How many times have you found yourself frantically searching at the last minute for your favorite scarf, belt, or that #%&@ other shoe? You know it’s somewhere in your nightmare of a clothes closet but for the life of you, you can’t find it? The first phase to end your closet frustration is to pare down and sort your stuff! Read on to learn how.

  1. Empty your closet:
    I know this seems obvious, but I mean REALLY empty it. Everything must go! Find a good spot—beds and tables are usually best—and remove every last item, arranging everything so you can easily sort through it all.

  2. Organize your stuff:
    Put shoes together, purses together (my husband would say I need a whole bed just for purses—and he’d be right), belts, pants, dresses, etc. 

  3. Make tough choices:
    Most of us don’t need all the stuff we have. Be honest with yourself here. Will you ever really wear that red blazer from 1990 again? Really? If the answer is probably not, consider donating it to a charity or thrift store. If you have high ticket items, you can resell them online or at a garage sale. Money for a vacation, fun night out (or new clothes to fill your newly clean closet...) can be a great motivator.

  4. Sort, sort, sort:
    After you’ve cleared your donation or sale items, it’s time to sort—a step many people hate. I married an organized guy who has worn me down over the years, so going through clothes has become a common ritual at our house (which I begrudgingly admit is a good thing). As you sort, keep making tough choices with the goal of moving more items to the donate or sell pile. Too Big? Gone (except perhaps for that one pair of jeans we all keep, just in case!) Too small? Gone. Outdated? Gone. Remember, each tough decision you make leads to extra closet space.

  5. Clean your closet (literally):
    It’s completely empty, so there’s no better time. Vacuum, wipe down existing rods and shelves, remove cobwebs and dust bunnies, and paint if it needs it—or if it doesn’t need it, but a fresh color would help give your closet new life. To save money, check if you have a partial paint can with a color that would look attractive.

Follow these 5 Steps and you’ll be well on your way to more organized living. And be sure to catch my next blog, where I’ll give you some easy, affordable tips to make your newly cleaned closet space extra valuable and convenient.

Now, what will you do next to love where you live?

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