Tuesday, April 02, 2019

5 basic closet organization tips

spring cleaning season is here! 

the fresh air and sunshine of spring always motivates me to tidy up and get organized. without a plan, though, spring cleaning can seem very overwhelming. i recommend making a list of the areas of your home/space that you want to organize and taking your time focusing on one area at a time, from start to finish. here's a bonus tip: give yourself plenty of grace! it might be called "spring" cleaning, but it could very well take multiple seasons to accomplish! and that's okay. most organization projects are ongoing.

just start somewhere. i started in my closet. it's an area where i have the most control over, since i'm the one who uses it daily. maybe this is a good place for you to start, too?

here are my 5 basic tips for getting and keeping your closet organized: 

1 // one it, one out rule. the idea of this "rule" is for every item you bring into the closet, one item has to be taken out and donated. if i buy a new sweater, when it goes into my closet and onto a hanger, i find another item of clothing that i no longer wear and take it off of it's hanger, to be donated or given away. it's a minimalism principal - which you know i love - that prevents overbuying and clutter accumulation. because sometimes the problem isn't disorganization, it's too much stuff. before i purchase a new item, i remember that i have this rule in place and consider if it's worth bringing in for the sake of taking something out. another thing about this rule is that the item going out has to be taken out immediately. if i don't do it right away, i'll probably forget. which brings me to #2...

2 // donation bin. keep a bag, box, or bin in the closet to collect clothes and shoes that need to be donated. as soon as you realize an item no longer fits your style or your body, put it in the donation bag. be firm and honest about this - if you are not going to wear it again, do not let it live in your closet any longer. no excuses. i heard this and it's a hard-truth perspective: "often it's what we hold on to that holds us back." give it away. own your things, don't let your things own you. some things are for a season and that's all, and that's okay. be prepared to pass things on when you're finished with them. hang on to memories, not stuff. when the bin is full, take it to the donation center and put a new, empty bin in the closet. (we use the itsDeductible app to log our donations for tax purposes.)

3 // group like items. short sleeves are hanging next to other short sleeves, cardigans with cardigans, dresses with dresses, athletic shoes with athletic shoes, scarves with scarves, and so forth. section things together like in a neatly organized department store. even my pants are hanging with similar style/color pants. when like items are together, you can go into the closet for something specific and know right where to look for it. this solves the problem of not being able to find that black short sleeved shirt, for example, because it's tucked and hidden among colored sweaters and dresses. everything in it's place and a place for everything, they say.

4 // upgrade your hangers. we made the switch a few years ago from plastic hangers to the soft felt hangers. they are non-slip, super thin so they consolidate space, and they make the closet look so tidy and uniform. felt hangers can be found reasonably priced at Costco and on Amazon. resale shops and donation centers will usually accept plastic hangers gladly!

5 // the floor is lava. inspired by a silly game my kids taught me, this is a useful (yet silly) phrase to keep the closet floor clean and clear of discarded clothing and shoes. this is where i struggle! some people have a chair or exercise machine where they toss clothes to be put away later. (no no) my clothes land on the side of the bathtub or the closet floor, and pile up until i finally take the time to put them away or hang them up. i can't stand it! it's stressful! i'm much happier when my closet floor is clean and clear, and i can walk in it without stepping on clothes! so, i use my imagination and pretend the floor is lava and if i leave my clothes there they will melt into burning hot oblivion. :) it helps. and makes me smile.

a clutter-free space cultivates a clutter-free mind and a clutter-free heart. there's actual science behind why keeping our areas organized brings us joy. the organization and cleanliness of our homes contribute to our physical health, sleep patterns, energy levels, boosts creativity, lifts depression, increases our ability to focus (less distractions), enables goal-setting and follow through, and gives a sense of overall peace.

chaos in our living spaces cause chaos in our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual space. a space burdened with belongings muddles our minds and weighs heavy on our hearts. it's very possible that our physical and emotional symptoms are related to the disorganization of our living spaces, which means taking the time to tidy a room can be healing. start by asking God to show you the areas of your home that need spring cleaning, and trust that He will lead you to a peace that surpasses all understanding. you do the practical cleaning and let God do the heart cleansing.
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." -Psalm 51:10

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