Closets are an ideal solution for keeping a lot of essential items out of your living space, while still keeping everything you need close at hand. Unfortunately, as time goes on they can be prone to clutter, and disorganization. Especially if you aren’t diligent about changing out seasonal items every few months.
The following are some tips to consider for getting your closets organized and keeping them organized.
Dedicate Yourself To Seasonal Closet Cleanouts
This is the sort of thing that will eat up a Saturday afternoon the first time you do it. Though if you stick to it, you will likely find that seasonal cleanout sessions can be fast and efficient.
Ideally, you want to set up a day to clean out closets of seasonal items for each of the four seasons. Then items from the season going out are moved into tote bins or other efficient storage solutions, where they can keep in the basement, garage, or attic. This will provide you with the kind of volumetric square inches you need to keep the incoming season’s items close at hand, as well as easy to find.
If performing a seasonal cleanout four times a year doesn’t work for your family, you should at least set up cleanout days for the change of winter to spring and again from autumn to winter. This schedule will put warm sweaters, snow boots, and other bulky winter gear away for the warm months, to make room for all your summer fun gear.
Choose The Right Time For Your Closet Cleanout
Closet cleanouts are usually the perfect way to kill a rainy Saturday afternoon. Though it does help to think about other factors. If you are looking to purge or store away seasonal clothing items, double-check the upcoming forecast. If there’s a stretch of abnormally warm or cold weather in the ten-day forecast, you might want to leave out some choice pieces of clothing, when storing the rest away.
You might also want to take into account things like garbage day, and whether or not your own has a seasonal disposal day. Not only does this ensure that items being thrown out are taken away promptly, but it also reduces the time you or other hoarding inclined family members have to change their mind about throwing certain items out.
Prepare For Alternative Storage
There are three different destinations for unused items in a closet cleanout. Take a moment in advance to think about what you plan to keep and what can be disposed of in some way.
Thrown Out Items
There are inevitably going to be things that need to be thrown out this can include things like expired pantry items, ripped or otherwise damaged clothing, broken toys, and other disposable items. If possible, you should try to time your cleanout event as close to garbage day as possible.
Double-check with your township or public services provider. Many towns have disposal days where you can place just about anything at the curb and the city will properly dispose of it. This is a great way to get rid of that old broken down lawnmower or that garage refrigerator that just doesn’t stay cold enough any longer.
Items For Long-Term Or Seasonal Storage
There will inevitably be things that you don’t want to throw away, yet you still don’t need them cluttering up your everyday items. This might include obvious items like holiday decorations, seasonal clothing, and equipment. Giving them a safe, out of the way location will free up more available storage space where you need it.
Take the time to think about what you want to store away, what you’ll store it in, and where you will store it. The basement, attic, crawlspaces, and garage are prime locations for long-term storage and keeping seasonal items out of the way.
Stackable tote bins with labels are a great way to seal items away where a stray mouse of bugs can get at them when they are out of sight. Being able to stack multiple heavy-duty totes together further reduces the overall square footage they take up. Just make sure to label each tote and jot down the basic inventory on a notepad. This will make it easier to find what you need when you want to take it out later.
Items That Can Be Donated
Gently used items can be donated to thrift stores and similar second-hand item organizations that can resell them to underserved individuals. Depending on what you are donating you might even be able to claim specific items as a tax write-off. This is a great way to cleanout baby toys, items your child outgrows, gently used tools, and recently outdated electronics.
Editing Your Closet Organization Systems
Most people find that simply cleaning or gutting out a closet isn’t enough to keep everything tidily in its proper place. Once you’ve thrown out, stored away, donated, or rehomed non-essential items, you can start planning a new strategy to keep your closets properly organized throughout the change of seasons.
This doesn’t need to be a major undertaking. There are some highly effective, yet simple things you can quickly install in one or more closets in a single Saturday afternoon.
Adjustable Shelving Rails
These are thin metal rails that you screw into the internal frame of the closet. You can then adjust the height of each shelf by simply moving four metal clips per shelf. When you need to alter the shelves in the future you can move each one up and down during your seasonal closet cleanouts to maximize your internal space.
When different items intermingle, the disorganization can quickly spread. Each time someone can’t quickly find what they want, the items scramble more and more. Simple shelving dividers let you keep items separate. They are especially handy in bedroom closets, bathroom closets, and large kitchen pantries.
Under Shelf Basket Systems
If you have static shelves in one or two of your closets, you might want to think about installing sliding baskets to maximize vertical storage space. Most can be installed onto rails that mount underneath a shelf. You can then pull the shelf out like a drawer when you want to take something out. This is a great way to store loose or small lightweight items.
Vacuum Storage Bags
Loose articles of clothing like sweaters and bulky winter blankets can take up a lot of unnecessary space in long-term storage. Placing them in sealable bags and drawing the air out with a vacuum cleaner can compress them without damaging the fabrics. This will make it easy to store them away in totes, under beds, or in the back of a closet with deep shelves.