Like I said in yesterdays post, over the March Break I spent 6 days cleaning out my inlaws house. When I say cleaning I mean decluttering, organizing, sorting & washing. In with the new, out with the old.
One thing I have always told people is; everything has a place, you just have to find it!!
Yesterday I discussed paperwork. Everyone has a space in their home where they put their opened mail, and paperwork they’ve collected throughout the week. Check out the yesterday’s post; The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Day ONE for tips & tricks to resolving the issue, and how to easily organize and deal with what is already there.
Clothing closets are usually a great place to start. You will feel accomplished and refreshed when you’ve taken the time to weed out clothes that you don’t wear, don’t fit, or you don’t like anymore. Put these in your ‘amity pile’. If you are someone who has a lot of clothing, make the time to try everything on. You may find that you want to get rid of stuff that is too big. After all, who has a goal of gaining weight? Chances are, none of us. I know we’ve all done it; pulled out a shirt, and thought “this is ugly” or “this has a stain” but thrown it back in the drawer. Here are some tips when cleaning out your clothing packed closets:
Start with quality. Is there a hole, stain or major pilling or fading? Get rid of them. No sense in keeping these things. You can throw it in the garbage or give it to amity.
Next is style. We know that sometimes a style from the 80’s or even the 60’s pops back into our lives. But are you really going to hold onto your poodle skirt in hopes that one day it may come back to the runway? I don’t think so. It’s time to get rid of those tapered & washed out jeans, the thick turtle necks and over-sized knit sweaters. Rule of thumb: If you haven’t worn it in the last year or more – you probably never will. Especially if you’ve been through all 4 seasons and it still hasn’t been chosen. How many times have you pulled an item out the closet and thought, I like these shoes, but I don’t have anything to wear it with! Get rid of things that you cannot match. No point in holding onto something you never find an outfit to pair it with.
With all the clothes that are left, consider their fitting. If it’s too big, it’s time for it to go. If it’s slightly too small and you know you have a few pounds to lose, keep them – but put them somewhere separate. Rule of thumb: If it is too big – get rid of it. If you put on an outfit, and you don’t feel confident & cool – get rid of it.
Now its time to consider quantity. There is no need for 10 of something that you only wear a few times a year. It is time to get rid of some. Think about the above rules, and start purging. There are people out there who don’t have any clothes but the ones on their backs. Someone could use them if you’re not. Narrow down your multiples, and choose your favourites. An area where I have trouble doing this is with shoes. I am sure many of you are in the same boat as me. As much as I love high heels, and think their super sexy, I have to be realistic in knowing that when I go out and have to dress up – whether their pumps, peep toe or strappy, I always go for the plain black ones. Why bother keeping the others? Rule of thumb: If you wear the shoes for 10 minutes around the house and have sore feet, their no good for you, ditch them. Their just taking up space.
Once you’ve emptied your closet, and have your piles. Consider a closet organizer before you put them back in. They range from all different prices and are fairly simple to install. Not a necessity, but a definite pro! One thing you want to avoid is having your personal belongings in more than one closet throughout the home. You will definitely forget what you own, and end up purchasing stuff you don’t need. It is better to have everything in one place. When you do put them back in, consider putting items of similarily together. For example; organize by work suits, pants, short sleeves & long sleeves and dresses. Then casual pants, short & long sleeves & dresses. Put all of your belts, scarves and purses together.
After you’ve done your own closet, you may want to tackle your spouses or your kids. Depending on how old your children are, they can probably do this on their own. Men are known for hoarding suit pants and jackets that don’t fit them anymore. Have your man try his on. If their too small – amity. If their too big – bring it to the tailor. As for your children; don’t be afraid to purge. You can bring it to a store that allows clothing swaps and get them a bunch of new clothes.
SPRING CLEANING TIPS:
- Always start with your sorting & organizing before your cleaning.
- Choose one area to tackle, or one item to tackle at a time; closets, books, clothing, paperwork, bedrooms, etc.
- If you’re not someone who enjoys cleaning or organizing, set a specific time for this. Do 1-2 hours at a time. It is enough to feel accomplished, but short enough hat you won’t get bored, sidetracked or give up. If there is a lot to do, tell yourself ahead of time this is going to take several “1-2 hour shifts” before it is done so that you’re mentally prepared & not setting yourself up for disappointment.
- Get rid of things immediately. The sooner you bring your amity pile to the local Goodwill, the sooner you will feel better, and the less likely you are to go back into that bag for something you really do not need or want. Same goes for garbage or recycling.
- When cleaning & sorting your house, always have a garbage bag, a recycling bin & an amity pile within arms reach. You are more likely to get rid of things you do not need to keep if the opportunity is close by.
- Whether you’re cleaning, organizing, sorting or purgeing – always start from the top of the house and move your way down. In each room, start from left to right.
- If you have several levels in your house; have a laundry basket or a box for each floor. It will feel like it is taking way too long if you’re finding objects that belong downstairs, and you stop what you’re doing and put it down there. Chances are you will get side tracked and start cleaning something else or you will find that you’re running up and down the stairs a lot which is very time consuming. It is much smarter to carry a basket down once or twice.