My closet is not the bane of my existence, nor is it the model of organization. It, like a fluffy chiffon dress hung on an empty rod, swings gently; swaying from controlled chaos to, well, less-than-controlled chaos.
In short, it’s time for a thorough cleaning. The timing of this decision couldn’t be more perfect as the seasonal swap from bulky cold-weather gear to lighter duds is nigh. Plus, I was asked to test my organizational skills by completing the four-step closet clean-out challenge for the Ziploc® Fresh 180 challenge!
Armed with a day to myself, the Ziploc® challenge’s organizational know-how, and a few storage must-haves, I entered my closet. Let the games begin…
Divide and Conquer
The first part of the challenge was, admittedly, the most daunting: Empty your closet. I’ll note here that this is no “toss a few things out and call it done” type of challenge. This can be a gut-wrenching, decision-demanding, all-day clean-a-thon if you haven’t dug to the depths of your closet in a while.
For me it wasn’t quite that harrowing as I tend to keep things rather tidy. My biggest dilemma, however, is that I tend to keep things – lots of things. Obviously I have trouble with the old adage, “If you haven’t worn it in a year, toss it.” So, I emptied my closet and became, as the challenge demanded – ruthless.
I emptied and sorted, and sorted again. In the end I faced a number of piles, including year-round keepers such as workout gear, layering pieces, basics, and special-occasion wear; lighter items for the upcoming season; and heavy gear to store. I also had a pile of rather nice things that either didn’t fit, never fit, or fit but just didn’t do anything for me; plus a pile of things that were old, dated, worn-out, or just plain wacky.
The last two piles ended up in donation bags. See? Ruthlessness can have a kind side.
The Rehang Remix
The next step in the challenge is pretty rewarding – rehang and re-sort the keepers in a way that makes sense. I placed lightweight seasonal items together toward the front for easy access during the upcoming warmer months. Then I hung year-round basics by item; pants, jeans, skirts, layering pieces (you get the drill). I finished off the rehanging portion of the exercise with special occasion pieces and warm-weather accessories that store well in multiples on hangers, like scarves.
I attacked my shoes in the same manner. I have nice shoe shelves lining my closet, but they needed attention. First, I made room by tucking cold-weather boots and shoes into a few Ziploc® brand Space Bags® for tidy storage on the upper shelves. Then I walked strappy summertime favorites to the front, and organized my multi-season work, dress and athletic shoes on the remaining shelves.
Bag Seasonal Items
Speaking of bags, that’s exactly where my bulky off-season gear ended up. This was a drastic change from my previous attempts at seasonal closet organization. I’ve always moved things around in my closet, front-to-back and back-to-front, but I never truly cleared space by removing and storing off-season articles.
The Ziploc® brand Space Bags® and flexible totes made this task a breeze. I was not only able to store all of my bulky winter togs out of the way, but the bags and totes keep them dirt- and dust-free. First I tucked my sweaters, ponchos and wraps neatly into the rectangular Ziploc® brand flexible totes and popped them on the top shelf. Then I used the Ziploc® brand Space Bags® to sort accessories like heavy scarves, gloves and hats, and slid them alongside the sweaters in the Ziploc® brand flexible totes.
The result? I can finally access all of my hanging clothes without a shoving match, and chances are good that I might finally wear some of my fabulous, but forgotten, finds. This is a very big win for me and I’d like to keep the trend going. Happily, the challenge has a suggestion for ongoing organizational success.
Strategies to Keep the New Closet Tuned-Up
The last challenge takes a page out of my mom’s book; if you add an item, bag an item. Since I retained a few questionable tops and bottoms in the rehang remix, maybe these can trickle out as I discover new can’t-live-without pieces.
The final suggestion in this challenge makes the whole thing worthwhile – look at my updated wardrobe with a critical eye and shop to fill specific holes. More shopping? Well, only if I must.
Disclaimer: I was paid to develop this post and to provide related images for Ziploc®. As always, all opinions are my own.