We all have them. We all need them. What am I talking about? Closets! We all have a closet (in some shape or fashion). When I say we all need them, I’m referring to needing ways to keep them organized based on how our household functions. I know you’ve read tips all of the internet or in a printed source but it doesn’t hurt to refresh until you find something that works for you. This method works best for best and faster for items you are not emotionally attached to (i.e. linen closet, etc.) So here goes…
STEP 1: EDIT – Remove all items and sort it into piles. This is the easy part especially when you’ve been looking at the clutter for a while. It’s very exhilarating to put your hands on all of your items and yank it down to jumbled mess especially when it’s been looking like a jumbled mess on the shelves. So go ahead and do it but just know that when the fun is done it’s time for some decision making. Better yet, while you’re pulling it down, go ahead and put them into piles so you know exactly what you’re going to keep. TRASH – frayed, torn, otherwise severely used. DONATE – it’s still in good condition but you can do without it. KEEP – the stuff you love and actually use!
STEP 2: SORT- meaning more decision making. Place you newly sorted KEEP items and categorize them. For instance, if you’re sorting a linen closet, you’d categorize into bed linens, bath towels, hand towels, table linens, etc. Next, you’ll break it down even further by sub-categorizing them by each room such as guest room, master bedroom, kid’s bathroom etc.
STEP 3: DESIGNATE. If you have space, Assign a shelf for each room or if necessary for each family (i.e. young kids). Get them involved in the process of retrieving and returning items to their assigned location. If you have young children, try explaining it on their level…”Just as you have your own space and Mommy and Daddy can find you easily, we’re creating a special space for our items so they will be found easier too”. The more you involve them the more they will participate. It’s great practice for them. If you have more than one child, choosing a color for each of them is helpful for everyone and will help keep your closets more organized. Use higher shelves for seasonal or seldom use items. This step helps keep clutter away because it gives your belongings a place to stay until it’s needed.
STEP 4: CONTAIN. This is the step that many people skip right to because it’s exciting to think you’ve found the perfect solution. The challenging part is if you have gone through the other steps, you won’t know exactly what you need. Though you may have an idea on what type of tool will work for a particular space, Proper planning will decrease visits to the store and limit returns due to buying products that won’t work well with your space or your family. Take the time to measure and even sketch it out if you’re that detailed. Choose containers that will help maximize your space.
STEP 5: LABEL. Don’t forget this step. The new containers that you purchased may look great in your newly organized space but if you don’t provide a way for people to know what goes where, your efforts would have been wasted. Take the time to label containers or shelves (or a combination of the two) so family members can find what they are looking for and where it should be returned.
As I’m sure you know, there is a number of ways to control closet clutter. Be sure to choose what will work for you and your family. Don’t get caught up in what you see on social media or magazine, without taking stock of what you need and what will work. Those images may look great but it may not work great for you. It doesn’t have to be perfect and it may need to be tweaked every now and again but if it works, it works!