Taking Baby Steps to Organize Your Closet
Some of you may be familiar with the (classic) movie, What About Bob? Bill Murray is at his best, as his portrayal of Bob Wiley, a psychiatric patient who suffers from multiple phobias, thus, making him a little bit of an oddball. His current psychiatrist decides to retire and sends Bob to one of his colleagues,
Dr. Leo Marvin, who seems to have a few issues of his own.Both Bill Murray, and Richard Dreyfuss, who played Dr. Leo Marvin, are brilliant!
When Bob first meets Leo, he finds that the doctor will be going on vacation with his family, not returning until the end of the Summer. To calm Bob’s nerves, Leo gives him a copy of his latest book, “Baby Steps”. Instead of looking at the big problem, Bob is encouraged to take baby steps, to get over his hangups. It doesn’t go quite as planned…you’ll have to watch the movie to see the ending (it’s a blast!).
Perhaps you’ve heard the terms before or may have even recommended someone take baby steps, towards making improvements. But have you ever considered taking baby steps towards organizing your closet? Sure, you can find a lot of “top 10” ways to organize your closet, with some very helpful tips. But how about we take another route…instead of going through the numbers, we’ll be going through the alphabet…..from A to Z!!! This is going to be fun…..trust me! So pull up your socks…..tie those shoe laces…..and take a quick stretch, as we embark on baby steps towards organizing your closet!
A – Accessories need a home. I’m referring to your hats, gloves, scarves, and of course, shoes. The floor of your closet is not a suitable place for all your accessories! I’m a big believer in making sure every accessory has a place to “lay their head.”
B- Baskets. I love baskets! They come in all shapes and sizes, so there is no need not to have a home for all those bulky scarves and hats. The picture to my right is of one of my favorite baskets that I bought at Marshall’s. It’s the perfect resting place, for those oversized scarves, of which I have too many. Granted, the basket is not actually in my closet, but if I had one of those beautiful, walk-in closets (sigh) it would fit nicely in the corner…..near the chaise…..with a bowl of chocolate covered strawberries nearby…..
C – Containers. As much as I love baskets, I love containers 5x as much..perhaps bordering on unhealthy, but I’ll save that for another post. Yes, it’s just a plastic box, but there are so many varieties! My favorites are those that have drawers, which allows you to stack other containers on top, without having to remove the ones below.
D – Dividers. Buy them or make your own, but these babies will keep your sweaters nice-n-neat. When I was organizing my closet, I already had 2 dividers but needed another one. Since I didn’t want to go to the store, I just found a large enough piece of heavy-duty cardboard, and I had my handmade divider! Easy breezy!!!
E – Extenders. These are what are added to hangers to create more space in your closet.
F- Frock Swap. I attended my first frock swap several years ago, in upstate New York, that took place in a large room in a school. The idea of the frock swap is to bring an item, and exchange it for something you want; so if someone came with 10 items, they would receive a voucher to select 10 “new” items. Now, for the purpose of getting your closet organized, you may just decide to get rid of certain items, without exchanging, which is fine. The purpose is to tap into those creative juices and have fun!
G – Go Green. Use what you already have, or ask a friend or family member for any items you may need, to help with storing items. I wish we could reinstitute the barter system: I give you one goat, in exchange for 3 large containers! Everybody wins!
H – Hangers. Well, I think it’s safe to say that most closets have hangers; but don’t be so quick to go to the nearest store to pick up just any hanger Select the ones that suit your needs…..and your space. My favorites are the thin velvet ones and wooden skirt/pant hangers.
I – Imagine. OK, just a little mental exercise for you: imagine how you want your closet to look. Is it just a functional closet, or do you want to give it a little spice! This really should be the first step, but since “I” comes after “A”…well…
J – Jars. Yes…..jars! They have definitely come a long way baby! Still great for preserving your favorite jams, they can also hold some of your jewelry, should your closet be large enough to store them.
Quick Tip: glue the tops of the jars to a long piece of wood or material, that can easily be attached to the underside of your shelf. Once that board is in place, you can fill your jars, but instead of twisting off the tops, you would twist the jar itself. This might work better for a storage closet, as opposed to your bedroom one, but it’s still a great option.
K – Keep It Simple Smarty. Sometimes, we can overthink things, to the point of totally missing the solution. So if you find yourself a bit stuck, take a breather, and you just may find a simpler solution.
L – Lights. This is going to be one of my mini-projects in the near future for my closet. Although my bedroom closet is 6 ft.long, the doorway is very narrow, but it’s very dark. I’d like to install some sort of ceiling light…..I’ll keep you posted!
M – Matching. You can refer this as “grouping” or “categories”, but since we’re up to the letter “m”, I’ll call this matching likes with likes. You can either group your clothes by categories (all blouses together) or use the color coded system (I use this system). Regardless of the system you choose, you’re sure to save a lot of time in the morning.
N – Nonprofit. When looking to donate your clothes, why not look for an organization, where you know your clothes will be put to good use. My favorite: www.dressforsuccess.org
O – Over-the-Door-Hooks. A great item to have for scarves, ties, extra long necklaces, or any other miscellaneous item.
P – Pizza!!! I don’t know about you, but all this talk about organizing is making me hungry! Break time!
Q – Quarterly Cleaning. Despite our best efforts, our closets may get a bit messy from time to time. It’s OK. We take our cars for a tune-up, and our teeth get checked and cleaned regularly, so why not schedule your closet for a quarterly clean up!
R – Repair/Replace. If anything is in need of repair in your closet, get it fixed! If it’s beyond repair, replace it! Getting your closet in order is part physical and part mental; you want to create an environment that is conducive to order and peace of mind. Surrounding yourself with broken down and worn out things, will have the opposite effect.
S – Shoe Racks. This is a no-brainer. Depending on the size and style of your shoe rack you may be able to give it multiple purposes. My shoe rack (another favorite), is large enough to place a small basket to hold my socks (I actually didn’t even think of that until I started typing this!); one of my favorites is the Sodynee 50 Pair Shoe Rack
T – Tools. Think about the tools you may need to install shelves, remove the closet door, put up lights, etc. Just take a moment to check two things: 1) that you actually have the tools you need, 2) that the tools you have are in good condition. There’s nothing like starting a project, only to find the head of the hammer is wobbly…or worse, missing!
U – UtilizeTop Shelves. Most closets have at least one shelf, just make sure you’re using them effectively. Quick Tip: You’ll save a lot more space if you fold things neatly than if you just pile items up, in a disorderly fashion. It’s weird, but the same number of items will take up more space if they are not folded or arranged neatly. Don’t believe me? Try it, and see what happens!
V – Visualize. This ties into what I mentioned earlier, about imagine. But this requires getting some physical visuals, to help you make what you imagined a reality. Whether Pinterest or Instagram, you’re sure to find something that you like.
W – Walls. Again, this will depend on the size of your closet, but if you have a large enough closet, use the wall space to hang those miscellaneous items. Perhaps you just want to add some color; put up some wallpaper or paint. Granted, this won’t keep your closet organized, but it will make your closet a lot more cheerful.
X – X-ray. Wha??? Hey, cut me some slack here! It was a hard to come up with a word beginning with the letter “x”. I thought of xylophone, but that doesn’t seem quite appropriate for this article…..so X-ray stands for examination. Set aside time to examine your progress, and don’t be afraid to stop and readjust, if you’re not satisfied with the results.
Y – YouTube. Not sure how to put something together? Check out YouTube. They have a video on how to properly fold fitted sheets (despite having watched it several times, I still haven’t gotten it right!), so you’re bound to find exactly what you need.
Z – Ziplock Bags. Yes…..they really do work! I don’t know how, but they do! Once that air is sucked out, you’ll be left with a bag that’s at least 3x times less, the size it used to be…..incredible!
Whew!!! We did it!!! I’d love to hear some comments from you, especially is you tried any of these A to Z tips.
Remember, life is too short for clutter…..now go get some pizza!
I would love to hear from you, so feel free to leave your comments below.
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