The first step in adding order and a sense of visual calmness to a space is to start paring down. Whether you are planning to stage your home for listing or to organize it for yourself, we will guide you along the way.
Here are our tips for making this process tangible and stress-free.
Concentrate on ONE room at a time. This is key!
WEEK 1-MASTER BEDROOM CLOSET
1) Have some bags/boxes/bins ready with a label for each one: KEEP, TRASH, RECYCLE, DONATE, RELOCATE, SELL. You will start filling these up as you go AND you will feel an immediate sense of accomplishment, clarity.
2) Take a photo of the closet. You will want to have a before and after.
Take a horizontal photo with the light on.
3) Take everything out that is on hangers and place them on your bed.
This may seem overwhelming but it is the only way you will clearly see what you have and be forced to go through every item. You will be shocked to see how much stuff you actually own!
4) Start to assess
does it still fit?
is it still in style?
does it look good on you?
do you even like it anymore?
do you need 20 white shirts?
Have you worn it in the last year?
5) Put the items in the respective labeled bag/box.
6) Now address the items that are stored on shelves. Take all these out and start going through them.
Go through the sweaters first and ask yourself:
are they pilled?
do they have holes anywhere?
do they still fit?
Are they itchy and even though you like them, you hate wearing them?
7) Repeat for sweatshirts/sports tops until you have gone through all the items on the shelves.
8) Shoes: same principal
9) Undergarments, exercise gear, socks, etc.
10) Belts, hats, ties, scarves, pocketbooks
11) Relocate all items in your master closet that do not belong there.
IE: sports equipment, books, toys, etc. These all go in the relocate bin if you are keeping them. Your closet should now be empty or close to being empty.
12) Examine your empty closet and assess the following:
Does it need painting?
Now is the time to update the cheap metal shelves
Add more shelves if you do not have enough
Does the light fixture need to be updated?
How does the floor look? Is there outdated carpeting, when was the last time it got a good vacuuming or cleaning?
Clean the baseboards
Add drawers or a dresser if needed
Add hooks for belts, ties, etc.
13) Purchase what is needed starting with matching hangers.
Nothing looks worse than having a variety of mismatched hangers. If you are tight on hanging space use thin hangers like these from the Container Store or similar. If space is not an issue, the wooden ones are a nice touch for a master closet.
NOTE: if you are preparing to sell your home you want to depict a house that has ample storage space and that is organized and clutter-free.
Avoid storing items on the top shelf and discard any dry cleaner bags that are still on the hangers.
14) Shop for items needed
The Container Store has a nice DIY set-up system. Look at the Elfa line if you are going to update the closet design.
You can also get a closet organization company to give you a free design and estimate. I highly recommend this for master closets. It will add value to your home and happiness to your heart.
You want to consider hanging space, drawers, and shelves for folded items and shoes.
Shoes, pocketbooks, ties, scarves should all have a designated area.
Some products we love:
Storage baskets with a clear front
Double your shoe storage
15) Put all the items back.
Start with the hanging items.
Hang all the hangers/clothes in the same direction with like colors together.
16) Put items away into the drawers
Consider folding or rolling up socks,
t-shirts, etc. for more space. Watch this video from the Container Store for tips.
17) Put items back on the shelves
Use baskets to keep things neat and tidy.
18) Take an after photo from the same angle as the before image.
20) Drop off the items for donations and recycling.
Local thrift stores, Goodwill, local churches, homeless shelters, prisons, DressforSuccess, domestic violence shelters, emergency shelters, and hospitals will gladly repurpose clothes.
If you prefer to have the items picked up, you can list them for free on FB Marketplace or freecycle. Big Brother Big Sister will pick up. You can check your local Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts as they often run clothing drives.
Shoes can be donated to Soles4Souls.
Souls4Souls takes gently-used shoes and trains people in poverty to run their own business reselling the shoes. The goal is to empower them with the skills and resources to provide for themselves and increase their living standards.
Nike will also recycle old sneakers. Learn more here.
There are so many great organizations that are in need of clothing. We just listed a few. Make this an opportunity to help someone in need and organize your closet at the same time.
You did it! Give yourself a good pat on the back.
We will post a page each week to continue your process. Next week, we will tackle the linen closet. In the meantime, start working on your other bedroom closets.
Please send us any tips you have discovered along the way and do not forget to share your photos with us! Email us at email@example.com. We love hearing from you!