How Did My Closet Get So Full?

How Did My Closet Get So Full?

messy closetAre your closets brimming with newer items?  Some resulting from seasonal sale items you could not resist? Or maybe the “newbies” are the result of replacing non-fitting clothing.  Or did a friend clean out her closet and “gift” you items she thought you might like? Whatever the reason/cause of the bulging closet, you need a serious closet overhaul!

If you are dreading the ordeal and stress of purging, trying to decide what to keep and what to part with and distributing the un-wanted items and don’t know where to begin…here are a few ideas to get you moving in the right direction.

Keep these 3 things in mind as you work through it all:

  • Does it fit?
  • Is it in style?
  • Is it in season?

Then ask yourself:

  • When you wore or used it last?
  • When will you wear or use it again?
  • Who could use this if you gave it away?

NOTE:  A very important point in all this is to find a charity you like and are comfortable with to donate your excesses to for their distribution to those who need them.  Others not only want your discards, but many may truly need them.

3 Steps in sorting:

  1. Discard….things that have no further use to anyone. There will not be many in this category. If you are unsure, let the charity decide.
  2. Donate/recycle…clothes, shoes, purses, hats, etc. suitable to give to a friend, donate to charity or take to a consignment store. Do not save clothes that you have had for years that just don’t fit. When you lose the weight…you deserve a new and updated wardrobe!
  3. Keep/use…these items in your active closet, which are then placed where they can be seen & used. Seasonal items can be stored elsewhere until needed.

Additional Organizational Tips:

  • In the closet you dress from daily, separate the pants, skirts, shirts, blouses, etc. This will make it easier to get dressed without frustration. Long sleeve together, etc.
  • Do not store furs, suede or leather in plastic. These items need to “breathe” and should be placed in cloth coverings or cloth bags. Old pillowcases may work well here. Simply, cut an opening in the closed end and slip it over the hanger. Zippered, cloth clothes bags are ideal.
  • Do not store shoes in plastic shoeboxes. Ventilation is key here. Use the box they came in or buy cardboard boxes. Video/Photo boxes may work here. Or prop them on shoe racks either on the closet door or floor.
  • Use plastic hangers for blouses, shirts, jackets, etc. Wire hangers are not kind to the shoulders of clothes and allow too many clothes to be crammed into a smaller space. They are “wrinkle magnets”.
  • Use clip hangers for pants, skirts, shorts, etc. They take up less space in the closet and eliminate creases in pant legs. I don’t recommend hangers that hold several articles of clothing. They allow too many clothes to be packed into a smaller place, again inviting wrinkles.
  • Hatboxes, of various sizes, can be used to store out of season purses and hats and can also serve as decorative items in the bedroom or on a closet shelf. Label as needed. See through or clear containers keep items in view for easy use.
  • Belt & tie racks are good. Just keep them simple and easily accessible.
  • Special occasion wear (“fancy” dresses, jackets, tuxedos, etc.) should be stored away from your “active” use closet.
  • Storing seasonal clothing in another closet or in containers on a shelf, will allow more active closet space and make it easier to find what you need…with less wrinkles and less stress.

Maintenance tips: 

Once your closet is looking good, you will need a maintenance plan. It won’t stay that way without your continuing attention.

  • Buy new clothing, etc. on a replacement basis only. One item in…one item out! Trust me it works at insuring you are wearing all you have.
  • Don’t buy something just because it is on sale, if you don’t NEED it. Ask yourself, “Would I have paid full price for this?” Then, if you really want/need the item…follow step 1 above…one items in & one item out!
  • Purge regularly, when the seasons change, getting rid of articles you have not worn or used this season…or this year. You either do not like them or do not need them.
  • Remember someone else can use your discards. Knowing it is going to a good cause helps tremendously in aiding in your purging. If you have trouble deciding what to keep, ask a friend to help you decide. This should be a friend who is up to date on fashion and will not allow you to keep something that is out of style just because you paid a lot of money for it!

 Now go see what’s lurking in your closets!

Authored by: Ann Gambrell

Ann Gambrell is an organizational consultant, helping busy people to get organized since 1985. Ann is the originator of Creative Time-Plus, and conducts seminars, workshops and classes throughout the country. Ann is a founder and active member, of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. Her cassette tape and CD series relate to a variety of organizational topics including paperwork management, clutter control and kitchen organizing. View Ann's Profile on LinkedIn

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