The Skeletons—and Other Things—in Your Closet

Guest Post by Kelly Moore, Owner Moore Efficiency Solutions Denver, CO

Closets are one of those spaces that can be difficult to organize.  After all, isn’t a closet meant to house all of our junk when we don’t know what else to do with it?  Fortunately, because they are small (unless you have a celebrity sized walk-in), closets can usually be organized in an afternoon. But, before you rush out to buy all the fun organizing bins, labels, and shelves, read through the tips below to help make this project a successful one.
Give the Space a Function. Before you even begin, think about what types of items should be kept in this closet.  Are you going to use it for linens? Crafts? Toys? Clothes?  Deciding the function of this closet will encourage you to find a new home for things that do not belong, thereby making more room.

Gather Your Materials. For this project, you will likely need a large trash can, recycling bin, and additional trash bags for sorting.  Find the name and location of a local charity near you where you can take any unwanted items that are still in good condition.  And, if this is a project that is going to have you occupied for the afternoon, might I suggest some enjoyable music?

Sort the Junk.
Now you are ready to open that closet door and begin sorting.  This is just about grouping items based on where they belong, so resist the urge to start organizing a box of photographs or filing a bunch of papers.  Your job is to make a decision, and move onto the next item.  Here’s how you might categorize your belongings:

  • Trash and Recycling. Get rid of these things immediately, it will make the rest of your task seem less daunting.
  • Keep. Only the items that will go back into the closet should go in this pile.  Make sure that the items you are keeping in this space stay in line with the space’s function.
  • New Home. Items in this pile are things you would like to keep but need to put somewhere else.  If you found the screwdriver set in the linen closet, use this opportunity to put it back where it belongs.
  • Donate. For things that are still in good condition, consider donating them to a local charity such as ARC or Goodwill.  It will make you feel good and it’s tax deductible.
  • Unsure. Use this pile with much caution as it can easily become huge if you struggle with making decisions.  This pile should be reserved only for things that you do not have the authority to throw away (your spouse’s old work documents, for example).

Assess Your Organizing Needs. Once you have taken care of every other group of belongings, you should be left with only your “Keep” pile to put back in the closet.  Consider what kinds of tools might help you stay more organized in this space such as bins, racks, drawers, etc.  You can browse online before you even leave your house to have a better idea of what’s out there and how much it costs.   Stores like The Container Store, Target, Walmart, The Home Depot, and even Crate & Barrel have some great organizing tools.

Keep it Organized. Rather than going through the closet once every few years, make organization a habit.  This means only putting items in the closet that belong in there!  If it starts overflowing, it may be time to purge a few more unnecessary belongings.

Kelly Moore - Moore Efficiency Solutions

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