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Your clothes closet: Can it be rescued?

by respaced on July 28, 2009

I like to organize clothes closets, probably in large part because I get to be the Closet Superhero to my clients. I destroy the piles of wadded-up clothes and restore order and calm with my superhuman powers!

Actually, the only “powers” it takes is the power to sort, make decisions and stick with a project for about 30 minutes at a time. Here is a before photo of a typical client’s closet:

Does this seem like an overwhelming mess to you? Here’s how to make it easy:

1. Start with the shelves. Pick up one item of clothing at a time and decide if it’s a keeper or a tosser.

2. Make piles of everything you keep: one pile for long-sleeve shirts, one pile for short-sleeve shirts, one pile for sweaters, etc.

3. Fold everything and put it back on a shelf, one or two piles per shelf. Put what you use the most at eye-level and clothes you use the least up high or down low.

For clothes that go on hangers, follow steps 1 and 2. Then put the clothes on hangers and group the piles together on the closet rods. After two and a half hours, this client’s closet looked like this:

We donated five garbage bags-worth of clothing and tossed one garbage bag-worth of stained or torn clothing.

If organizing your whole closet seems overwhelming, break it up into sections. Maybe spend just 30 minutes sorting through the clothes on two shelves. Discard the unwanted items, fold what’s left and put it back on the shelf. Then, when you have more energy and/or time, put the sorted clothes into piles by clothing type and place them back on the shelf.

Remember, some organizing is better than no organizing!

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