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Control closet chaos in 5 easy steps



My calendar says that January is Clean Out Your Closets Month but any day is a great day to dive into the depths of your clothes closet and unearth what may be lurking in the dark.

Did you know we only wear 20 percent of the items in our closets? Today, take action and make some simple decisions about what to do with the other 80 percent.


These five steps will guide you:


  1. Start by taking everything out. I know no one wants to hear this but it's the best way to really see what and how much you own. The goal is not to handle each piece and try everything on, but to make quick, thoughtful decisions. You can make the task less painful by playing some music, listening to a favorite podcast, or working with a trusted friend.

  2. Anything that does not belong in a clothes closet should be re-homed. I've found many odd items in the back of a client's closet including multiple boxes of printer paper, old dog beds, electronic musical keyboards, and more. Start by sorting clothes, shoes, boots, bags, hats, belts, scarves and more into the following categories: Keep, Toss, Donate, and Repair. Feel free to keep a small Think About It pile but make sure to come back to it within a week and make final decisions.

  3. So what should you Keep? Keep only items that are in good condition. Anything stained, torn or twisted should go. Keep only items that fit you well. Stick with your current size and one size up and down. Keep only items that you love how you look and feel in them. Any items that bring up bad memories should go immediately.

  4. Divide items into casual wear and business wear and return to closet. Next, sort into categories: shirts, pants, skirts, jackets and more. From there, subdivide into sleeveless, short sleeve, long sleeve, short skirts to long skirts etc. If you want to go even further, sort by color. Use shoe racks/boxes, boot hangers, dividers, specialty hangers etc. as needed. I recommend using the same style and color of hanger for as many items as possible.

  5. Finally, fill bags with donations and send them on their way. I recommend keeping a donation bag, box or decorative basket in the closet. Each time you determine an item is ready to go to a new home, drop it in the bag. When the bag is full, close it up and immediately put it in your vehicle. The next time you run a few errands, drop off the bag at your favorite charitable organization or consignment shop.


Now that you've tamed the closet chaos, set a calendar reminder for six months out and take a peek in the closet and review items again. It doesn't have to be an all-day effort, but at least give it an hour of your time. It gets easier and quicker every time, I promise.

Would you like some help staying on task and getting your closet whipped into shape? Contact me at (608) 345-1836 or melanie@resetorganizing.com to get started.


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