Since most of us are already swapping our summer clothes for fall and winter pieces, fall is a good time to bring order to our closets. This idea may bring some stress, because perhaps your closets seem too cluttered and overloaded to tackle. But it’s like any other big project, just take it step by step. One problem with addressing a bedroom closet is the emotional attachment we have to much of what is inside.
A bedroom closet is the place of dreams. Dreams that we can still fit into that dress, wear those heels or that someday our favorite pink shirt will actually look good on us. Clothing is associated with special events and seasons of our lives, and is very difficult to give up. Having to admit that I’m older and can’t wear certain styles is painful. Organizing my bedroom closet means I might have to let those dreams go. However, I’ve found a way to make it easier.
When I find it hard to part with a dress I once loved, I bring to mind a single mother trying to get a job. She’s trying to provide for her daughter, but doesn’t have the money to run to the mall and pick up a cute outfit. She needs something. Then I look at the lovely skirt I no longer wear. That skirt can either hang in my closet gathering dust, or help a sister I haven’t met.
The early followers of Jesus inspire me in this quest to share my belongings with others. Acts 2:44-56 describes this important part of living out their faith, “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.” They trusted God to provide their needs, and He did - often through the giving of others.
Keeping an open hand with my resources helps me keep perspective. As you look at your own closet, hopefully this will help loosen the hold clothes have.
Organizing your closet can be done in three easy steps:
1. Relocate items that should or could be stored elsewhere.
2. Remove clothing you don’t want.
3. Organize what is left.
Relocate what can be stored elsewhere
Sometimes our closets are catchalls for miscellaneous items. As you evaluate the odds and ends in your closets, consider if it would make more sense to store them elsewhere. When possible, keep items close to where they are used.
1. Move items to another room. What’s sitting in your bedroom closet that really doesn’t belong? Gifts, files, tools? Can you move these items to a garage, hall closet or spare shelves?
2. Remove items you seldom wear. This might be formalwear or ski clothes. These items can be stored in an attic or garage.
3. Remove off-season clothing. Store these items under the bed or in another dresser. Or consider a portable garment rack tucked in a garage or work room.
Remove what you don’t wear
Admit it. Most of us hold on to things long we should. To get to a place of efficiency in our closets, we must remove things that shouldn’t be there, or anywhere in our homes.
If you don’t use certain things because they need repair, that’s different. Sort through those items and either fix them yourself (go to a fabric store) or research alterations and repair options. Besides what can be repaired, remove clothing
1. Damaged or stained beyond repair. Repurpose these clothes when possible. Use scraps for cleaning or arts and crafts. Give some to quilters you know. Make clothing into other items like purses or tote bags.
2. Not my style. No matter how much you love them, remove clothes you don’t wear due to style. Maybe you are holding on to career clothes or items you wore when you were younger. It may be time to say goodbye to these old
3. Not worn. Shari Braendel, author of Good Girls Don’t Have to Dress Bad, wrote, “Without emotion, take everything out of your closet you have not worn in the last 18 months. The reason for the 18-month rule is that this gives you two seasons of the previous one you just went through.”
4. Undecided. Some items of clothing present a challenge. We don’t love them, nor hate them. Go through these items piece by piece and determine what value they bring. Are they really worth taking up room in your closet?
5. Wrong size. If there are clothes that don’t fit well, or not at all, let them go. Of course, keeping some things makes sense if you are on a weight loss plan. Just be honest with yourself.
Now that your closet is simplified, it will be much easier to organize what’s left. Evaluate every space of your closet and consider adding shelves, hanging organizers, cubbies on the ground, hooks for belts and scarves, rolling drawers to tuck under clothes, etc. Spend some time on an organizing website like www.organize.com or http://containerstore.com for ideas on storage. I like to look for ideas, then figure how to do something more affordably.
Once your bedroom closet is organized, stand back and enjoy the order. You’ve accomplished a big task. And I believe you’ll be motivated to keep going. Because now you have room for all those things that are cluttering your bedroom.
If you like tips on organizing, I hope you’ll consider getting a copy of my newest book, “I Used to Be So Organized.” It’s a mix of encouragement, spiritual insight and practical ways to gain control of your schedule, responsibilities and homes. Today, I’d like to give away one copy to a reader. Simply post a comment and I’ll select someone at random. Check back tomorrow for a reply on your comment announcing you have won.