One Effective Tip to Cleaning out your Closet

Spring is rapidly approaching. Well, maybe not here in Wisconsin, but nonetheless it will soon be that time of year we find ourselves opening the windows, letting the house breathe, and getting our “Spring cleaning” done.

At some point, you might want to clean out your closet (or worse yet, your kids’ closets). A former colleague of mine taught me a very cool trick to doing this effectively. Before I get into the process, let’s go over some problems that have developed in most of our closets.

If you’re single or have no kids, this might not apply to you. I think that for people like me, closets are perceived as too small to care about and often for this reason accumulate crap that should not be there in the first place.

I’ll use my house to demonstrate.

In our entryway, just beyond the front door, there are two closets. Common sense would say one was meant to be a coat closet, and the one closer to the kitchen probably a pantry or closet for cleaning supplies. Since we typically come in and out of the garage as opposed to the front door, we use the closet at the garage entry for a coat closet – and “shoe collection point”. So those two closets upstairs at the entry have things like this in them: Rubbermaid containers (one for light bulbs, one for extension cords and surge protectors, and one for batteries), random extra coats and shoes, recycled plastic and paper bags, cleaning supplies, paper towel storage…

I think you get the picture.

So, having laid that out, I would like to throw my opinion out there that there’s no substitute for completely emptying out a closet, cleaning it properly, and only putting back what should really be there. If you can’t find a place to put the “junk”, it begs the question: Do you really need that junk? That’s just food for thought.

Back to the hack though…here’s how you do it. Here is one simple but effective method to cleaning out your bedroom closet.

Hang up everything in your closet backward.

A hanger has an open end, meaning if you have an article of clothing on a hanger, as you go to hang it up, you face the opening of the hanger toward the rod and hook it over the top (easy stuff – hanging up clothes 101).

What you want to do is take that article of clothing and the hanger and flip it so the opening is toward you, and hang it up backward so to speak.

Do this with everything hanging in your closet, and if you have room and enough hangers, do this with all your pants too.

Go about your business as usual.

Every day, wear what you would normally wear. If you wear something and launder it, hang it back up the correct way, not backward. The goal is over time, the things you actually wear will end up flipped the other way around and be normal. The things you DON’T wear will still be hung up backward.

Set a deadline, make your donation.

If you get done reading this and run back to start this process, set a goal for yourself and respect the season. If it’s summer, obviously you won’t be wearing a bunch of long-sleeved stuff, so all those will probably still be flipped around the wrong way.

When your deadline has arrived, anything flipped the wrong direction still is probably just taking up space in your closet. If you don’t wear it, donate it. Get rid of it. If you do this with your kids’ closets, their closets could have some clutter cleared too.

This works for shoes too, but you would have to find a clever way to separate what does and does not get worn. I love my wife to death, and she’s not even really one of those ladies who get all excited about shoes and clothes, but I feel like she has 1,000 pairs of shoes. I took notice one day, and decided to try to count, only to find out I had more shoes than I realized! We’re all guilty of hoarding sometimes – cut the fat!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go clean out my closet. If you found this helpful, please remember to like and share. I’m always excited to get feedback; feel free to reach out to me. Subscribe now so you don’t miss future helpful posts!

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Husband, dad, soldier, veteran, transportation manager, musician, and now a blogger and podcast host...sharing stories, experiences, and debates.

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