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How To Organize Your Closet

INF4263Many closets are so cluttered that just opening the door can make your heart sink. In an organized closet everything is accessible and there is a feeling of peace when you open the door. How do you know when a closet needs organization? If you can't see what you have, can't find what you want when you want it, and feel frustrated every time you look inside, your closet needs organizing.

Here are five steps to turn your jumbled closet into one you will love.

1. Remove everything from the closet and spruce up the space.

Wipe down walls and shelving, sweep it out or vacuum carpeting. You are creating a masterpiece, so start with a clean canvas. If it's a large closet, empty and clean it one section at a time to prevent discouragement and overwhelm.

2. Make three piles: 1) things to keep, 2) things to sell or give away, 3) things to throw out.

If you are organizing a clothes closet, everything you keep should fit, be in style and be ready to wear. If an item is uncomfortable or ill fitting, stained, ripped, worn out, outdated, or inappropriate for your age or the image you desire to project, it may be time to let it go.

If you are organizing a storage closet, the things you keep should be in good and usable condition and worthy of the space they take.

If an item is in good condition, but no longer useful for your lifestyle, box or bag it up for charity or your next garage sale, or to pass on to someone you know who may better use it.

If it's torn, broken, cracked, discolored, or in overall disrepair, and not capable of being repaired or refurbished, it's probably time to throw it out.

If you are uncertain about an item, move it to another location to look at it again later. When the time comes to reassess your decision, ask yourself: "Do I really love it?" "Do I, or will I, ever use it?" If the answer is "no" get rid of it.

3. Take the "throwaways" directly to the trash, and the "giveaways" directly to your vehicle.

If your charitable donations are already in your car, the next time you are out and about you will be prepared to drop them off. Another benefit of getting these things immediately out of the house is that you will create space within your environment that can be used for additional sorting, organizing and decluttering.

4. Put back the items you are keeping so you can see and access everything easily.

There are several ways to organize a clothes closet:

� By season: hang the in season items in the more convenient location of your closet and out of season clothes toward the back, stored in plastic bins, or in another location.
� By use: keep categories of clothes such as work, casual, evening, exercise or sports grouped together.
� By complete outfit: assemble everything for a single outfit together, including shoes and accessories.
� By color palette: group everything together that goes with black, same for brown and navy.
� By item type: keep all items of the same classification together, such as pants, blouses or shirts, sweaters, dresses, etc.

Use your lifestyle to decide which system best works for you. If you have to dress up for work each day, you may want to have complete outfits at the ready to minimize the amount of time you need each day to dress and prepare. If you are under no time pressure when choosing your daily outfit, any of the systems can work.

Other ways to keep your clothes closets organized and clutter free are:

� Use sturdy hangers and avoid wire hangers as they rust, bend and do not provide good support for garments.
� Whenever possible utilize the shelf and wall space to stack or hang items. However, do not overload or assign too many items to one system. For example, if you put up wall hooks for bags or purses, decide that you will put no more than three items on one hook.
� By all means, keep as much off the floor as possible. Stuff on the floor can be a safety hazard, as well as contribute to excessive and unnecessary wear and tear on garments.

5. Prevent future closet clutter by making a commitment to maintenance and conscious consumption.

Make maintaining an organized closet an ongoing activity. Organization is not a one time job because things don't stay organized without attention and maintenance. Quarterly sessions scheduled into your calendar for regular maintenance can make keeping closets organized easier.

When shopping, ask yourself if you can use something you already own to fill a need before you buy something new. Don't fall into the trap of thinking you will take it back if it doesn't work or you decide you don't need it. Few people follow through on that commitment.

I cannot overstate and the power and joy of organizing and decluttering your closets. Once you start, you will feel a change in the flow of energy, experience increased satisfaction, and save money and time. Remember, less is more. If you have only what you love, looks good, and what perfectly fits your lifestyle, you'll have more confidence, energy and success.

Perhaps these following famous people can better drive the point home:

True elegance consists not in having a closet bursting with clothes, but rather in having a few well chosen numbers in which one feels totally at ease. Coco Chanel

"They should put expiration dates on clothes, so we would know when they go out of style." Gary Shandling

I did not have 3,000 pairs of shoes. I had 1,600. Imelda Marcos

Mary Sigmann is a Certified Professional Organizer and business coach, providing custom solutions including hands on home and office organization, one to one coaching for executives and staff, and workshops and seminars for companies, organizations and corporate teams. Her contact information and full range of books and professional services can be viewed at http://www.organizer

Article Source:

Photo courtesy of The Container Store


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