5 Steps to an Organized Summer Closet
You know, maybe, I should clean out this closet? I thought.
I was laying flat on my back, covered in a stack of empty Macbook and shoe boxes, staring at the ceiling. 15 minutes before I was digging through the same closet looking for a speaker cable, I knew, just knew, was in a shoe box in that closet. 15 minutes, a misplaced foot step on top of a loose pile of shows, and an awkward tumbling scream later I was thinking, yep, definitely time to clean out the closet.
Now I could have called Green Clean Junk Removal Services but, c’mon, son… For one closet? One closet, I said, to myself, I got this (yes, I do get weirdly Action Movie Intense when it comes to cleaning; don’t judge me).
So here are my five steps for closet cleaning:
1. Empty Out the Closet
To organize one must first destroy, said a great blogger once. I knew the only way I was going to ever truly clean out my closet was if I emptied it first. So I pulled my suits and hung them on a nearby chin up bar, then I piled my winter coats on the couch and tossed my shirts on top of the coats. I piled my shoes up on the bed and tossed the empty boxes on the floor.
Then I came face to face with it. Yes. There is was, staring at me … an empty closet. I stared into the darkness and the darkness stared backed at me.
2. The Great Sort
As I emptied out my closet I kept saying, “Oh I haven’t seen this in years!” and more than once I said to myself, “They made this? Why did I buy this!?” I had more clothes than I could ever wear and I had plenty of clothes that I would never wear again.
So I grabbed a fistful of trash bags and began the long process of sorting through the clothes I’d never wear and stuffing them into trash bags for donation to the Goodwill. I also had a couple of suits that were just a step out of style I set those aside for “Clothes the Deal”, a non-profit org that donates suits to the unemployed for job interviews.
3. Goodbye Boxes … You Were Boxes
Whenever I bought new shoes I’d toss the box in the closet. When I bought my new Macbook the box went into the closet right on top of the iPad box and the boxes for my last two iPhones. I had a ton of boxes and most of them held nothing. (Remember that speaker cable I was looking for? Totally found it … Inside a desk drawer and not in a shoe box.)
I hauled all those empty boxes to the recycle bin behind my apartment building.
Well, most of them.
The neighbor’s 6 year old spotted me as I was walking to the recycle been. He boldly requested two Nike shoe boxes so he could “play spaceship” to which he added “Mister, Pease!?” I wasn’t cold enough to deny Spock and Luke Skywalker a cardboard spaceship.
4. Hello Sweater Boxes … You Are Stackable
I put my sweaters in a sweater box and sealed them away for the Summer. This sounds like such an obvious thing to do but this solution to the summer sweater problem had eluded me for years. I left them in my dresser or sprawled across my closet.
5. They Make Organizers Now!?
Yes, they do. And I bought them. Extra shelving and racks to store my shoes and keep them off the floor.
And then I was done.
I sat on the edge of the bed, staring into my newly cleaned closet, glass of bourbon in one hand, and muttered to myself, “You’ve done a man’s job today.” Then the gruff voice of my roommate came bellowing down the hall, “Larry, you’re a giant dork!”
Eh, can’t win ‘em all.