Happy Monday, friends. It’s time for the Spring Clean Up Challenge! Each week for the next seven weeks, we are going to be tackling one area of the house that needs a spring refresher, making spring cleaning not as daunting as it can appear. Click the link to get the free Weekly-Clean-Up-Challenge printable. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for motivation throughout the week!
This week, we are focusing on drawers and closets. I am going to start upstairs and work my way down to the basement. We aren’t focusing on the kitchen or bathroom cabinets and drawers, as that is the next few weeks. We are focusing on:
- Bedroom Drawers
- Nightstand Drawers
- Bedroom Closets
- Hallway Closets
- Mudroom Closets
- Entryway Closets
- Living or Family Room Drawers
- Dining Room Drawers
- Storage Area Closets
- Crawl Spaces
- The Catch-All or “Monica” Closet, if you will…(Yes, this is a Friends reference)
To help ease you into getting things cleaned out for spring, I thought I’d share some tips and tricks I use to keep myself organized! I broke them down into categories!
When it comes to cleaning out my clothes hanging in the closets, I try to remember the “hanger trick”. Flip all of your clothes on hangers facing the wrong direction. When you wear that item, turn the hanger to face to correct way. When it’s time to assess if you are wearing all of the clothes in your closet, you will have an easy visual to support your decision to donate that item!
I also keep my closet color coordinated. There are a couple of ways you can do this to make sure it is an effective way to organize your clothes. For all of my clothes, I keep them fully color-coded, so it looks like a rainbow. I start with tank tops, then t-shirts then long-sleeved shirts for one color, then go to the next color following this pattern. I always start with white and go down the line of ROY G BIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet) then browns, grays and blacks. My pants are organized by categories and color-coded. My jeans are first, going lightest to darkest wash. My dress pants go from white, green, blue, brown, gray and black. I have my capri pants first then my slimmer leg cut pants, then my wide-leg pants. Skirts are after my pants in my closet. I have them on skirt hangers with like colors. All of my black skirts are secured to one skirt hanger. If I have only one color skirt, I will keep it on it’s own hanger. All of my dresses are hanging and arranged by color. I also purchased a scarf organizer and my scarves are arranged by color as well, making it easy to find the scarf I want to wear.
For my husband’s clothes, I kept all of his polo shirts color-coded and all of his dress shirts color-coded. All of his dress pants are on pant hangers, but I put the last pair he wore behind the rest of his dress pants on the rod. This helps him remember what he wore the day before and keeps him from wearing the same pair of pants every day.
I keep things color coordinated for a few reasons. One, it makes it easier to find a particular color you are looking for. Two, it helps you get a visual of what colors you wear a lot of. And three, it just looks organized and clean and happy!
Clothing In Drawers:
Seeing as we don’t have much drawer space, I don’t keep much in the drawers. When I am working with clients who have a lot of drawers, my rule is never fill a drawer too full. Keep the drawers to the categories you have assigned and stick to it! For my husband, I have a drawer for his t-shirts and that is all that is allowed to be in that drawer. He has another drawer for pants and shorts, which are the only things he can keep in that drawer. By sticking to one category in a drawer, he is not only able to find things quickly, but it keeps his things organized and contained to a specific location. When I keep things in drawers, such as tank tops and t-shirts, I like to keep them color coordinated in the drawers. For my husband, I just stick his t-shirts in the drawer and call it a day, because he will never keep them color coordinated, so it’s a lost cause and a fight that’s not worth having!
I keep all of our seasonal apparel either under our bed or in bins in the front hall closet. By seasonal apparel, I’m talking about sweaters, t-shirts, tank tops, summer dresses, snow pants, boots, gloves, etc. In the spring and in the fall are when I change out our closets for the appropriate apparel for that season. Since it is becoming spring, I am taking out all of our spring and summer clothes and putting away all of our winter attire. I have two storage bins under the bed that I will put our sweaters into and take out our shorts, skirts, dresses, swimsuits and t-shirts that have been stored there all winter. By storing unused items under the bed, it makes our closets and dressers appear to have more space to hold all of our clothes!
I am taking all of our snow pants, gloves, hats, boots, etc. and packing them up for the season. I have bins in the front hall closet that are designated for snow gear. I roll up the snow pants and place them in a large bin that is labeled for snow pants. All of the gloves, hats and scarves go into another bin that is stored next to the snow pants bin. I keep all of our snow boots in shoe containers so I can stack them and store them in the front hall closet, seeing as we have so much space in that closet.
I make sure that everything is cleaned and washed before I put it away for the season. This helps to protect the clothes and keep them like new! I also put a dryer sheet in each container or bin to keep the clothes from smelling like the container they are in.
We have a fantastic area for shoes in our mud room, so I try to keep everyone’s shoes stored under their individual cubbies. My husband’s dress shoes are under his cubbie, while his gym shoes are stored above his cubbie. My every day shoes are stored under my cubbie, but my dress shoes and heels are stored in shoe containers and stacked in our “accessory closet”. It’s this small, half-closet right outside our bedroom door and has the entrance to the crawl space in it. I stack my shoes in the shoe containers and store them in this closet, making them easy to remove if we have to get into the crawl space, but still visible to me when selecting which shoes to wear!
The catch-all spaces or junk drawers, or whatever it is you call them. Everyone has at least one and they are always the toughest areas to organize. I’m not going to lie to you, I have a few junk drawers and the major junk closet in the basement. These are tough spaces to tackle, but if you find some sort of system that works, you will be so happy with the end result.
I always look at how the space is used before I try to clean anything up. One of my junk drawers is holding all of our phone changers, pens, pads of paper and chap stick along with our dish towels. Things were difficult to find since nothing was stored properly. I took a small basket and put all of the wrapped cords into the basket. I refolded the towels in half to get more storage space, making four piles instead of two. I moved the pads of paper and pens to a different location where most note pads ended up because I was using them in the kitchen and not the dining room. And now my junk drawer became organized because I took out what didn’t work in the space and contained the items that worked in that space.
When working with a junk drawer, group all items together that you use specifically in that location of the junk drawer. Then find a storage container that will hold your items. It doesn’t have to be fancy, you can use boxes and sticky 3M adhesives to keep them in place! The remaining items you have from your junk drawer should be put in a location that better meets your needs with how you use those items.
Large Storage Areas:
My biggest complaint I have about storage areas is that they end up being a junk space instead of actually an effective storing area. To help manage this, I always make sure I use clear bins with lids that are labeled when storing things in a large storage area. I keep the bins clear so you can see what is stored in them. I keep the lids on for easy and safe stacking, along with keeping things out that aren’t suppose to be in the bin. I label the bins with either large stickers or paper taped to the inside of the bin so I know what is in each bin. By keeping the large storage area organized with clear bins, I am able to find things easily and keep all similar items together.
Now you have some tools to help you sort through your drawers and closets! Take your time this week to truly go through your drawers and closets to get all clean and organized! Please share pictures with me as I’d love to see how you are doing with cleaning and organizing your way to a happy Spring! Post your pictures to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and tag me @organizedmamas, and you could be featured on The Organized Mama!