De-clutter Guide: How to Clean Out the Closet (Part Two)

Amy Daniels | Oct 24, 2013 @ 11:38 AM

In August, we covered some tips for creating a clutter-free closet. From finding a de-clutter buddy to safely storing seasonal clothing, some of you have already assumed the challenge of reenergizing the place where your morning routine often comes to a halt.

But take a quick peek into your closet. What’s in there? Clothes. Shoes. Those are good, right? What about that old figurine your grandmother gave you that one time at the family reunion when you were eight? How about the stack of textbooks from those mandatory science classes, or that box filled with fabric that you’ll eventually craft with? It may be hard to know if you should store or keep, and you may not know which items are most appropriate to toss.

Whether you’ve already completed your first closet purge or you’re anxiously thinking that you may start, perhaps this second batch of tips can be helpful. Soon, you’ll transform your bedroom closet from a wreck of discarded gifts and unloved belongings to a place of inspiration, organization, and even appreciation.

Get functional

One thing I like to do when I begin an overwhelming project is pull everything out of the space and sort it. I place like items together in neat piles until I’ve found a place for each item.

When you do the same thing, I bet you’ll find that there are plenty of little knick-knacks that don’t really fit into a group. You may even have a pile that you mentally name “random” or “miscellaneous”.

And that’s exactly the point you want to reach.

The more often I do this activity, the more I realize how inclined I am to just stash things wherever I see a white wall – and this is particularly true in my closet. Suddenly it makes sense when I go on a mad hunt, only to discover that what I’m looking for was arbitrarily placed somewhere that perhaps made sense at the time.

Along with the obvious of purging items as you organize, what you’ll want to do is designate. Look up some closet organization tips. Decide what each shelf and each nook is going to store, even if that simply means that you line labeled boxes on your shelves.

Get inspired

You’re more likely to stick to an organized closet if the space makes you feel relaxed, fashionable, coordinated, or energized. Take a look at what you have in those piles you created earlier. Try jotting down your thoughts or even drawing them out if that helps. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Showcase the beautiful pieces. Have you ever considered putting a recent purchase or a go-to item on display? You can feature a favorite piece and use it to set the tone of the entire space.
  • Think seasonally. In the summer, I like to pull out fun and light pieces, and in the winter I often gather my scarves for a cozy display. Use the seasons to inspire the way you decorate your closet – particularly if you feel gloomy as the colder months approach.
  • Color coordinate. Have you ever stepped foot into a Charming Charlie and then found it hard to walk back out? One of the fastest ways to invigorate a bland closet is to sort by color, type, or function.
  • Disguise the ugly. Not everything in your closet will be pretty. From swinging by your nearest craft store and picking up a decorative memory box to browsing the fun file boxes at an office supply store, you can combine storage and design for hidden pieces.

Getting inspired may just mean damage control. If there’s something you don’t like about your closet (like mismatched hangers, for example), carve out an hour this week to finally conquer it.

Get rid of sentimental items (and feel good about it)

We always manage to hold onto things that we never even chose for ourselves. Maybe your well-intentioned aunt knit you a scratchy wool blanket. Or perhaps one of your close friends just completely missed your style when she bought you a personalized hat.

So you vow to never use that item, but suffer agonizing guilt at the thought of tossing it. Don’t fret! You’re not alone. With the help of StorageFront Web Designer Rachael Heslop, you can use this flowchart to weed out the gifts you could really do without.

De-clutter flowchart

Of course, one of the top tips I can give you is to experiment and find what works best. I’m always wary to blindly follow the advice of designers and experts; the thought of being a neat, prim, and tidy person is a nice one, but I know that life just gets in the way.

What works for me may not work for you. Take this advice and use it as starting ground to settle into a routine. Allow yourself to change your mind and feel free to try out ideas that seem dim at best. You never know – maybe someday you’ll be the one sharing your design secrets.

Happy organizing!

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