Remove everything and start with a blank canvas
The first step in any cleaning process is to purge, especially closets. You must remove every last item so you can actually look at every last item and make a decision. Understand that you cannot keep everything, you cannot keep most things. Some things don’t fit, some things go out of style and some things have just outlived their usefulness. A proper closet clean out generates a lot of trash. If you don’t have a lot of trash, you didn’t do it right.
Designate areas for donations, storage or trash
One major hitch in the closet cleaning giddy up is the actual cleaning up. To make this a little easier, have bags or boxes at the ready to just toss items into. Once you decide that something is trash, toss it and do not look back. Having these designations with help reduce chaos in the aftermath.
Look at each item
This is an important step. Look at each item and make a decision. Be honest and be realistic. I know we all get attached to some items we own because of the color or pattern or brand name. I once held onto a Halston vest for years just because it was Halston, I never wore it ever… but it was a Halston. So like any relationship think with your head, not with your heart. If you haven’t worn it in a year, there is a reason and chances are you will not…ever. Toss it. If it is ripped or otherwise damaged and unfixable… toss it. And for heaven’s sake, do not put it into a pile for mending that you will never get to either. If you do not have the skills and/or the intention to pay for the fix just toss it.
Try it on
I highly recommend trying things on. You will find that something looked great on you 10 years ago… not so much now. Time, children and cheesecake tend to have that effect. Trying your clothes on can be a real eye-opener and help you to easily make those difficult decisions.
Items that you keep
Should immediately be hung up. OK so the little OCD that I have in me requires matching, good quality hangers. No wire hangers from the dry cleaners.
But seriously, wire hangers will not maintain the shape of your shirts and they will certainly not hold up the structure and weight of a good jacket. Ultimately, a set of uniform hangers will give your closet a neat and tidy appearance.
A few organizational tips
Wardrobe closets are for clothes. Nothing else. Do not clutter the space with linens and wrapping paper and OMG please, not the vacuum.
Sweaters/Knits should be always be folded to preserve their shape and size.
Hang items by category. Skirts, pants, dresses etc. Taking things a step further you may choose to organize those categories by color as well.
Shoes should be stored in their boxes. Keeping them in boxes preserves the leather from scratches and scuffs. Boxes also allow for stacking, which in turn makes finding the right shoe much easier.
Maximize small spaces by opting for out of sight storage. Bins, boxes, and baskets can go a long way towards maintaining a neat closet.