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How To Organize A Closet: Clear Out The Clutter And Recycle
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How to Organize A Closet: Clear Out the Clutter And Recycle

Figuring out the first steps to take when organizing anything in the home can be daunting. But figuring out how to organize a closet is easier than tackling a whole room and it’s a good step in the right direction toward clearing out the cluttered areas in your home.

What You’ll Need

Before you begin, get out your large plastic trash bags and some small boxes or plastic containers. You will need these as you clean out. You may also want to have a label maker handy for organizing things you put back into the closet. If you don’t have one, no problem. Simply use some index cards, a marker and tape to make labels when the time comes.

Digging In

Get ready to make a mess. Pull everything out of the closet. You may find some interesting things in there and don’t be surprised if you find things you thought you lost. “I wondered where that went,” is a typical exclamation when going through a closet you haven’t seen the back of in years.

Lay any clothing on a nearby sofa or bed. Place shoes, slippers, and boots in another area on the floor. The idea here is simply to categorize the items you pull out as you pull them out. Now go through the clothing and put any items you no longer want or need into one (or more) of the plastic trash bags. As you go through the clothing, categorize the ones you plan to keep into groups: shirts, pants, coats, etc. so they will already be organized when you put them back. Do the same with the footwear. These items can be donated to your local thrift store. Or even consigned if they are still in great condition.

Decisions, Decisions...hmmm

You may have some hesitation when deciding whether to discard certain items. Rule of Thumb: If you haven’t used an item in a year or more, get rid of it. And once you make a decision, stick to it. If you still have a hard time letting go of things, plan to give up one item for every one you keep. This will help you get rid of at least 50 percent of the stuff you are hoarding.

Other things you may find in the closet could include pictures, picture frames, photo albums, vacuum cleaners, umbrellas, hats/scarves/gloves, gifts you never used, small appliances such as electric fans and dust busters.

Whatever it is, decide as soon as you take it out whether you need it or not. If you use it, even seasonally, then by all means, keep it. Or if you’ve been looking for it to use, keep it. If you didn’t even know it was there, then it is a prime candidate for recycling or giving away. Does Aunt Emma need an umbrella?

To Recycle or Not To Recycle?...That is the Question

Understandably, not everything you find may be re-usable. If it can be recycled, place it in the bin for the next recycle day and be sure it makes it to the curb. Some items may not be recyclable and may need to simply be thrown in the trash.

What Else is Lurking in the Deepest Recesses?

Next go through the rest of the items you found lurking in the closet. If there are any other areas in the home where they belong, put them aside for the time being and put them away when you’re done instead of back into the closet.

It's Downhill from Here

The next step is to clean out the closet itself. If you haven’t cleaned it out in a while, you want to do this before you put back the items you intend to keep.

Now you’re ready to put things you are keeping, and that belong in the closet, back into the closet. Larger items like a vacuum cleaner or shoe rack can go on the floor. If you have numerous small items, such as gloves or loose photos, put them into the small containers you have and label the containers. These can be placed on a shelf. If there is no shelf, they can be stacked on the floor. Next, hang any clothing you are keeping back up, grouping them into their categories. Or you may have room for a small shelf unit to keep it orderly.

You may have found a few more things you can add to the donate or recycle piles or trash bags you have. This is why the last thing you should do when organizing the closet is to take out the trash and recycled materials. Lastly, put the donations in your car and plan to drop them off at a local thrift store on your next errand run. Having them already in your car will give you the incentive to get rid of them as soon as possible.

The same procedure for how to organize a closet can be followed for cabinets, drawers, and work areas. Clearing out clutter relieves stress you may not even be aware the clutter was causing. Organizing a closet is a great rainy day activity, gives you a sense of accomplishment, and the incentive to tackle the next area you deem out of control.


Street Talk

Oh if only it was this easy, lol. Good article AnnMarie

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

It is easy if I'm around to help... :O)

Reply
  about 7 years ago

There ya go! I could do it myself but if the wife is involved all we are doing is moving things around, lol

  
  about 7 years ago

A difficult subject you chose AnnMarie!!! Very nice article

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Hey...it's what I do offline! I've been told what I do is considered magic... I love that!!! lol

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I can't function well with clutter around me. It makes me depressed. I try to purge the house twice a year. One room at a time. Good article AnnMarie!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

You are a person after my own heart, Lacey. I can't concentrate with clutter around either.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Man do I need your help. Can you come and do mine after Wayne's? Its surprising what one hordes for a later use and can never find when you need it... but you know you had it... great article...

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

We all know that feeling Rob...makes you crazy! I hate when I put something down when I'm distracted by something else and it disappears! Like...I swear I just had it in my hand a minute ago...!!!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

The amount of times I search for something I know I have... go out and buy another... get home and find the one I knew I had... there has to be a saying for that...

  
  about 7 years ago
  

Hey, are we writers or not? We could probably think of one....kinda reminds me of days when I smoked...could wait an hour for a bus and the minute I lit up, the bus came along. I should have just lit up sooner. No cigs and no buses for me anymore. :)

  
  about 7 years ago

Hell I thought I was the only person that happened to. The wife will say "need another 10minutes" before we go out, so I go outside and lite up a cig, before I take my second drag she arrives and I have to put it out. Let me stay inside however and then the 10 min turns into 20 min. There has to be a name for that law...

  
  about 7 years ago
Joan S  

You're inspiring me to clean some closets. I have vintage designer clothes I can't part with. Some of them are really beautiful, though very small sizes. I once wore them and they are in perfect condition. Also shoes. Nature abhors a vacuum. Maybe if I empty out the closets, I'll attract new clothes. Another big nuisance is old files. Boy, how they build up! Thanks AnnMarie.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks for the comment, Joan. Purging is hard...especially if you can't part with things...you don't have to let everything go. However, you can make some money with vintage clothing :) About old files...I know how that can be...it takes time to go thru them all and decide what you can toss and what you really need to keep. And many of us don't have that kind of time to spare on things like that...thus the piles just grow.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

OK .. you can just come here and clean mine out then! Great read and some good points! Thanks

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Hey, it's what I do! :) altho I think you are a little far away...FL??? Actually, I'd love to visit FL.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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