Your closet is your personal space. It’s full of your favorite belongings and things that only you should touch. This makes cleaning it very difficult.
After all, decluttering your closet means you have to get rid of everything, right?
Well, not really. Decluttering isn’t necessarily about throwing everything away. In reality, it’s more about making your closet a less overwhelming space.
With that goal in mind, here are five things to remember as you declutter your closet.
1. It’s Okay To Keep The Good Stuff
Some decluttering experts will tell you only to keep the basics. That’s a necessity if your space is severely limited. Otherwise, if you like it and it’s in good shape, keep it!
Of course, storage then becomes a problem. If you want to keep a lot of things, you’ll have to find a spot for each item.
Since most closets are closed off with limited airflow, the items in your closet can get musty and wrinkled. Therefore, you must learn how to properly house your clothing and accessories, especially the stuff you don’t wear frequently.
Baskets, bins, and shelves are quick fixes that will last for the long haul if you know how to use them correctly.
How To Use Drawers & Baskets To Save Space
It’s not enough to have storage supplies. For them to help you, you need to learn how to use them.
Certain items fit in drawers or baskets, but that doesn’t mean they belong there. Keep these tips in mind as you decide what to hang, fold, or store in bins:
Use drawers to store jeans, t-shirts, tank tops, underwear, swimsuits, and items that don’t wrinkle.
Group items into categories (underwear, jeans/shorts, tops, etc.) and separate them with a drawer divider.
Hang anything that wrinkles easily, including dress shirts, slacks, blazers, and tops.
Make sure your hangers match, as it looks cleaner. And if space is tight, grab some cascading hangers to magically add room.
Large baskets and totes can be used for spare blankets and seasonal items like jackets. If you hardly ever wear something, keep it stored in a vacuum-sealed bag under your bed.
Small bins are great for storing accessories like purses, hats, and jewelry.
For maximum efficiency, only buy one type of storage bin. That way, they’ll stack and sit flush without wasted space between them.
2. Storage Containers Are Your Best Friends
Some people think that you have to get rid of things that don’t fit you. That’s not the case!
Instead of making rash decisions, get some storage bins to keep somewhere other than your closet. Whether they go in the attic or a storage shed, you’ll be able to keep the things you like, even if you don’t wear them right now.
Be wary of using this as a permanent solution, though. Many organizational experts say that if you’ve had something in storage for six months, it’s time to get rid of it for good.
3. You Can Have A Seasonal Closet
Obviously, spring is the most popular time to declutter. But you’re not limited to a once-a-year cleanse. If you’ve got an extensive wardrobe, why not adjust your closet seasonally?
Think about how you store your holiday decorations. Most likely, you keep them in separate totes with a label on them that tells you what’s inside. When the holidays come around, you bring them out until it’s time to box them up again.
You can do this for your wardrobe too!
Designate an area in your closet for year-long clothes and accessories.
Then, separate your seasonal clothes into corresponding piles and store them in tubs with “Due By” labels to remind you when to revamp your closet.
4. Be Realistic About Your “Keepers”
No one is telling you that you have to get rid of everything in your closet. You can make those decisions for yourself, but you have to be realistic.
Yes, you can keep more than you think. But no, this doesn’t mean that hoarding is an acceptable, or even healthy, practice.
If the idea of getting rid of certain things fills you with dread, keep them. However, if you find yourself unable to get rid of anything, you might have a bigger problem on your hands.
As a general rule of thumb, the things you keep should make you feel happy. They should also be in good condition and fit you well, plus or minus one size.
5. The Finished Product Should Be Organized
As the saying goes, always begin with the end in mind. What do you want your finished closet to look like?
Decide on a storage system that is functional and streamlined before you put anything back. You don’t want to do all of this work just to end up with a closet in disarray at the end of the week.
Ideas For Getting (And Staying) Organized
Consider these final suggestions on how to keep your closet organized after you declutter:
- Use a system to hang your clothes. The clothes you wear frequently should be front and center. Keep your wardrobe sorted by type, then color, so you know where to find things and put them back.
- Don’t shove anything to make it fit. If you find yourself tight on space, consider adding extra shelves or standalone
- Only keep clothing and accessories in your closet. But if there’s a better place to house them, use it.
- Makeup and jewelry belong in a vanity outside your closet. Purses and scarves can hang on a rack in your bedroom.
It’s tempting to stuff everything you own in your closet. But this is a slippery slope that leads to clutter and disorganization.
Stay strong and avoid using your closet as a catch-all!
Decluttering your closet is a process that’s different for everyone. Your final product should be something that makes you feel good when you step back to look at it.
These tips will guide you to a clean and organized bedroom closet, but ultimately, the decision to keep things or toss them is yours alone.
Aaron Hunt is the Property Manager of Prime Place UNL, a student apartment complex near UNL.