the beautiful closet you just spent hours on.
You need to have a plan in place on where those rejects will go.
Choose a specific donation location that you want to take your gently used items. Know when they accept drop-offs and plan the day you will deliver them. Take pictures for tax purposes before you drop them off.
I hate to say it but you probably have more than a few items in your closet that need to go right into the garbage bin. This is hard for a lot of people because it feels wasteful. But please do not donate items that are worn, have holes or are in disrepair. The whole concept of thrift stores is to offer people affordable clothes that they can look and feel great in. They deserve to be given clothes that are in good condition. Put items that belong in the trash.. in the trash!
I never will tell a client that they have to get rid of something. In fact, I will always tell them that they can keep everything in their closet if they want to. But there comes a time in every closet organization when people waiver on whether or not to keep something. Rather than make a tough choice, I suggest they put it in the maybe pile. The maybe pile then gets stored for a period of time (typically six months). After that time, you revisit those items and make a final decision. You need to have a plan on where you will keep that box (hint: don’t make it too accessible) and for how long you will keep it for.
Tips for a Shared Closet Space…..
You may share your closet with a spouse or another family member. Their stuff often gets in the way of our grand plans for a closet organization. First, don’t ever declutter someone else’s items for them. It only leads to conflict and disagreement. Rather take the time to let them know in advance about your organization plans. Gently suggest the ways that they can help you be successful. For example, asking a husband to move their heavy bowling ball out of the space. And you can certainly ask if they would like to join in but don’t be hurt if they aren’t as enthused as you are. Not everyone is ready or interested in decluttering their closet space.
Enlist the help of a confidante…..
Having someone else be your partner in crime can be very helpful in reaching your closet organization goals. They can offer advice on what to keep. You can try things on and get their opinion. They can provide sanity (and humor) when you are in the midst of the madness. Consider a friend or family member that has the “organization” knack. Or better yet, hire someone to help you. A professional organizer such as myself has the experience and know-how to get the job done. Plus they can be a neutral voice of reason.
Print these helpful worksheets…..
I have created these worksheets to make sure your closet organization project is a success. Print them out before you get started:
Shopping List Printable PDF – keep track of items you need replace as you start your declutter
10 Decluttering Questions Printable PDF – ten questions to ask yourself as you begin the organization process
Need more help…..
If you are ready to begin your closet organization but don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place. Based in northeastern Wisconsin, I offer professional decluttering services inside the comfort of your own home. Not nearby? I also provide custom-tailored virtual coaching. Contact me to get your project started!
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