Monday, December 27, 2010

Weekly Challenge: Closet Organization (Dec 27-31)

The Weekly Challenge is a small task to set for yourself that will help save money, organize your life, or lower your environmental impact.

Have you ever bought an item you thought you needed, only to find it hiding in a corner when you got home?  Organization lets you create an inventory of your possessions, which allows you to purchase items you know you truly need

This week's challenge is to tackle a closet.  Chances are, you'll already be rooting around one as you pack away your Christmas decorations.  

This project provides an opportunity to purge unwanted items and create new space for ones that need a place to park their butt.  Nothing like an empty shelf to get stuff off the floor! 

Items you will need:
  • The bravery to tackle a closet
  • Time set aside for the task (an hour, an evening, spaced out each day...)
  • A container for items to donate
  • 2 bags -- one for recycling, one for trash
  • A dusting rag, potentially a broom or vacuum

1) Start by completely removing all the items.  Seriously, give yourself a fresh space to work with. 

2) As you clear out the space, make sure to give everything a little clean.  This may be as simple as wiping off bottles, folding clothes, or throwing comforters in the dryer for a fluff.  Dust off shelves, vacuum/sweep the floor, wipe off box tops.   

3) Evaluate all the items you have, always asking:
  • Do I need this?
    • If no, can I donate or recycle it?
    • If yes, is this closet a good home for this item?
This is a good approach if you're working with a storage/bath/hall closet.  If you're organizing a clothes closet, you have some additional work cut out for you.  You need to evaluate all of the clothes in there for fit, season (weather, not fashion), and likability.  If you haven't worn it in a year and it's not a motivation outfit, donate it.  Let someone else put it to good use instead of collecting dust.

4) After you've gone through everything, assess whether the closet needs any organizational accessories.  There are tons of inexpensive containers, hampers, boxes, totes, hooks, and racks that you can add without a big price ticket.  In our book, any item that gets you organized is always justified.  

My designated closet is our office walk-in. 

It's our only walk-in and medium sized, but it's our main storage area.

As you can see, it's fairly organized but it holds a lot.  It's easy to forget what we've stashed in there.  The Christmas decorations also need to be returned to this closet so it's a good one to work on.

Check back this weekend to see how we did!


  1. Closets are ok around here. The problem is the room I am currently sitting in... have already rid myself of TONS of stuff and there are still too many bits and bobs and just general stuffage. (the attic is clean, though!)

  2. The attic is clean?!?! This I must see when we next come up. Impressive! I know how hard you've been working on that over the past couple of years. I have a friend who's been fretting about the amount of stuff she has, something about how our possessions can bog us down -- both literally and mentally. I think that applies to almost everyone I know, self included.

    Need to still start on our closet. Bronchitis flared up again so it's been a long week. Goal is to tackle it tomorrow...