April is the perfect time to edit the closet. Free yourself of the clutter and create a space that you can easily navigate and be proud of. This can be a daunting task but feels so good, and is actually trending strong right now. Marie Kondo who is a tidying expert, has brought great attention to the art of organization on her hit Netflix show “Tidying up with Mary Condo.” Her belief is to keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Those items that do not “spark joy” can be thanked for their service – and then let go of.
Here are her 6 Rules to a more joyful and organized life:
- Rule 1: Commit yourself to tidying up.
- Rule 2: Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
- Rule 3: Finish discarding first
- Rule 4: Tidy by category, not location
- Rule 5: Follow the right order
- Rule 6: Ask yourself if it sparks joy.
With this Mantra in mind let’s get started on tackling that closet (for now) …
It is with our experience that the best way to really get in there is by first emptying our all the contents of the closet. Then all items can be divided into the flowing piles: giveaway, trash and keep.
You may be wondering how to determine what should be discarded, here are some clues:
- If you haven’t worn the item in the past 6 months, they have to go
- If the item has a stain or hole in it, it’s out
- If the item does not fit (ex- don’t hang on to your jeans from 10 years ago in hopes you will lose weight).
- If it is no longer functional (ex-a single sock, a broken belt, a jacket with no buttons). If you haven’t fixed it by now chances are you won’t.
- A super trendy item that is no longer in style, it never comes back in the same way.
- In the spirit at Marie Kondo, discard anything that no longer sparks joy in your life.
All give away and trash can be discarded into bags and labeled for their appropriate fate and moved aside. You may decide to donate, sell or give to a loved one or family member. We would suggest placing these bags somewhere near your front door where you will see them, so you make sure to get them out as soon as possible. If you own a car put them i your trunk so you, one step closer to their new home. The last thing you will want is to discover these bags in your storage room a year from now.
This leave us with the “keepers” who need to be returned to the closet in a mindful manner. This is where the art of organization comes in. Your space must be properly analyzed in comparison with your “keepers.”
Figuring out the right closet storage solutions for your particular space can be challenging. Luckily, there are tons of great options for closet storage solutions. You can have a professionally installed by closet system if this is in your budget, or opt for more affordable solutions such as closet organizers, containers and bins to keep things nice and tidy.
Here are some add on items you may consider to improve your closet:
- A step stool will make it easier for you to reach the top shelves of your closet.
- A double hang will make better use of horizontal storage space in the closet.
- An over-the-door shoe rack can turn your door into the perfect place to store either shoes, accessories, or both.
- You can also re-purpose what you already own, if possible. Small bookcases, cubbies, and baskets are great for storing shoes, accessories, and gym clothes
Now we are ready to put this closet back together again! This is where you put replace your items in a way that makes sense to you, utilizes all of your available space, and is attractive enough to motivate closet maintenance. Think about where it makes sense to store each category of clothing in terms of your everyday life and routine.
Here are some tips on how to place and group your closet’s contents:
- Group Like with Like: Gather belts, sweaters, long-sleeve shirts, work pants, dresses, button-down shirts, jeans, shorts—you get the idea—and decide the best place to store each item as a group (i.e. hang pants in closet, fold and stack sweaters in a bureau). Working in groups of items will help you figure out how much space you need and the best way to store each type of item.
- Properly Utilize Prime Real Estate: Reserve the front and middle of your closet for clothes you wear most often. If you have to get dressed for work each morning at 6 a.m., make sure your work clothes are at the front of your closet. Lesser-worn items like formal wear and out-of-season should be stored toward the back and on the upper shelves.
- Tuck Away Least-Used Items: Use the very top of your closet for out-of-season items and stuff you only wear a few times a year, such as Halloween costumes and dress shoes.
Accessories and shoes should be stored separately from your clothing (in other words, don’t lump scarves in with sweaters), but keep the prime real estate rule in mind. If you wear a pair of shoes all the time, don’t store them in the back of your closet. And if you are tight on space perhaps your shoes can be stored out of your closet all together. A shoe rack might be better off somewhere else in the house, rather then trying to cram everything in one small space.
The more often you work on closet maintenance, the less time it will take. Go through your closet and complete a quick makeover once a month, and tackle the full re-organization process twice a year. So much easier said than done, but worth mentioning! If you enjoyed these tips and would like to learn more you can always check out Marie Kondo’s website and Blog for more inspiration.
Wishing you all happy spring cleaning and we hope we help spark some joy in your home, and or closet.