By Molly Gold, Creator of the GO MOM!� Planner
“Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” is becoming the motto in households around the world. The perfect place to start is in your own closets. How many kid’s toys, clothes or other household items are still in perfectly good condition, but gathering dust in the closet? Clear out the clutter in your closets and you are sure to find items perfect for your next garage sale or items to sell on Craigslist or eBay. You’ll be teaching your kids the value of recycling instead of letting your old items fill up a landfill while earning a little extra cash.
Want to get a bigger turnout at your yard sale? Convince your neighbors to clean out their closets and you can have a neighbor yard sale. Make sure that any items not sold in the yard sale are donated to a local charity or schedule a date for the Purple Heart to do a pickup (find out more at www.purpleheartpickup.org) and you just have to leave your items at the curb.
Now that you’ve set your goal, it is time to get down to the nitty-gritty of organizing those closets.
Before you even think about buying new storage bins or lining up those bags for donations, get out your calendar and to do list. Make a list each closet you’d like to tackle and then take a quick inventory of what’s currently going on in that area.
- Ask questions like are things folded neatly and easily located?
- Are they labeled or color coded?
- Are they organized by season or room?
- Do they have enough shelving and hanging space or is there too much of one or another that yields too much unused space that isn’t maximized?
After taking inventory, make a list for each closet of supplies you think you might need in order to complete the project. Then look to your calendar and find time to first shop for functional items you might need, such as storage boxes, etc. and then time to actually tackle the closet.
Bedroom: If you haven’t worn it in a year, donate it to someone who will. After purging every item, then designate specific areas for related items, such as shoes, accessories, evening wear, etc. Those things don’t need to be intermingled with your everyday needs. Then organize in a way that makes sense to you…I prefer by season and within that, by clothing type such long sleeve shirts, dress shirts, blue jeans etc. And go vertical, installing a second hanging bar if need be to make things easily stored while easily accessed. Favorite products…clear storage boxes of any kind, using hanging shoe organizers as accessories organizers, shelf spacers that keep folded items neatly contained, and a hanger organizer to return dry-cleaning hangers to your cleaners with each visit.
Linen: Again, you need to edit items well worn that aren’t used for cleaning or for more beds than you actually have. A good rule of thumb is no more than 3 bedding sets per room, including one flannel for winter nights and cool cotton as the others. Same is true for bathrooms. And you really only need one or two sets of both for guests because when need be, you can use extras from the others. When you store items, take a moment to label the shelves with markers such as Sam’s room, Master Bath, etc. Then as you put items away, you and anyone else will know exactly where they go. Just like your closet, separate linens by season and special occasion, putting those needed most often within easiest reach. One neat way to contain items that you want to reach easily is to use storage boxes with pull out drawers. This is particularly useful for odd shaped items or things that need corralling. It also allows you to neatly stack when you need to. Reserve the top shelf for things you don’t often use and consider storing such things in protective coverings, such as putting your summer duvet cover in a storage bag to make sure its not dusty when you pull it out next time.
When it comes to closets of any kind, movable shelves and/or rods are a wonderful feature to allow you flexibility as your storage needs change. But even when things are static, you can almost always find baskets, storage boxes made from plastic or other items, shelf spacers, and additional shelving that will add to your layout and maximize your space. Just remember to take inventory, schedule shopping and the project, measure for dimensions prior to purchasing any supplies, sort, and when you return items, think season, occasion, function, location, and color. And don’t hesitate to line wood shelves…it will protect anything stored on them from snagging should there be a rough patch and will brighten your view every time you see it.