I have a fashionista’s worst nightmare: a teeny-tiny closet. It’s literally about three feet wide and four feet deep. While I love to organize spaces and have everything neat and tidy, my closet has always overwhelmed me a bit. Oh, I go through my clothes every few months to get rid of things I don’t want anymore. And once or twice I’ve even attempted to get it organized for real. But, it never stays neat, and I usually find myself making excuses and just trying to keep that door shut at all costs!
Well, yesterday morning I went to my closet to get dressed for church, and this is what I saw:
I said to myself, “This is not ok.” Now, to be perfectly honest, this is not the worst my closet has ever looked by a long shot. I was just plain tired of looking at a mess, and the worst of the problem was shoved underneath and behind other things so you can’t really see it. Also, I start my senior year of college in a week, and it seemed like a good idea to begin the semester with a clean closet.
My mom has always said that sometimes you have to make a bigger mess before you can clean up the original mess. So, I set out to take everything but the hanging clothes out of my closet, and find out exactly what I had shoved in there in the past year.
Oh my goodness. How in the world did I manage to fit all this junk in my miniscule closet? I don’t know, but there it was. Kind of embarrassing, but Now I had to decide what to do with all this stuff.
One of the cardinal rules of organizing that I’ve heard from various places is that you can’t just rearrange mess and expect it to stay organized. You have to put less things into the space than you started with. Since I wanted this organization project to last longer than my previous efforts, I decided to put this rule to work.
I got a big trash bag and started throwing things away. Old purses, hats, and belts joined ancient notebooks, empty pens, and other junk. Some things went to other places in the house where they were actually supposed to go. A few weeks ago at a garage sale, I had found a set of small plastic drawers, and thought they would be perfect for storing the small things that still needed a home in my closet.
Hours later, my closet looked like this:
I used the drawers to hold hair accessories, small scarves, and notebooks.
I put some boxes of memorabilia and my large boot boxes on the top shelves.
My long scarves and belts went on Command hooks on one wall, so that I can easily see and get to them.
You can’t really see it, but there’s a shelf thing in the very back of the closet, and I put the purses that I don’t often use back there.
It’s not revolutionary, and my closet is still really small, but it’s much improved! Now, I just have to put in the effort to keep my closet neat, and resist the urge to fall back on old habits and stuff junk in every corner… I’m determined to keep my closet looking fabulous!
Do you have any great organizing advice? Have you undertaken any cleaning or organizational projects recently?