Clearing out your closet clutter
When it comes to getting the house clean and tidy, closets often get left off the to-do list. But from hall closets and linen closets to bedroom closets, "out of sight, out of mind" thinking quickly leads to clutter and frustration when you can't find items.
A little planning can help you get your closets in user-friendly shape for the new year. Here are some tips:
Put your closets on your calendar
Commit some time to tackle your closets. Set realistic expectations — you don't have to conquer all them at once. It may make sense for your family to forego TV one evening a week and focus on one closet at a time, for example.
If you haven't worn a piece of clothing in the past year — or you can't remember the last time you wore something — then you don't probably need it. Other items to purge from your closet: children's clothes and shoes that are either too small or too worn out to pass down to a sibling or a friend.
Sort your remaining clothes by season and then into piles to keep or pass down. If you have limited closet space, keep only the current season's wardrobe in your closet. Pack and store the rest for later. Linen closets stay more organized when you stack similar sized items together. Sort sheets by size, and group washcloths, hand towels and bath towels together.
For closets that hold everything from the vacuum cleaner to art supplies and anything in between, work one shelf at a time. Sort items by categories and dedicate one shelf or area of the closet to each group.
Instead of buying new containers to hold things, look around the house for boxes and containers you already have. Baskets, crates and empty shoeboxes can be reused to keep your closets more organized.
As with most household chores, a little maintenance will keep your closets looking neat and clean. Keep a bag, box or bag in each of your kids' closets as well as your own to set aside gently used and outgrown items on a regular basis.