Closet Cleaning Hacks


I’ve always liked to organize. When I was little, I would move furniture around in my room so often that my parents had to start telling me that I could only do so on Fridays/weekends so that I wouldn’t make a big mess before having to wake up for school the next day. My childhood room was always scarily clean and uncluttered, but that’s how I liked it!

Not much has changed even though I’m now on my third adulthood apartment (eek!). The other day after work, I had the weirdest urge to clean up my closet (it’s a strange size and was getting a bit out of hand) and was able to do so in less than 45 minutes.

My closet is technically a walk-in, but only in the sense that I can walk in and out rather than just reach in to grab things. (Note: the above closet layout is what dreams are made of and is unfortunately not mine). The closets I had in my apartments in Philly and New York were both HUGE, so this has been an adjustment. However, for all of the fun decor and wall art I collect, I’m really not that big of a clothes person and am good at paring down as needed. Having too many outfit choices kind of stresses me out, so I do a pretty good job of making consignment store runs and donation piles throughout the year to keep things from getting too chaotic.

ANYWAY. Here are my 45-minute or less closet cleaning tips…

  1. Pick a clothing type to organize and focus primarily on that. I’ve been digging into my sweater collection more as the weather has gotten cooler, but I wasn’t thrilled with how they were looking in my closet, so that was the focus of this cleanout. I had originally turned storage cubes on their sides (thanks for the idea, Mom!) and stacked them, piling up sweaters and sweatshirts in each cube. For awhile I decided to keep sweaters and sweatshirts in a big bin, but this wasn’t extremely functional, so I went back to the cube system and things already began to look much neater once I had re-folded and stored everything.
  2. Make a quick giveaway pile, even during a small clean-out. My church is holding a large yard sale event in early December, so I knew that if I found any clothes worth donating, I’d be able to get them off of my hands relatively quickly. I frequently sell clothes to consignment stores, but it really is hit or miss when it comes to what they’ll take. I had just made a big consignment run a few weeks back and was sent home with some rejects, so now those items have moved to my donate bag.
  3. Keep supplies at the ready. I like using thin, cloth hangers (the ones that are all the rage at the moment), and I found tons of extras that I had on hand from my move. I tossed them all into a large reusable bag that I now have hanging in my closet, ready for future use.
  4. Be practical. I decided that being November, it was finally safe to stash my portable fan on the top shelf of my closet (rather than letting it sit on the floor). I also filled a large tote bag with extra toilet paper and made it accessible without letting it take up prime real estate. Items that I have at the ready (aka on the floor of the closet) include my Hunter boots (they’re also generally useful for snowy weather) and a step stool (my top shelves are pretty high!). I’ve hung up bags, backpacks, and baseball hats on the hooks that are attached to my closet walls.

Less than an hour later, my closet was good as new and I was ready to move on with my evening! Organization really doesn’t have to be stressful if you go into it with a goal in mind. What tips would you add?

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