Spring Clean Your Closet!

by Dayna Del Val 

Believe it or not, spring is just around the corner. It’s nearly time to say goodbye to all those bulky sweaters, wool pants, snow boots and turtlenecks. Lighten up your closet by cleaning, organizing, decluttering and removing items you no longer want or need. The best time to start is while it’s still chilly outside. Here’s your total guide to closet organization.

1. Empty the closet

Take your clothing from your closets and drawers. As you remove each item, check the pockets for used tissues, old shopping lists, dollar bills and what-have-you. Inspect zippers, buttons, hems and seams, and then put each piece into one of four piles:

All-season. You wear these garments throughout the year.

Donate/sell/swap. Get rid of everything you haven’t worn in a year because it no longer fits, doesn’t go with anything else you own or is out of style. Put it in shopping bags or cardboard boxes. Plan to donate it, sell it, or host a clothing swap party with friends.

Repair/dry clean. Set aside items with loose hems, split seams and fallen-off buttons and other fasteners, to mend later or take for repair. Include in this pile dry-clean-only winter clothing that needs to go to the dry cleaner, along with anything that needs alterations.

Check the soles and heels of your winter shoes and boots. Clean them thoroughly and have them resoled if necessary.

Store. This container is for winter-only clothing and accessories, including purses, jewelry, hats and scarves. Don’t worry about sorting it all and storing it yet — just gather it all in one place.

Move all the bins, boxes and bags out of the way — preferably to a different room so it’s out of your way as you continue your closet organization process.

2. Upgrade the storage space

With the closet empty, you can now attack any necessary cleaning, repairs and expansion:

  • Open closet doors and dresser drawers to make sure they work smoothly. Tighten loose knobs, adjust and lubricate door tracks, and lubricate sticky drawers so they glide open and shut with ease.
  • If the closet is dark, install a new light fixture or stick-up LED light.
  • If your closet is deep enough, install another rod. Add shelves if there’s room above existing shelves.
  • Vacuum the closet floor and then damp mop it. Dust shelves with an electrostatic cloth and then wipe with a damp rag. Remove liner paper from the drawers, vacuum and wipe them, and add fresh liner paper.
  • If the closet walls are dingy and banged up, consider painting them, but choose a shade that won’t cast strange color tones on your garments.

3. Move back in

It’s time to bring in the spring and summer wardrobe you stored last autumn, as well as your all-season clothing.

If you put clothes away last season that you weren’t sure you’d wear again, add them to the donation bin.

When planning closet organization, hang clothing in a way that makes sense to you — that might be by color, function, season or fabric. Discard metal and broken hangers. Hang skirts on skirt hangers, delicate blouses on padded hangers, and heavier pieces like suit coats on sturdy hangers.

If you store shoes in their boxes (which is recommended to protect them) stack shoeboxes on a shelf or on the floor with the name facing out. Or store shoes in clear shoeboxes. If space is at a premium, use an over-the-door shoe hanger instead. (Their pockets also work great for purses, belts, scarves and other items that present storage challenges.)

Fold sweaters neatly and place them in small stacks so they don’t tip — consider using dividers to support them. Or use multi-shelf hanging canvas storage for sweaters.

4. Store the winter wear

Now that you’ve emptied the containers that held your warm-weather wardrobe, you can put your winter things away in them. Under-the-bed storage containers are a favorite. If space is really tight, use storage bags from which you can vacuum the air.

Whatever closet organization tools you use, make sure everything is clean and completely dry before you store it, and fold/hang/stack each garment as neatly as you can, because every wrinkle and crease will have 6 months to become ingrained.


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  1. I'm liked everythings. This is my SUPER Store!!!

  2. I really find this to be very useful especially for having a very large wardrobe... Between me n my boyfriend it would b very useful n conservative n as well with 3 kids it would really be of great use 2 help with space ts well as being organized and finding things n a timely fashion....

  3. I find this article to be very intuitive and easy to follow. By removing everything it gives you a clean slate to easily add shelves, shoe racks, purse holders. I went wild and turned a normal size closet into one that looks 10 times the size. My key... I replaced the end wall with 4 floor to ceiling mirrors giving the room a no stop look. by walking in at first site it looks as if the room is twice as long as it really was. Thanks for the insight! I finally have room to go and do some more shopping LOL !!

  4. I really like how they went about working this out, i need to up date my closet really bad,i can use alot of the idea,s in this article, some i already do and now i have a good idea how to handle the rest. thank you

  5. Good article. I have just lost weight and am going thru my closet and taking things out for Goodwill. Sometimes we hang on to those favorites that we think we might wear one more time or put weight back on and won't let go of a piece. Rule of thumb "after a year" is a good idea. But I can't always stick with it. I'm retired now and I wonder why I am still hanging on to the nice office clothes (maybe cause I think I may have to go back to work). But can't quite see me working again. Good hint about the vacumn storage bags I have even used them on a cruise once. The steward thought I was crazy when I asked him to please bring his vacumn when we were packing at the end of our trip but was very impressed when he realized what I was doing. I still keep basics because you can always update with scarves, jewelry, hats etc. Helpful article.