How To Organize Your Closet for the New Year
A closet purge can lighten the load
With the arrival of New Year’s Day come promises of losing weight, reducing debt, traveling more and any number of grand resolutions. But have you thought about starting smaller? Maybe cleaning out that drawer that causes stress in the morning? Or finally addressing the chair in the corner that’s always covered in clothes? We spoke with Sandi D’Arezzo, organizer and owner of Seacoast Simplified, and asked her for a few manageable tips on how to start off 2018 with a more organized home and state of mind. Her first suggestion — purge the closet.
Start by pulling all of the clothes out of your closet.
“[Clothing items] are the easiest items to make decisions on,” says D’Arezzo. “It will help you develop your decluttering skills.”
Make it more functional
Once everything is out, sort it all into piles. Have a pile for T-shirts, sweatshirts, pants, etc.
Go through every category and make a keep, toss and donate pile.
“Try and make a decision on every item, no maybes,” says D’Arezzo. The scarf that you received as a gift 10 years ago that’s gathering dust? Toss it. That stack of college sweatshirts you can’t fit into anymore, but still hold sentimental value? Only keep one or two. Get rid of that orange top that you never wear. “You should feel comfortable and confident in your wardrobe right now,” says D’Arezzo. “If you wouldn’t buy it in a store now, why take up the precious closet space storing it? It will be so much easier to get dressed and find what you need if you only keep the clothes you love.” As a famous ice queen once said, “Let it go, let it go!”
Put everything back
Using thin hangers (preferably velvet) will allow more clothes to fit in a small space. Due to the fact that we read left to right, D’Arezzo suggests hanging longer, heavier items (such as sweaters) on the left, and work your way to lighter, shorter items (sleeveless tops) on the right. If you’re really feeling the organizing spirit, then you could also hang clothes from dark to light colors. Less frequently worn items can be kept on top shelves, allowing more space to hang or store well-loved items. Also, try and keep pieces at eye level because, if you can’t see it, then you might forget about it.
While it may seem tedious at the time, organizing your wardrobe pays off in the long run. You can take notes of gaps in your wardrobe, and be more proactive and efficient when you shop. You might not need that cozy sweater, but now you know to pick up new jeans. Once your closet is put together, your morning routine will be smoother, and you might even feel ready to take on your next New Year’s promise. Will it be the medicine cabinet? The pantry? Taking a step back and thinking about ways to help make for a simplified routine will get you off to a more relaxed, carefree 2018.
Extra Helpful Tips
- Have old T-shirts? Reuse them as rags for cleaning around the house.
- Pick outfits the night before for an easier morning.
- Try folding your clothes and stacking them vertically in your drawers so you can see each item.
- Round up shoes and store in shoe racks.
- Use a plate rack/lid organizer to store your clutch purses.
- Don’t forget your door! Make use of over-the-door scarf and shoe organizers.
- Divide and conquer out-of-control T-shirts or sweaters by using closet shelf dividers.
- Label everything you can, from drawers to hangers.
- Look for Goodwill and Salvation Army stores or thrift shops in your area.
- Sell unwanted clothes on mobile apps like ThredUP or Poshmark.
- Check for local nonprofits, such as Operation Blessing in Portsmouth or Families in Transition’s OutFITters Thrift Store in Manchester and Concord, that are looking for gently used items. More nonprofit suggestions: Liberty House, Journey Home, Friends of Forgotten Children, Wonderland Thrift Shop, New Generation, D Acres (for anyone who's really cleaning out some serious closet space - the wish list runs from rain coats and comforters to farm tools and kitchen appliances) or SHARE Outreach.