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5 Must-Haves for Spring Cleaning Your Clothes Closet

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Great ideas! 5 Must-Haves for Spring Cleaning Your Clothes Closet | organizedartistry.com

 

Where I live, it’s kinda cold. And it’s the first day of Spring (insert frowny face here). As much as I’d love to start doing a little spring cleaning in my closet, I still need my polartec tops and flannel lined jeans. May have to start elsewhere this weekend…

But, if you live in a warmer climate or just can’t look at your boots one more day, then by all means start spring cleaning your clothes closet.

 

Here are the 5 ‘must-haves’ you’ll need for this project:

Garbage bags

Despite their name, these bags won’t all be used for garbage. Grab two colors–black, white, and a third bag can be a reusable tote. Designate black for trash, white for donations, and the tote for repairs. Why use this system? I have heard stories of people accidentally donating their trash and putting their donations to the curb because they used bags of one color.

As you are sorting through and purging clothes from your closet, place them in the correct bag. Clothes with repairable tears and shoes/handbags that need a little TLC from the shoemaker go in your tote bag. When you finish, place the black bags wherever you keep your trash, put the donation and repair bags in your car or at your doorway, and mark off a day on your calendar to drop off them off at their next destinations.

Pad of paper and pen or cell phone

As you go through your clothes, you may find that they have an old stain, they’re too loose or tight, or you just don’t love it anymore. When getting rid of garments, keep a list of items you’d like to replace. That way, when you’re at the mall, you don’t have to think about what clothes you need–just refer to your list and you’ll know exactly what purchases to focus on. Use pen and paper or your cell phone to create the list–whichever works best for you.

Bottle of water/snack

Spring cleaning a clothes closet is a physical activity. Handling some sentimental items and items with ‘bad karma’ attached to them can be emotional as well. Even if you’ve eaten a large meal before starting, I’d recommend having a bottle of water and a snack at arm’s reach. You’ll need a break to clear your head and refuel–how often you do that during this task is up to you and your needs. But, I always advise my clients to bring a snack and drink into the space we’re working on. It means they don’t have to leave the room and lose focus while we’re working.

Large flat or multiple small flat surfaces

When going through a clothes closet, it’s important to have a place to put the clothes while sorting them out. If your closet is in your bedroom, use the bed to place the garments down as you make decisions. If your clothes live in a room without a bed, use folding chairs or storage tubs to separate your clothes by category. The floor is NOT a good option unless absolutely necessary. If that’s the case, please open a flat sheet, lay it on the floor and place your piles on top of the sheet.

Time

A basic organizing principle to follow for spring cleaning or any organizing task is. ‘Make an Appointment With Yourself.’ We make appointments to see doctors and to make our hair look fabulous and we wouldn’t consider canceling them except in an emergency. Do the same with Spring Cleaning. Take out your calendar and pick a day to start. Pencil in 15 minutes, a half hour, an hour–whatever amount of time you think you can manage. Keep that appointment. You’ll be glad you did.

What do you think you’ll find in your clothes closet this Spring?

 

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Can Organizing Supplies BE the Clutter?

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I’m always advising my clients to sort, purge and inventory their belongings before purchasing organizing supplies. My guest blogger, Moreen Torpy of De-Clutter Coach in Ontario, Canada thinks that sometimes organizing supplies that are supposed to help us are in fact cluttering our homes! Read on to see if you recognize some of the signs of this idea in your home…

Many times when I go into clients’ homes, I see they’ve purchased any number of organizing supplies and books. What they’ve actually bought is the dream of being organized, not the reality. This may seem a bit harsh, but stay with me for a bit.

Cubbies containing enough shoes to stock a shoe store isn’t organizing the shoes. It’s simply showcasing the quantity. Who really needs a hundred pair of shoes? My question is whether all this footwear is actually being worn, especially when there are large numbers of children’s shoes. Because kids grow so quickly, how do they even have time to wear all of them before they’re too small. In this case, the cubbies intended to organize are really contributing to the disorganization.

Empty bins stacked or not, intended to store off season clothes, are useless unless they contain something. Before buying bins, why not prune your wardrobe, holiday decorations, and anything else you intend to store, then decide what kind of storage is needed. Spending money on unnecessary bins adds to the clutter rather than reducing it.

Adding storage baskets to closets to hold clothing that hasn’t been worn in years isn’t the answer. I suggest weeding out items that aren’t being worn on a regular basis and reduce the number of storage baskets to de-clutter that closet.

Containers for gift wrap can be a trap. Paper deteriorates with time, so having a large supply, even if it wasn’t expensive, doesn’t serve in the long run. Carefully storing all that paper in containers made for gift wrap is often a waste of time, especially if you run out the day after Christmas to grab more gift wrap on sale to add to the collection. Decide on two containers, maximum. One for holiday wrap, and one for other occasion wrap. These will be plenty for a normal household.

And we can’t forget all those plastic food containers! Whether they’re fancy take-out ones or recycled ones (margarine, yogurt, etc.) or new ones, they’re still clutter if they’re not being used. A rule of thumb for food containers is to have only the number that will fit in your freezer. Logically more than that won’t be used because there’s no place for it. And I won’t even go into the containers with missing lids or the covers with no bottoms. The only thing to do with these is to get rid of them. It’s a well-known fact that they multiply behind closed cabinet doors. Beware the unattached pieces!

I’m not advocating adding anything to the landfill that can be diverted—just saying to think ahead and not bring them into your home at all. We can only repurpose so much in the existing space. To my mind, adding space to accommodate clutter is unproductive and wasteful.

So you have organizing supplies that have become clutter? What’s your plan to eliminate it/them? Please share your solutions—we’d love to hear from you.

© Moreen Torpy

We would be honored for you to reprint this article. If you do, please include the resource box below with the hyperlinks intact.

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Moreen Torpy is the De-Clutter Coach, a Trained Professional Organizer, Author, and Speaker. Her new book is Going Forward: Downsizing, Moving and Settling In. See www.GoForwardDownsize.com for more about the book including where to purchase it, and www.decluttercoach.ca to learn about her organizing services and other books.

NAPO-NNJ Soles4Souls Shoe Drive

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Let go of those lace-ups. Say ‘so-long’ to those slippers. People need them.

The National Association of Professional Organizers has partnered with Soles4Souls to collect new and gently used footwear for those in need.

According to their website, Soles4Souls, “collects new shoes to give relief to the victims of abject suffering and collects used shoes to support micro-business efforts to eradicate poverty.”

On Sunday, December 4, 2011 donate your new or gently worn shoes to Soles4Souls at Sports Authority of East Hanover or Clifton, NJ between the hours of 11am and 3pm.

Sports Authority
Location #1: 142 Rt. 10, East Hanover
Location #2: 415 Rt. 3 East, Clifton

Besides knowing that you’ve helped someone in need, what else do you get from donating your shoes on December 4th?

• Receive 20% off your entire purchase at either Sports Authority store that day.
• Receive a $10 off coupon from 1-800-GOT-JUNK?.

You can’t go wrong–especially if you have some shoes in your closet you don’t want anymore. Get 20% of a new pair of sneakers and consider using that $10 off coupon to haul away other items in your home you no longer need. It’s a win-win if I ever heard one…

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