Did you watch Friends back in the 90’s? Do you remember when neat-freak Monica revealed her secret closet? Monica cleaned for fun and was so organized it went into an extreme. There was a locked closet in her apartment that she would never let other roommates open. One day the truth was revealed and we all saw what was in that closet – a hoarded mess of a mess. Most women in America suddenly could relate to Monica in a whole new way, because I think most people have a closet of shame! Heck, most people who aren’t as super-organized as Monica have more than one!
Welcome to Week #4!
This week we are going to open up (at least one of) our Monica closets and clean up the mess.
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Select your most frustrating closet, the one you would be most embarrassed for a visitor to open. That’s the one.
Now, you are going to work through the Steps of Organizing we’ve been practicing and organize this closet. Ready?
Step 1 – Declutter
That’s right, you’re going to pull everything out of the closet. It is going to feel a little like a can of worms, but the only way to get this closet organized is to go through the motions! And while you’re working on Step 1, it’s okay to go ahead and work on Step 2 at the same time.
Step 2 – Sort like with like
As you decide you’re keeping something from the closet, put it in a pile with similar items. For instance, a pile of games, a pile of camping supplies, a pile of coats, a pile of gloves, or a pile of toilet paper you forgot you had at the back of the closet.
If you come across something that is similar to stuff stored somewhere else, that item will go in your relocate pile, because in the big picture, you want your entire home sorted “like with like.”
Step 3 – Decide where stuff goes
This is going to be like the organizing we did during Bathroom week, but on a slightly larger scale. I suggest sketching your closet and listing your items and creating a plan on paper first.
(If you already have shelves and organization setup within the closet that you want to re-use, you can go ahead and place the piles in those locations. Otherwise just stick get them as close to the place as possible and you’ll naturally start working on Step 4.)
My Closet Organizing Plans
Make a list of what kinds of things you have in the closet. List out the Theme/Category of each Like with Like pile.
Take the time right now to sketch a plan for your closet. Not only plan for shelves and tools, but mark on your plan what is going where in the closet! Use your list of Like with Like piles to label storage areas in the closet on your plan.
Step 4 – Find the right tools, containers, or furniture
Now that you know exactly what you have that is staying and where you want it to go in the closet, figuring out organizing tools, containers, or furniture is going to be a lot easier and you’re going to make better decisions.
Using your sketch, make decisions about what organizing tools and what containers or tools or furniture you may need to do the job to your liking.
Take a few minutes and create a plan for your containers. Decide what containers you already have and what you’ll need to buy. Make a list of containers, including Description, Dimensions, QTY, and what EXACTLY that container will hold. Spending the time up front to make a detailed list will let you make the perfect purchase decisions when you’re shopping!
Now go get your organizing tools and install anything that needs to be installed. Then, put everything back in the closet. This is the most rewarding part seeing it come together.
Step 5 – Make it pretty
You may think that making a closet pretty is silly or strange, but making it pretty doesn’t have to mean a chandelier and a bouquet of flowers. Take a second to do something to spruce up the space so that it is a delight to open the door. Does the paint need to be touched up? Could you use pretty labels on any bins? Wrap boring plastic containers in fabric?
Making the closet a little bit nicer will help you enjoy maintaining it. It is a 100% mental help because in reality it probably doesn’t matter if the closet is decorated … but if it is pretty to open, you are going to naturally feel motivated to keep it tidy. If you hack together an ugly organizing solution that you never want to look at, what’s going to stop you from opening the door and throwing things in like you used to do?
What will you do to make your closet just a little prettier? Leopard Print Carpet?
Step 6 – Create a maintenance plan
What habits are you going to start that will keep this closet looking good? The habits may have little to do with the closet itself. Your plan could be things like “I resolve to not shove things in this closet because I don’t know where they go. If something doesn’t have a place in my home, it doesn’t belong in my home.” Or “I am going to do drop-offs to my donation center on a more regular basis.” Or “I’m going to start the Super Tidy and spend 10 minutes a day putting things away where they go so that I’m not tempted to just shove things in this closet when company is coming.”
Sometimes the maintenance plan is just simply about self-discipline mixed with the sincere desire to just keep it organized!
You Did It!
You’ve completed a tough week. You conquered your hardest closet! How does that feel?!
Don’t be surprised if suddenly it’s a little easier to keep everything organized. Sometimes these kinds of messes are mental blocks we didn’t even realize were causing us to not move forward. Now is the time to move forward!