Many 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.

 

  1. 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  If an item is uncomfortable or ill-fitting, stained, ripped, worn out, outdated, or inappropriate for your age or the image you desire to project, it may be time to let it go.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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.
  1. 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 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

If you spend most days flying by the seat of your pants – disorganized, confused, feeling stressed and wondering what is falling through the cracks – an investment of 30 minutes each morning can help.

 

Here are five daily habits that can change your life and make your day better organized.  These action steps will take, at the most, six-minutes each.  The five daily habits have made  a great  impact on my life and on the lives of those I serve as a professional organizer.  I invite you to consider adopting them.

 

  1.  Take six minutes to make your bed shortly after you get up.  Think of it as the transition that completes your nightly sleep time and begins your daily activities.  Your bedroom will appear better organized and this task will provide you with your first successful accomplishment of the day.  At the end of the day, you will find that the experience of entering a nicely made bed is both comforting and calming.  Make this a ritual that affirms the importance of a restful night’s sleep and provides a symbolic beginning and end to the day.
  2. Take six minutes to center your mind and body.  Each morning, sit quietly for a few minutes to settle your thoughts and relax your body.  Listen to the sounds around you; imagine yourself in a serene and peaceful place; feel the beat of your heart; pay attention to the inhaling and exhaling of your breath.  This small investment in stillness will reap tremendous benefits throughout the day.  You will enter the day with a greater sense of well-being and a clearer mind.
  3. Take six minutes to eat something nutritious.  No time for breakfast?  Try to have on hand something quick and easy such as a banana, a bowl of cereal, piece of whole wheat toast, instant oatmeal or a granola bar.  Get something into your system to kick start the day.  Your mind and body will work better and your ability to be organized and operate effectively will increase.
  4. Take six minutes to go over your “to do” list.  One technique is to take a piece of paper and draw one vertical line down the middle and one horizontal line across the center to create four quadrants.  Use each quadrant to list different kinds of tasks you are facing for this day.  One quadrant can be for errands to run, another for appointments, a third for people to contact by email or telephone, and the fourth for action steps related to current projects on which you are working.  Now that you have your list, take a second look and realistically assess whether or not your list is too big for one day.  If so, eliminate the non-priority tasks.  Making a daily to-do list will reinforce your awareness of what’s ahead and allow you to visualize it all getting done effortlessly.  This will increase your chances of having a successful and productive day.
  5. Take six minutes to delete all incoming emails that are obvious junk.  Before you concentrate on the important business of the day, why not quickly clean out the spam and clutter in your inbox.  Not only will this reduce the amount of mail to which you need to pay attention, it will also bring what’s really important into better focus.

Total time invested:  30 minutes.  Results:  Priceless.

 

For more information on formulating your own “Five Daily Habits,” or to order a daily habits reminder bracelet, please visit my website at

http://www.organizer-coach.com/bracelet.html