Use extra time at home to reorganize closet


Special to The Dispatch



With a lot of free time on their hands, many Americans have taken to cleaning.


And as discussions on lockdown exit measures will soon come to the forefront, a clean and tidy closet will come in handy for those going back to work or looking for new jobs. recently found that searches for 'organize closet' increased by 53 percent since January, and over 2,500 people a month are searching for "how to organize a closet" while stuck inside.



To find out the best ways to organize a closet, sought the help of Gill Hasson, tutor and author of "Declutter Your Life: How Outer Order Leads to Inner Calm." She provides expertise on keeping a tidy closet:



Start with the easy stuff


Most of us wear 20 percent of our clothes 80 percent of the time. To help choose what to keep and to get rid of, the two most important questions to ask are: Do I love it? and Do I need it?


Top Tip: Start by getting 10 items you are sure to keep, then make all other decisions against those by considering the following:


Do I feel good when I wear it?


Do I look good when I wear it?


Am I comfortable in it?


Is it out of fashion and not coming back? And even if it did, am I likely to want the updated version?


Has my lifestyle changed? Maybe you used to work in an office but now work freelance from home, so you don't need 'office clothes.'


Does it hold any sentimental value?


Does it need cleaning or altering?



Break it down


If you own a lot of clothes, compartmentalizing the process or throwing away and organizing again will make it less overwhelming.


One way to do this is by type. Going through all the pairs of trousers you own first, followed by shirts and T-shirts and so on, will help you to track the progress you're making.


Throwing and then organizing by colour also makes it enjoyable. Not only do you manage to throw away items that no longer serve you, you can already start creating outfits.


Break it down by season and genre. Create work, casual, formal outfits and more to identify what you do and don't need. Additionally, at the end of one season and start of another, identify any pieces that didn't come out of the closet over the past three months and sell/donate them.


If the task seems too big to conquer, tell yourself you will do it for just 10 minutes. You may well find that once you get going, you end up continuing well past the ten-minute mark you had decided on.



Enlist a friend


Challenges done with friends often don't feel like challenges - set-up a video call with a pal or two and allow them to support you through it. It could be a friend who will challenge you and ask questions like "Are you really going to...?" or "What on earth are you still doing with...?". It could be one who encourages and supports you to let go of sentimental things. Or they could simply make the process much more fun - grab a glass of wine and get going!



Other tips


Use the clothes hanger principle -- hang all your clothes facing one direction. As you wear and wash them, flip the hangers. At the end of six months, anything hanging the wrong way can be thrown. This trick can also be applied to books or records.


Organize drawers and cupboards in the order of how you get dressed; this will shave valuable minutes off "decision fatigue" in a morning.


Take clothes out of the bedroom. Sometimes being in a different room can provide an objective angle, allowing you to part with clothes more easily.


Create a sense of continuity by using one style of hanger. It will make everything look tidier and therefore more spacious.


Use acrylic drawer organizers to organize makeup, underwear and other casual items.


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