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Spring is almost here again: time to give your home a refresher, starting with your closet.
Why you should empty out your closet 1x year
While the closet isn’t a place that gets dirty quickly, you’d be surprised at how much dust can accumulate over a year. In order to give your closet a proper cleaning, it’s necessary to take everything out so you can really get into all the drawers and corners. Doing this will keep your freshly washed clothes cleaner and it’ll also create an opportunity for you to reassess your collection and see what you want to keep and what should go. Not only does this help with preventing an overstuffed closet, it’ll also help you rediscover older pieces that you haven’t been wearing in a while.
Organization should meet your needs
If you notice that any spaces get messy really fast, it’s time to make some changes. Sometimes certain organizational systems seem really great on Pinterest or at your friend’s house, but they just don’t seem to work for you. That’s because everyone is different and has different organizational needs. Organization is about finding out what you need and what systems work for you.
For example, I am a big fan of bins and use a lot of them in my closet. Folding shirts on top of each other has never worked for me because I could never keep the stacks looking tidy. Since I switched to bins and started ‘filing’ my shirts, I’ve never had an issue since.
An easy way to organize your clothes
Hanging your clothes is the easiest way to keep things organized. This keeps them wrinkle-free and leaves you with an overview at just a glance. There are things, you may not want to hang though, such as underwear, pajamas, sweat pants,..
This is where bins come into play. They keep everything tidy, as they force you to put things back neatly, otherwise they won’t fit. In addition, they free up quite a bit of space, if you chose to ‘file’ fold your shirts and pants.
How to file fold shirts
Filing works the same way as regular folding, with one extra step. Once you folded the shirt, as you normally would, fold it once more in half. Then place it into a bin, with the fold looking up. Voilà, you just filed a shirt! If you want to keep everything looking extra tidy, you can fold your shirts with a clipboard to ensure they all have the same width.
Bins also work well for smaller items such as underwear, socks and tights.
Shopping for your closet
Before you tackle your closet, visualize how you would like to organize your clothes and what organizational items you’ll need to do it.
- Hangers: If you are planning on hanging more of your items, it may be necessary to purchase a few more hangers. Get sturdy wooden hangers for heavier pieces such as your winter coats, get hangers with clips for skirts and pants and lastly get felt hangers for everything else, as they will prevent your clothes from slipping off.
- Bins and baskets: Both great for organizing items you don’t wish to hang, such as handbags and underwear. Be sure to measure your closet before going out and purchasing them to know how many you will need and in what sizes.
- Boxes: They work well for items you don’t use too often, such as ski wear, gloves, hiking boots,.. and are best stored at the top part of your closet.
The battle plan
As already announced, you want to start off by taking everything out….and I really mean everything. Take out your vacuum cleaner and get into all those drawers and back corners. Once you’ve removed most of the dust, take a microfiber cloth and wipe down all the surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner. If you have glass or mirrors in your closet, use a glass cleaner for those surfaces.
Now that you got the least-fun part out of the way, it’s time to do the actual purging and organization.
First put your new-bought hangers, bins and boxes in the closet, trying out different variations, to see how to best arrange them.
Then make 3 piles for your clothes: Sell, trash (recycle), donate. As you go through your clothes ask yourself the following questions
- When have a last worn this?
- Will I wear it again?
- Does it still fit me?
- Do I feel confident in this?
- Is it still in a good condition?
It’s important to be really honest here, otherwise you won’t get anywhere. If you are too afraid of sorting something out that you’ll regret, store it in a bag and put that bag into your cellar/attic or wherever you do not go often. If you don’t miss it in the next 6 months, it’s time to get rid of it.
In addition to sorting out your clothes, check each item to see if it needs a little care. If you notice any pilling or hair, use a pill shaver and a lint roller to get rid of it.
As you are going through your clothes and notice that some of them need repair, don’t put them back in. Instead, put them in a bag and make a memo to take them to a tailor, or fix them yourself. If you find any clothes that are beyond repair, it’s time to recycle them.
I highly recommend to asses each item individually. Each piece of clothing should ‘earn’ its way back into your closet.
Lastly, add a scented sachet or a bushel of lavender to your closet to give your clothes a lovely scent, if desired.