It’s finally spring, and from where I’m sitting right now, the grass is turning green, trees sprout tiny buds, and a couple fat and sassy bunnies hop through the shrubs. It is an absolutely beautiful Colorado spring day, and yet here I sit thinking about winter clothes. Yep, big sweatshirts, cable-knit sweaters, ski boots, hats, mittens… This is the beginning of my spring cleaning fever!
So as part of our Resolution Organization 2015 series, let’s start our spring cleaning with clothes and closets. They’re so often crammed with clothes we haven’t worn in forever, and favorite pieces that one day – we swear! – we’ll be able to fit in again. But if a disorganized closet that leaves you saying, “I have nothing to wear!” and frustrates you like it does me, then let’s get down to business.
“WOULD I BUY THIS TODAY?”
First things first: It’s time to thin out all the clothes. All of them. Pull everything out of your closet – including accessories, purses, shoes, suitcases and whatever else has landed on the shelves. Spend a few minutes actually cleaning your closet – hey, have you ever vacuumed in there?
Now it’s back to the piles of clothes strewn around your room. I personally start by sorting them by type: My pants, husband’s slacks, button-down shirts, blouses, etc. Then, it’s time to purge. Start with all the things you know are never worn, no longer fit or are damaged, and put all those in a “donate” box. (Don’t feel bad about putting the damaged items in there – some places will fix minor damage or find ways to upcycle them.) Check with your nearest Guardian Storage office to see if they’re currently accepting donations for Keep Yinz Warm or other local organization.
“Would I buy this today?” is the one simple question that will really help you weed out the items you do not want to keep. If you are not willing to spend the cash, then it’s time to put that item in the “donate” box too. If you’re really not sure but keep going back to, “But I do like it…” then here’s a suggestion: Put the item on a hanger, but put the hanger on the rod backward. If you actually end up wearing it, then rehang later the proper way. But when it’s time to make your seasonal switch and the hanger is still on the rod backward, then you know you’ve still not worn it. Time to donate.
Now that sorting is complete, you’ll find putting things back is really quite refreshing. After all, you now have an empty and clean closet to organize any way you want. Like things color-coded? Then hang all your shirts in ROYGBIV order. Maybe the order that works for you is by type: tank-tops, t-shirts, blouses, etc. Just remember, pick a system that will work for you, otherwise, your newly organized closet won’t stay that way for long. Check out our Pinterest board for our favorite closet organizing tips and hacks.
One of the best things about storage units, especially climate control spaces, is that they can serve as a heated/cooled version of a catch-all garage/linen cupboard/closet. Plus, all our Guardian Storage locations sell wardrobe boxes, complete with a metal support rod, so you can keep clothes on their hangers. No folding them up or shoving them in bags, then spending hours re-washing and ironing when it’s time to switch summer for winter items again. Put these two together, and you have a portable seasonal closet – just switch out boxes.
I personally organize my wardrobe boxes by person and clothing type. For example, mine is labeled as, “Anna – Winter Pants” and “Anna – Winter Sweaters.” The same thing goes for all the other members of my household. Because there’s a little room at the bottom of the wardrobe boxes, I toss a few pairs of shoes and boots in there. (Worried smelly shoes will mean smelly clothes? Try this trick from “Real Simple”: Just stuff a dryer sheet inside each shoe. I leave them in the whole time they’re boxed up.)
And remember it isn’t just clothing that you can store in a climate controlled unit: Grab those extra blankets and quilts, too.