Every fall and spring I devote some time to cleaning out my closet. When it's done, I love peeking in the closet and seeing so much space. I can literally breathe better when not looking past a lot of visual clutter to decide what to wear. I actually feel like I have MORE to wear.
How did I get my closet to this point and get ready for fall? With about three and a half hours of concentrated effort which, oddly enough, was fun for me.
This photo is the end result of one section of the closet. Here is what I did:
Step 1: Prepare. I started laundry so everything would be clean by the time I finished the job, made the bed and removed extra pillows for plenty of room to lay out clothes, and got some black garbage bags from the garage. I wore my workout clothes, so I could work quickly, with energy, and sort of consider it a workout!
Step 2: Remove Clothes from Closet. I started at one end of the hanging clothes, gathered up items, keeping them on the hangers, and laid them in stacks on the bed. My closet was already organized into types of clothing. If yours is not, start categorizing as you lay it on the bed in these groups: Jackets, Cardigans, Tops (Sleeveless, Short-Sleeve, Long-Sleeve), Dress Pants, Jeans, Dresses, Skirts, and whatever other categories work for you. When the bed was full, I started evaluating each item, one category at a time, to easily see the number of jackets or skirts and the colors and types. If I didn't like it anymore, hadn't worn it at all, it didn't fit, or looked pilled or worn out, I threw it in a pile on the bedroom floor, and put the hangers in another pile. I tried on as needed, and as I finished a category, I hung everything back in the closet
This is the entire pile of clothes I later donated to Goodwill, and the hangers, which I later put back in the closet, some in a bin on a top shelf, and some hanging at the end of one of the rods to use as needed.
Step 3--Drawers. I followed the same process with everything in my drawers. I put the contents of my drawers on the bed, again in categories, and made decisions on whether to keep each item. This included t-shirts, sweaters, camisoles, workout wear, socks, tights, underwear, bras, scarves and a few miscellaneous things like sentimental items. I put everything back, a little differently, because of new extra space and how I will use things for the fall and winter.
Step 4--Shoes. The shoe sorting went quickly. I put away summer sandals and got out my boots, which were in bins on the top shelf, found a place for everything and got rid of maybe one pair.
Step 5--Purses and Tote Bags. My weakness. I had a lot of purses that I didn't really use or like anymore, so added those to the pile. I stored the rest on shelves with dividers. I even had extra room to put some boots on the shelves with the dividers.
I ended up with three more piles: (1) Things my daughter might want, (2) Need mending or altered, and (3) Summer clothes to be stored.
Step 6--The End. Lastly, I put the items to donate in the black garbage bags, put the summer items in the same bins I had taken my winter boots and shoes from, and set aside the pile for my daughter. I also ended the process with a list of things to shop for, which was surprisingly short.
I hope you have a great time editing your closet, and please let me know if you have questions or need help!
Patty Pacelli is an editor, author, entrepreneur, wife and mother of two adult children, Briana and Trevor. She is the co-creator of the Six-Word Lessons Series along with her husband Lonnie. She is the author of Six-Word Lessons to Look Your Best and Six-Word Lessons for Autism Friendly Workplaces.