Don’t wait until January to work out – or organize that closet!
Typically, January is the month when retailers are pushing sales of bins and baskets. And it’s the highest month for new sales of gym memberships.
Just as you shouldn’t put off the exercise that will help rid you of last year’s holiday pounds, you shouldn’t delay getting your closet organized, either.
You may be like our family: a closet in every bedroom, but not much other storage space. When we moved in ten years ago, the previous occupants had been there for almost 35 years, and they left a few tidbits for us to dispose of (or not), as we saw fit. Two of our closets have no doors on them. The rest have old metal bifold doors, and one of those has come completely off the track due to some stray Legos.
With apologies to Marie Kondo, the organizing guru, I’m still keeping some stuff. But there will be many things I can let go of. Fortunately, there are lots of experts* out there who provide lovely to-do lists for this sort of thing!
Step 1 – The Purge.
— Sort your hanging clothes into two piles, by length – think coats vs. skirts.
— Separate those piles by type: shirts, pants, work clothes, fancy stuff, ties and scarves, etc.
— Divide it all into “keep” or “donate” boxes. (I usually have another pile of dry-cleaning, or items that need repair as well.)
— Remove anything that is folded – or should have been folded, and re-fold. Then stack on a shelf no more than 10 inches high.
— How many ties/belts/scarves do you have? Throw out or donate the ones that have seen better days.
— Now for the most important part of your wardrobe – SHOES! Pull all of them out, count them up, and figure out how much space you will need. Best bet: Place them on open shelves, with each pair matched up toe-to-heel to save space. Eight inches of width per pair is about the right size. Remember: you’ll need extra height for boots.
— Clean it up. Wipe down the walls, vacuum thoroughly, and repair any drywall cracks or nicks. Who knows… you might even be inspired to repaint!
Image courtesy of Rubbermaid, via Flickr
Step 2 – Putting what you have left, back in …
— Once you have an inventory of what needs to go on hanging rods vs. in drawers vs. on shelves, you can design the setup that is best for you.
— Determine hanging rods first. Depending on how many short items vs. long that are still left after the purge, you may be able to space out the rods equally on each side of the closet, or maybe use just one side for all hanging items.
— Obviously, drawers work best for lots of random things – underwear, socks, tights, workout gear, swimwear, lingerie etc. If you have an old dresser or an old lingerie chest that fits in your closet, that can be your “drawer system.” If not, metal frame-type setups with wire baskets work fine, too.
— Install shelving 4” above the hanging rods, and if you have room, install a higher shelf closer to the ceiling, for things like boxes of keepsakes, or anything you don’t want the kids to find.
— Now, the rest of the stuff: Cuff links, collar stays, dressy purses– things that get used once a year. Store loose change and receipts, etc. on their own shelf, or on top of a dresser, preferably in a vintage jewelry tray or decorative box, to keep it all contained.
Image courtesy of Wayfair.com
Step 3 – This is the best part. Log in to your phone’s exercise or activity app and note how much exercise you got doing all of this. Once your closets are organized, you will have accomplished something productive, so you don’t have to join the gym until January!
It’s never too late to save your closet! Check in with a DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen designer to learn about their new closet systems. Call 734-669-4000 to set up a virtual or in-person appointment, or visit our website, dm-remodel.com.
— This Old House – Redo Your Bedroom Closet
— Houzz – Closet Ideas
— Apartment Therapy – DIY Closet Design Makeover
— HGTV – 10 Stylish Reach-in Closets