1. Gather your supplies
Gather garbage sacks for clothes to donate or pass on, and at least two empty boxes or laundry baskets for things that need to be removed or relocated within the closet. Bring a paper and pen for taking notes or for making a list of clothing that needs to be replaced. If you need to clean your closet, gather your favorite cleaning supplies. If you don’t already have some, get some matching hangers (even plastic will do), and baskets if needed. Oh, and don’t forget the music and the snacks. (It helps, I promise!)
2. Catch the Vision
Determine how your closet needs to serve you. Can you just store your apparel and accessories there, or do you need to fit in another type of storage or function? Determining your goal from the start will help you as you purge and organize your space. As our good friend Stephen put it, “Begin with the end in mind.”
3. Take EVERYTHING Out
Yes. I said everything. This step is so important because by taking everything out, you get a better idea of how much stuff you have and you are more likely to get rid of things you no longer need if it’s already out of your space. An empty closet can inspire a heavy purge of your things so that you can have more breathing room! What a beautiful feeling!
4. Clean it
Move from top to bottom dusting and wiping down everything, then vacuum or sweep/mop your floors for a really fresh slate. If you want to be fancy, use some fabulous essential oil spray (you know the kind I’m talking about…). Somehow, it really does help make cleaning more pleasurable!
5. Establish zones
Designate different areas for different types of things. For example, one side of the closet for his and one side for hers. Or, one drawer for underwear and socks, and one for pants. Don’t allow yourself to shove too many dissimilar things into a drawer or basket. If needed, use drawer organizers or shoe boxes to separate things within the same drawer. Do your best to get a general idea, then move forward, embracing the fact that it will likely shift as you go.
6. Purge Your Clothes
Start by pulling out everything that you know you love and wear frequently and place it in the proper zone. Then, find items that are uncomfortable. don’t fit, don’t speak to you, or that don’t flatter you and say, “Sionara, sucker!” (or, you can graciously thank it for serving you) and stuff it in your donate bag. By moving from what you love to what you hate, you knock off all of the low-hanging fruit and you fine-tune your abilities to deal with the more middle-ground stuff. Lastly, go through the middle-ground stuff and donate or put away accordingly.
7. Purge & Organize Miscellaneous Items
If you must store other things in your closet, don’t just put them all back in a tidy way. First, try to purge what you can (if you haven’t yet, grab my free guide to purging your stuff!). Then, put things back in their zones, also with labels to help you remember and hold you accountable to your new system.
8. Perfect Your System
If you get through organizing and realize you have a basket with, say, scarves and socks, go buy another basket. Give yourself what you need to create an effective system that will maintain itself. If you got through it all and need a few more labels, do it as soon as possible while it’s still on your mind!
9. Maintain, Maintain, Maintain!
Commit to putting things back in their proper places. Likewise, resolve to remove unwanted items every time you get something new. If you buy a new t-shirt, get rid of the nasty grease-stained one. One in, one out! As you shop, acknowledge what you need and what you don’t need. If you don’t need it or love it, or have any doubts about whether it flatters you, don’t buy it! It will only become a burden to you later (remember your before closet?). Maintenance is easier if you don’t constantly have stuff flowing into it.
Pass the Martinelli’s, friend! You did it! It’s time to go have a fashion show or something with all of those clothes you love. Boom, baby!
Do you have any questions or closet struggles? Comment below and I will do my best to help you solve your closet quandaries!