Organise your life: Clearing closet clutter

Credit: iStock
Credit: iStock
New to the challenge? Never fear! Click here for our first installment of the 12-week journey that helps you simplify things so you can focus on the more important things in life...

So we all have a wardrobe, right? Whether it’s a rail, chair, couple of hooks against your bedroom wall, a simple double door shelf or a flashy walk in number (one of my client’s has a plush chaise lounge right in the middle of her wardrobe and tells me this is one of her favourite reading spots – go figure!)… if it’s not working for you, it’s time to change it.

The thing with getting and staying organised is that it’s not a one size fits all type of thing.

You might enjoy neat piles and colour coded hangers while your best friend prefers baskets and hooks. The common denominator though, is if you’ve ever sorted your wardrobe before, stepped back and felt euphoric only to have your dreams dashed by the very next morning when things already start to become undone, you’ve probably been organising in a way that doesn’t suit your style.

Challenge: If you haven’t been able to maintain a sense of order in your closet, take a long hard look at yourself to discover what being organised means to you. If you set up your space to suite a Neat Nik and you are more of a Visual organising style you’ll find it too difficult to maintain. Go with what feels right for you istead of arranging your garments in the way you think is right for everyone.

Tracey’s top tips to get your closet from cluttered to calm:
•    Don’t be tempted to scoop everything on the floor in one swoop, rather work shelf by shelf, drawer by drawer.
•    Touch each item and make an immediate decision if it stays or goes. Only hang on to items that you truly need, use or love. Lady Di’s pink court shoes, your pink mesh tie or Grandma’s knitted cardi that no longer fits, should all be passed on to someone else to enjoy. Tip: apply the one in – one out rule. Every time you purchase something new, something old needs to go to make room for it.
•    Once you are left with what you’ve chosen to keep, decide if you are going to store your garments by colour, type, season or style. Grouping like items together makes it easier to find what you want when you need it, even if it’s too early in the morning!
•    Reserve easy to reach shelves for your favorites and things you need to grab regularly or on the fly. Move out of season items up or out to make room for your current threads.

If this is something you haven’t done for ages, an average wardrobe will take you 3 hours to declutter and organise. Now, this may sound like a long time, but I think you will thank me later…

*Next week we’ll be chatting about organising common areas like living rooms and other shared spaces. If you’ve been playing the ‘blame game’ for some time now, you may want to listen in.

Tell us what organising projects are on your list so we can make sure to include expert solutions for getting organised in that space in one of our future features.

Tracey Foulkes is a corporate speaker and our very own organising and productivity expert. She runs Get Organised, an international company, from her home office in the gorgeous Wellington wineland. The Get Organised team is passionate about empowering people to reach their full potential. To find an organiser in your area, visit Contact Tracey at 084 507 6891/
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Clothing and accessories
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