It’s official—Spring is here! That means the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the flowers are starting to bloom—wait, who am I kidding, we live in Canada and none of that is happening yet! While the calendar tells us that it’s officially Spring, the piles of snow outside our windows remind us that it’s still going to be a few more weeks until the temperatures begin to match the calendar and things outside begin to thaw. But that’s ok because it’s actually an ideal time to get started on some Spring cleaning around your home.
I like to take advantage of cleaning my closet twice a year, and I have found that Spring and Fall are the perfect seasons to take a closet inventory and stay on top of wardrobe seasonality.
It’s also a great way to kickstart the Spring cleaning in the rest of your home. To help you get started and hopefully inspire you to tackle your to-do list, I’ve compiled some of my closet organizing ‘best practices’ for you below.
Step 1: Purge
The first step is to evaluate each item in your closet (this includes clothing, shoes, accessories, purses, etc) and sort it all into three separate piles: keep, sell, and donate. You can approach this in a number of ways and with a number of sorting ‘philosophies’ (KonMari, anyone?) but regardless of how you decide to approach this task, the end result should be the same: three separate and distinct piles, each one ready for action (we’ll talk about this later on).
Step 2: Clean
Now that your closet is completely empty it’s time to give it a deep clean. Wash any scuff marks off the walls, wipe shelves, and vacuum the floor. Not only is this a great time to get rid of all the dust bunnies, but it’s also a great time to have a look at the space in your closet and decide if you could be using it more effectively. Closets provide ample opportunity to take advantage of some vertical storage space so have a look and decide if shelves could stand to be readjusted or if extra rods can be installed in order to make better use of your closet’s real estate.
Step 3: Restock
Store your clothes by category and place the clothing you most frequently use at eye level. Keep like items with like items (blazers with blazers, pants with pants, etc) and decide which items you will hang and which ones can be folded on shelves. Typically, anything that is delicate, fancy, or very sturdy should be hung up, while things like t-shirts and sweaters can be folded and grouped together on shelves.
PRO TIP: To give your closet an ultra clean and organized look, hang everything facing the same direction and use coordinating hangers to limit visual clutter.
Step 4: Tuck and Roll
If you are familiar with the KonMari Method, you will know that Marie Kondo believes in rolling clothing and storing each item so that everything can be easily seen and accessed. This technique can be a major space-saver. Instead of folding and stacking your softer, thinner clothing, simply fold them and roll them up into compact tubes. You can then tuck the rolled clothing into shoe boxes, baskets, or bins (which can fit on shelves) for easy storage.
Step 5: Accessories
Shoes, belts, scarves, jewelry—often these items take up a lot of extra space in our closets and it’s difficult to know how to store these items effectively.
Speaking of shoes, did you know the average woman owns 40 pairs of shoes? (If you asked my husband, he would probably tell you my average is much higher.) So how do you best store your shoes so that they can all be seen and easily accessed? Your instinct might be to put them all on the floor but I have found that method doesn’t work well as they usually get covered up by other items or swept to the side under a shelf and they don’t get seen again until the next season’s purge.
I have found the best method for storing shoes is stacked in clear bins. This way, they can get stacked on top of one another without getting crushed (using that available vertical space I mentioned above), and because they’re in clear bins, each pair is easily seen.
Here are some other handy tips for storing some of your other accessories:
- Use shower curtain hooks and a hanger to store scarves.
- Repurpose a tie rack to organize necklaces and bracelets.
- Use a wine rack to store clutches and handbags.
- Corral belts in a clear glass vase so you can see all of them at once.
(Image credit: onecrazyhouse.com)
Step 6: Donate and Sell
Once everything you have decided to keep is back in your closet, it’s time to turn your attention to the remaining two piles of items you set aside for selling and donating in step 1 of the process. Take photos of everything that is for sale and upload them to apps like Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji to turn your old clothes into a profit.
You can then bag the rest up and take what is left over to your local women’s shelter or your favourite secondhand store so they can be enjoyed by someone else.
Step 7: One in, One Out
To stay on top of closet organization, try subscribing to the ‘one in, one out’ school of thought. Whenever you purchase something new, don’t add it to your closet space until you permanently remove another item from your closet. This helps keep your clothing collection in check and will help make next season’s closet organizing less of an overwhelming task.
Do you have any organizing tips you’d like to share? Feel free to leave me a comment, I’m always on the hunt for time-saving tricks to improve household efficiency.