Four Steps to a Chaos-Free Closet
Time to kick out chaos and take back your life!
Your bedroom closet can be such an overwhelming project that you often put it off until it gets to the stage that you dread the job of ever organizing it. It is one of those areas in your home that is so easy to just close the door and forget about.
Step One – PREPARE FOR ATTACK
Get something to put it in. By this I mean have some nice matching clear stackable containers that you can label. Invest in nice hangers that look good and don’t take up too much space. Invest in some drawers for small items like toiletries and office supplies etc. After you have your hangers (I love velvet hangers),large labels and markers you are ready to start. Also don’t forget to get some bags to put your items you are discarding. Remember it gets easier the more you discard items.
Step Two – ATTACK
Take a before picture. This is very important and will remind you how much you have done! Now get busy and remove all the chaos! Get it all out of the closet so you can take a good look at everything. I did mine in two stages. Everything on hangers and then everything not on hangers on the floor and shelves. Set a timer for thirty minute intervals and take frequent breaks. Keep in the forefront of your mind that you are human and you have made some buying mistakes – forgive yourself and move on.
Step Three – SORT THEN STORE or DISCARD
During the sort phase,these are the questions you want to ask yourself with every item you touch (from Kathi Lipp’s excellent book Clutter Free) :
1. Do I currently use it?
2. Do I really love it?
3. Would I buy it again?
Kathi says in her book that instead of asking these important questions,we have the following questions going on in our head: How much did it cost me? Who gave it to me? What will they think if I gave it away? How much is it worth? Will I need this someday? Will I change my mind and want it later on? We need to stop asking these questions and stick to those initial three questions!
During the store phase,we need to keep in mind the storage principles of primary, secondary and long term. The primary items (things you use every day) should be in easily accessible places – easy to reach and get to and what I call “one motion” storage – meaning you don’t have to move something else to get to it. I like drawers for these items. The secondary items should be kept in less accessible areas – I prefer clear stackable containers with lids and all of the same size with big clear labels on all of them. For clothes you will be wearing again, I suggest you invest in some hooks outside your closet and some in the closet. Eventually you want to make sure every single item has a “well-defined and confined” home! Ask yourself – “will I be able to find this item in 2 minutes or less?” if your answer is “yes”, you are storing correctly. Long-term storage should probably be in a different place than your closet – seasonal clothing and boots, luggage, etc. If your bedroom is small, you may want to consider investing in some under-the-bed containers.
Label EVERYTHING! Every drawer, bin and container. EVERYTHING!
STEP FOUR – CELEBRATE
Take an after picture. This is also very important so you can feel a real sense of accomplishment. Now celebrate that you now have a closet that will make it easier to get dressed and easier to locate every item in there. And if you do buy a new piece of clothing you may want to get rid of an old item. It is called the “One In, One Out” rule and cleanies know all about this rule. It is a rule that keeps them out of ever having a closet that is too overwhelming to organize. Make a vow to put items in their new homes. Most importantly, promise yourself that chaos will never ever be allowed in your closet again! You may even want to post a “CHAOS FREE ZONE” sign outside the closet door to remind yourself every day of your vows that you have taken!
“Eliminate what’s crowding out real life, and make room for the life of true abundance God wants for you>” Kathi Lipp.