coming out of the closet - eliminate closet clutterDo you know what’s in your closet? This is a great question. We all have closets in our living environments that are used for different things. A hall or foyer closet can be used to store coats, hats, umbrellas and maybe even the vacuum cleaner, mine does. Bedroom closets are typically used for clothes, shoes and accessories, but if you are short on storage space, it may need to double as another function such as a linen closet.

Closets can also become great hiding places. I remember as a child when my Mom told me to clean my room and I really wanted to go outside and play, everything that was lying on the floor either went under the bed or in the closet. It’s a quick way to tidy up but not so good when you’re looking for something later on. Having a closet packed full of whatever, creates clutter and clutter causes stagnant energy.

A basic Feng Shui principal says that energy needs to flow freely through your living spaces, and that includes your closets. Clutter or stagnant energy can cause a myriad of challenges in your life, so removing clutter from your spaces will keep those life challenges minimal. However, trying to figure out what needs to come out of the closet to eliminate clutter can be challenging. The list below has some points to consider as you sort through your stuff to determine if it should stay or it should go.

A good time to de-clutter your clothes closets might be when the seasons change. And since we are approaching the back to school season and buying new clothes for the kids, this might be just the right time to eliminate your closet clutter.

What purpose does your closet need to serve? To store clothes only or other items? A shortage of storage space may dictate the need to use the closet space you have for multiple categories. If shortage of storage is the case, determine all the categories the closet needs to accommodate. This is setting boundaries for the space to help maintain organization.

When trying to decide whether to keep an item or not, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does it fit? Don’t hold onto clothes that don’t fit thinking you will lose enough weight to get back into them, it’s not a good motivator.
  • Do you still love it? You may have when you bought it but now the thrill may have faded away.
  • Have you worn it in the past 6 months? Try the hanger trick – turn all the hangers around to point the hooks toward you. When you wear an item, turn the hanger around to point away from you. At the end of a specified period of time, for example 6 months, or one season, the clothes on the hangers pointed toward you need to go.
  • Does it need to be repaired, and will I repair it? Good intentions may keep that item in your closet but the reality is that because you can’t find time to fix it, it’s now become clutter. The same goes with ironing. I personally hate to iron so I purposefully choose clothing that doesn’t need it. Sometimes though, I neglect to look at the tag or the fabric and it ends up in my closet never to be worn again.
  • I can’t get rid of this sweater with the kitten embroidered on it, my Mom bought it for me. This is a common occurrence with receiving gifts from family and friends. However, if you don’t love it and aren’t going to wear it, it’s ok to donate it to someone who will love it and wear it. Everyone’s taste is different and don’t you think the gift giver would rather it go to someone who really appreciates it than hanging in your closet collecting dust?
  • What’s the worst thing that will happen if I get rid of it? Chances are, the worst thing that will happen is that you find a need for this item in the future and have to buy another one. That’s not tragic and probably won’t happen all that often.

What do you do to eliminate closet clutter?