Closet Cleanout Ideas to Use in Your Home

A load of storage and organization tips.
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Photos: Getty Images

Raise your hand if during your latest cleaning kick you shoved a bunch of stuff into the closet to keep it out of sight, out of mind, figuring you’d deal with it later. The rest of the house may look great, but unless you have a magical portal to Narnia in that closet, it’s probably time for an overhaul. Here are some tips for organizing your hidden stash so that your closet is not only easier to access, but full of things you actually need. 

Smart Purging

Many cleaning experts say that when it comes to clothing, if you haven’t worn it in a year, donate it. That doesn’t apply to those of us who spent much of the past year and a half in sweatpants, or we’d be tossing all of our dancing shoes, blazers, pencil skirts and aloha shirts. So instead, take a more practical position: Get rid of anything that doesn’t fit. Still not sure whether or not you’ll be returning to the office? Neatly fold your work clothes into a storage bin. If you still haven’t cracked it by spring, donate the whole thing. You’ll likely want a wardrobe refresh by then anyway. 

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Invest in Better Bins

Storage solutions that are practical and effective at keeping things organized will prevent you from just tossing any ol’ thing on the shelf wherever, instead of putting it in its proper place. And those bags made from recycled plastic disintegrate after just a few months, leaving an even bigger mess. Try cute woven baskets, fabric tote bags with flat bottoms (such as the Twiggy totes at Valia Honolulu), easy-to-access drawers or coated metal cubes that won’t rust and can be configured to fit your space. Rather than stacking them (which makes accessing things even harder), try customizing modular shelving from Simply Organized to easily slide things in and out without feeling like you’re playing Jenga. 

One in, Two out

For every new clothing purchase, give away one item immediately and place another less frequently worn piece into a storage bin. If it remains untouched after a year, donate it. This will help keep your hangers well-spaced so your clothes hang straight and unwrinkled. 


Categories: Cleaning, Organization