Complete Closet Cleanout in a Fast Weekend
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A massive Closet Cleanout and Organization in a fast weekend with 9-ish steps that will totally liberate your Mama mind.
For many of us busy Mamas, our closet isn’t just the place we toss our dirty socks and undies, or hang our sweaters haphazardly at the end of the day. It’s a hiding place. It’s a crying place. And sometimes it’s our best safe haven from a major losing our shiznit-fest. And unfortunately, it’s usually an overstuffed menagerie of too small or big clothes, mismatched earrings, and shoes from the early 2000’s that we just can’t let go of. Because sometimes, a good closet cleanout–like our own Self Care–gets thrown to the wayside. Mom guilt’s just that way.
But. BUT. It’s spring, time for Spring Cleaning, and it’s time to get a grasp on our Self Care, and kick the guilt to the curb. Because part of Self Care is taking care of our stress levels, too. And that means taking the time to get our lovely belongings organized so we can find stuff when we need it. And have a pretty and clean place to hide, cry, or eat the rest of the Girl Scout cookies.
Lately I’m so in love with the concept of minimalization. It’s in ridding ourselves of the extra ‘stuff’ that truly clears out our minds and spirits so we have room to breathe. And that includes our closets. Heck, that probably started with our closets! Women have a tendency to hang on to lots of things because they’re sentimental. So if that’s you, you may have a tough time with this one. But you’re gonna have to make like Elsa just long enough to get some space and sanity back.
Here’s your ultimate guide for Closet Organization, and your printable checklists + labels while cleaning and organizing.
**But FIRST things FIRST! Set aside a weekend (yes, a whole weekend!!) to accomplish this! You’re a mom, you’ll absolutely have interruptions and tiny humans to feed and supervise. If your hubby/partner can keep the monkeys outta your hair these 2 days, maybe promise them something nice in return. 😉
Once you’ve confirmed your days, print out your labels and your checklist for your Closet Cleanout + Organization.
*Tips: Start early (like as soon as the coffee kicks in) and keep going as long as you can until your brain feels fried. Then take your first break. When you get a wind of motivation, keep ridin’ it, Sister!
Get ready for step one. Cause it’s a doozy. And you’re gonna shortly regret this journey probably. Because you need to EMPTY your closet! Seriously, you can’t see what you have, and determine what you haven’t seen in literally a year until you empty that whole entire thing.
Also, you’ll be being very selective with what goes BACK into your closet. So don’t allow anything to sneakily settle underneath your long-hanging clothes. Empty it ALL!!
WHILE you’re emptying, every item needs to be put into either 1-the trash, 2-the donate pile, 3-the ‘think about it’ pile, or 4-the keep pile. This is where those handy labels in your free printable come in.
2.Rules of ‘The Piles’
Unfortunately, you can’t keep everything and just rearrange it nicely. That’s not what a clean-out is. It’s minimizing the stuff that’s taking up brain-space and physical space. It’s reallocating things you don’t use or need to people who do need and will use it. And it’s getting rid of things that should honestly just be in the garbage anyway. (Like those eye shadow duo sets from 8 years ago that you keep because you *may* see a nightclub again on a girl’s night out that seems to never happen now for…ya know, 8 years.)
So how do you determine what to keep and what to get rid of?
Here are the rules:
Toss bin-Anything that is too raggedy to donate (holes or stains or falling apart or pieces missing or basically any makeup or toiletry item.) Use common sense.
Donate bin- If you haven’t worn it in a year, donate it as long as it’s still in good shape.
Keep bin- Obviously all the things you want to hang on to because you WEAR them, THEY FIT, and THEY LOOK GOOD ON YOU. If it doesn’t fit all of these criteria, DONATE IT. (The only single caveat here would be like one or two ratty shirts and pants if you do DIY work, crafts, or dye your own hair, etc, and need clothes that it’s ok to get messy.)
Think about it bin- This is for stuff you feel like you can’t part with and need to think about. The rule for this bin is that you have 24 hours. You must be ruthless on this. Otherwise you’ll just hang on until you’ve convinced yourself you need to keep it, and the cycle of too much stuff starts over. BE RUTHLESS IN YOUR PURGE!!
Grab your FREE Closet Organization packet HERE–click the image below!
So not everything will go back onto a hanging rod, obviously. In that respect, you need to designate a place for different categories of stuff. You know the adage, “A place for everything, and everything in it’s place.” That little phrase helps keep us organized so that when we need something, we can find it IMMEDIATELY! (I can’t tell you how much that helps my sanity levels–especially when I’m in a hurry!)
It may help to take a piece of paper and map out where everything should go. And don’t be influenced by these glossy magazines showing perfectly organized and put up closets. Nobody actually lives in those things. You have to organize based on what makes the most sense for you. For example, even though I have a crap-ton of joggers, I actually sleep in some, so I put them in my ‘pj drawer’. That keeps them separate because when I need sleep clothes, I automatically go to that drawer and don’t have to think about it. If they’re not in that drawer, it means they’re all dirty. Check out this guide for how to create your own ‘zones.‘
Containers for things you don’t use every day are a really great idea to keep your closet organization on track and looking nice and neat where you can. If you’re a shoe collector and actually store your shoes, get some really great shoe boxes and label them.
I have baskets for different things like toiletry stock-up items, kids’ tooth fairy and Santa letters, and travel items. Each basket is the same size and color, but has a label on the front so I know what’s what. It eliminates the visual clutter of a million things in a container. (Plus hides that kid stuff from nosy little monkeys diggin’ around where they shouldn’t be.)
A label-maker is awesome for this, but also is great to have around the house in general! I use this labelmaker, and have had it for probably 8 or 9 years and it’s never broken. And I think I’ve only changed the batteries ONCE!
5.Replace your keepers
Once you’ve gotten everything sorted, stored, and labeled, you can start putting things back into your closet per your drawing. Put ‘everything in it’s place’. Make sure sweaters are properly folded, and if you have drawers, decide if you want to stack clothing vertically (file-system style) or horizontally.
Hang clothes according to season, and then switch out once you’ve purged for that season. (Yep, you gotta keep this purge thing going!)
Place all boxes and containers according to what you need to reach on a more frequent basis.
6.Give yourself 24
After the 24 hours is up, go through that ‘Think about it bin’ and either put it in the ‘donate’ bin, or put back in your closet. (It usually belongs in donate!) I really love this infographic from the Dr. Oz site that shows what to keep, toss, or donate:
Whatever is trash, go ahead and get rid of. There’s no need to keep it hanging around. If you have specific trash days and your cans are full already, I recommend putting everything into a black trash bag, double tying it, and keeping in the garage or somewhere the kids can’t find it. (Am I the only one whose kids can find ANYTHING I’m trying to get rid of and hoard it back into their rooms to make a giant mess with later…?)
And lastly, go ahead on Sunday and donate the piles you eliminated from your closet. Don’t forget to grab a receipt for taxes!
Step back and admire the hard work you did! It’s really hard to make closet cleanout + organization a priority with everything else in life going on! And make sure to make good on the ‘thank you promise’ you made to your lovey for keeping the rugrats occupied! <3
**Tips for staying in the Minimized Mama Zone**
>>> Use the “1 in: 1 out” rule–if you go shopping, any time you put any one thing in your closet, you have to purge one item as well. Some Mamas find that if they put ONLY the exact number of hangers they need, it helps them remember this and enforce it with themselves.
>>> Consider a ‘capsule wardrobe’. This helps minimize feeling like you need to buy every little trendy piece you see. It gives your mind more freedom without worry of putting together outfits because nearly everything matches and goes together.
Hey, Friend…do you need some serious help with minimizing the clutter around your house?
Check out this absolutely amazing course called Your Uncluttered Home!
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