Sunday, January 8, 2012

Spring Clean Week #3 - It's Closet Time

Congratulations if you have come back again this week for the next installment of Spring Cleaning.  By now you should have cleaned out and organized your kitchen drawers and cabinets!  Woo Hoo.  How long have you been meaning to do that?  Well, now it's done.  Let's move on to this week. 

It's time to tackle the closets and dresser drawers.  Now this may take you more than an hour depending on how many people are in your household, how many closets you have and how many dresser drawers you have.  Oh, um, grab you a laundry basket or two for this one.  Remember.....

a)  It's winter time.  The kids get bored, put them to work helping you.

b)  You have to make room for all of those great clothing items and shoes and STUFF you got during the holidays!!

So start with your first closet and take everything out.  Yep, everything.  Put it on the floor or on the couch or on the bed, wherever, but take everything out except the hanging rods. 

Grab your vacuum and give the closet a good once over.  Don't forget to put the attachments on and do the walls and corners, etc.  Dust does get in there.  Next take a warm, damp (not soaking) wash rag and give the walls a quick wipe down.  We're not talking  bleach water here.  Just get the rag wet with warm to slightly hot water, ring it out well and wipe them down.  Your closet doors are generally closed so you don't get as much dust, etc., in there as you would get on your regular walls so no need to go nutso here. 

Now it's time to put it all back.....but let's be realistic and honest here.

Before you put that umbrella back into the closet ask yourself a couple of questions:

a)  Does it still work?  Yes --> great, put it aside to go back in.  No it doesn't, set it aside to dispose of (we'll talk this week about how to dispose of things)

b)  Do you need that many of them?  So you have a working umbrella, yeah!!!  Do you have 4 more working ones as well?  Do you really need 4 more?  Be honest with whether you NEED what you HAVE.  We're talking the need vs. have rule here, sort of in reverse. 

c)  When was the last time you used it?  This applies to everything.  If you haven't used it in six (6) months and it's not because it's seasonal, then put it in the basket of things to get rid of.  For example, your working on the coat closet and you pull out 6 coats for yourself and 3 for you husband and 8 for the kids.  Do you  really need that many coats????  Seriously?????   I have 6 coats, and honestly, I really only need 3 so some of them have to go.  I have my fur (yep it's fake) that was a  give to me deal I just couldn't pass up.  Someone was throwing it out (yes throwing it out) and I said I'll take it.  I wear it when it is really really cold outside and we are going out to dinner or to a party, etc.  I have my leather jacket that I normally wear for both cool and cold temperatures.  I have a light windbreaker jacket and that's what I have.  Now, honestly, there are now 3 other jackets in the basement to give away.  I brought one home from my father's house for sentimental reasons and wore it for the first two years he was gone.  Time for it to go.  Another windbreaker down there that I don't need and another jacket that I can't for the life of me remember where it came from. Those 3 coats are going into the pile to get rid of . 

Be honest with yourself on this task.  Do you really need everything that you have.  This includes everything that is in your closet and drawers.  Clothes, shoes, purses, suitcases, umbrellas, hangers, clothing, whatever you find in there. 

If you can't wear it - out it goes (don't hang on to clothes you are trying to get back in to!  Don't do it!)
If you can't use it - out it goes
If you don't need it - out it goes

Put all of these items into a basket, a box or something and set it aside.  This week I am going to post about ways to get rid of these items.....the good, the bad, the ugly.  Believe it or not, there is a place for everything to go to.

Get your family involved in this task with you.  Obviously you'll want to do the little tykes rooms yourself.  Have you kids age 10 and up do their own closets/drawers.  Once they are done, go back through it with them.  If you see something in their drawer or closet you haven't seen them wear for a while or they have outgrown, gently challenge them on it.  "You know, I haven't seen you wear this in a year, why are you keeping it?"  If they say "I don't know", out it goes.

a)  It's a great way to get the kids involved;

b)  It gives them accountability;

c)  It teaches them to be organized (life long needed skill)

d)  It won't take you near the amount of time as if you had to do them all by yourself.

Remember, everything that needs to go, goes into the basket.  We'll deal with it as the week goes on.  Worn shoes go in the basket; outgrown clothes go in the basket; broken hangers go in the basket.  Get the picture?

Also, make you a little spot (box or basket works here to) for items that you still want but just need a little repair, i.e., the hem came out, the button popped off, etc.  Those items get a different home for the week and we'll tackle them during the week as well.

Hugs and congrats on sticking with the program.

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