Tips for Cleaning the Dreaded Closet

I often find myself saying how much I LOVE having extra closet space in my new place. After moving into a bigger apartment, it was something I was most excited about. But, six months in, I’m realizing something awful.

I love my closets because I can shove extra JUNK inside, close the door, and forget all about it!

This realization came when we had my roommate/boyfriend Matt’s parents in town to stay with us for a couple of days. We have a guest room and closet, so I figured they would be just fine. While doing prep for them, I opened “their” closet, only to realize that I couldn’t even walk inside because it was so filled. From the 2 boxes we have yet to unpack to suitcases and a filing cabinet I don’t know why we have…it was a MESS!

That made me realize that it was time to revisit all of our closets and do a bit of (very late) Spring Cleaning! Follow these tips (in all of your closets… bedroom, coat closet, guest room, laundry room, etc.) to freshen up your apartment while making the best use of your closet space!

1. Start by emptying the contents of one closet at a time

Disorder and mess at home. Cheerful young girl.The only way to know what is in a packed messy closet is to dump everything on the bed or the floor. Then you’ll be able to start sorting the contents into three piles: one for the things you’ll keep, one to donate to Salvation Army or another charity, and the third to throw out.

2. Get rid of what you don’t use or need

Whether it’s old clothes and jackets or files from years ago…if you don’t need it or haven’t used it, get rid of it! Be honest with yourself and toss anything that you don’t LOVE. And trust me, once you start, it’s much easier to do a big overhaul (aka get rid of a LOT) so you won’t be doing this whole process again next month.

3. Make use of available shelving

If your closets have shelving, make sure you use it to its full potential. Hang up anything that you can, and use any other shelves to neatly stack other items.

4. Invest in organization

If you’re not one to stay organized by yourself, invest in cute bins or smaller, stackable shelving to help you further. Instead of making stacks of items on closet shelves or tossing your shoes on the closet floor, fill bins! Instead of┬átossing clothes in piles on the floor, invest in hangers and use them! The new skinny velvet hangers are perfect for tight closets and great for slippery fabrics, like silk.

5. Clean while you’re in there

If your closet floor hasn’t seen daylight in who-knows-how-long (no judgement…mine were the same way), use this opportunity to vacuum or sweep the floor, wipe down the walls, and dust the shelves.

6. Make a plan (and stick to it!)

Once you’re done cleaning out closets, make a mental plan of how you’ll handle them in the future. Perhaps you’ll vow to always neatly stack board games in the closet after game night, set out your paired shoes after work every day instead of flinging them inside, or folding throw blankets before putting them away instead of balling them up.

In any case, enjoy your fresh, cleaned closets…and try to keep them that way! When you feel the urge again, work through this list to make your organization even better!

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Author My First Apartment

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Sarah is a dog lover and advocate for conversation & laughing at your own jokes. Since finishing her college career in communications, she began working (and living) in Atlanta. After living in a few different apartments over the last few years, she's ready to share experiences. Stay tuned for adventures, tips and advice!

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