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Organizing & Downsizing Your Closets

If you dream of a home where there’s a “place for everything, and everything in it’s place,” then you’re in luck. We’ve got the Busy Mom’s Guide to Organizing Your House One Step At A Time!

In January we started Step 1: Create A Drop Off Zone. In our house, we grew beyond the drop off zone I started in our basement. We now have one drop off zone on each floor of our house. It’s amazing how much we’ve been able to clear out of our house already, just by defining a place where unwanted items should go! (As an added bonus, this is also helping us to continue on our Total Money Makeover path since we’ll be able to earn extra money by having a garage sale this June from all of these unwanted items. Cha-ching!)

Overflowing bin in our master closet of items to garage sale or donate.

We’ll continue using our drop off zone in the weeks and months to come, but now that using the drop off zone has become such a ‘normal’ part of our home routine we’re ready for Step 2! 🙂

Step 2: Downsize Your Closets & Dresser Drawers

Have you ever noticed that as life gets busy our closets and drawers fill up fast? In our house, the start of the school year (when I go back to work) is the beginning of the filling up process. By November our coat closet is beginning to resemble a “junk drawer” instead of an organized master piece. That’s where step 2 comes in. This month you’re going to attack our clothing, accessories & shoes.

There are many ways you can go about organizing a closet or dresser. For me, the decision of what method to use comes down to time. If I have a few hours with no distractions (haha) I could choose to overhaul the whole thing at once, but let’s face it… most of us don’t have hours where we’re sitting around with nothing to do. Instead, we attack our closets one day at a time. Here are my 2 favorite methods for organizing a closet one day at a time:
Method #1 (Our preferred method, which I got from an AMAZING coworker of mine!)
  1. Commit to actually putting your laundry away every time you do laundry!
  2. As clean laundry enters your closet, put the hangers on the bar backwards (see picture above). After a few weeks have gone by you’ll have a perfect picture of what items you wear and which you don’t.
  3. Put the clothing you don’t use into your drop off zone you created in step 1 – and ladies… let’s not lie to ourselves. I’m never going to fit into that sexy dress I wore the year I met my husband and seeing it hanging in my closet for the last 6 years hasn’t motivated me to go loose the 10 pounds I’ve gained… GET RID OF IT!
Method #2
  1. Commit to actually putting your laundry away every time you do laundry!
  2. As clean laundry enters your closet, put everything on the right side of your closet, slowly pushing “older” clothes (the ones you haven’t worn for awhile) to the left.
  3. Each day as you get dressed take the outfit on the left end of your closet – no skipping ahead!
  4. If you get to an outfit and think “ugh… I am not feeling that shirt” then do not hesitate, put the item directly into your drop zone box. Here’s another moment where you have to stop lying to yourself… if an outfit doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, you aren’t going to wear it. It doesn’t matter how beautiful it is or how much money it cost you… you’re still not going to wear it & it’s just taking up valuable space in your closet.
It should go without saying, but heck, I’ll say it anyway…. these methods do not apply to your “special” outfits (so long as you don’t lie to yourself about what “special” means). So what is special? Well, for example it’s that little black dress you look fantastic in that is saved for special occasions like a fancy date out with your spouse. Items you do love and enjoy wearing that you just don’t have the opportunity to wear often but should always be on hand in case the opportunity arises.

It’s time to implement step 2… pick your method & start attacking each and every closet in your house. The same ideas can be applied to your shoes & accessories, your kids clothes, the coat closet, winter outdoor accessories and the like.

This month your goal is to continue sending items to the drop off zone if you don’t have a use for them AND downsize every closet and dresser in your house! You can do it! Let’s cheer one another on… tell us about your successes in the comments below. 🙂

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