If there’s one thing to fear about spring (other than allergies maybe) it is tidying up your closet.
“The closet is the most daunting space to organize,” says Mary Astadourian, founder of Details Organizing, a celebrity-preferred service to get your space in shape. “It contains your most personal possessions and items in which you have invested a lot of money.”
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Mary and Jennifer Dynof, a business partner and her best friend for over 20 years, are not only professional organizers but also self-proclaimed owners of “very small” closets. We caught up with her to find out how to turn an overcrowded, unruly closet into a tidy, pristine room.
1. Go slowly
Resist the urge to tear apart your closet from the start – it will only make things worse. “The best thing is to take small steps,” says Mary. “It’s easy to get overwhelmed, so you have to face the smallest of challenges and tackle them. You need a success to keep going. “
2. Remove everything
If you think that if only it was bigger your closet would be organized, you are wrong. “It’s a universal problem,” says Jennifer. “No matter how big your closet is, there is never enough space. So when you tackle your closet, take everything out of your closet and clean it properly. “
3. Use the buddy system
In certain situations it is safer to work in a team. Cleaning your closet is one such example. “Never clean alone,” says Mary. “Invite a friend to serve as the voice of reason.” Your friend can also benefit from this scheme. “You can also give them items that they love but that no longer work for you.”
4. Think about the timing
You might think that at the end of winter, you should finish your spring and summer clothes before the season starts, but that’s actually the worst time to go. “Post-season cleanup,” says Jennifer. By then, you’ll know what you’ve been and haven’t been wearing, and you will be left with nothing to wear due to overzealous pre-season cleaning.
5. Keep what you love
An oft-cited rule of thumb is that you should get rid of items that you haven’t worn in a year, but that seems a little harsh. After all, you might not have a reason to wear certain items like an evening dress every year, but that doesn’t mean you still love it and plan to wear it in the future. You don’t have to toss an item you still love, but if you don’t plan on wearing it anytime soon, “get it out of the best real estate,” says Jennifer. “Make three piles: keep, donate, and save (elsewhere),” says Mary. “What goes back in your closet is what you want to wear.”
6. Maximize space and use
Once you’ve figured out what elements made the cut, reconsider the structure of your space. “Use all of the vertical space in one closet,” says Jennifer, which could mean adding extra shelves or hanging rods. “Prepare for success. The color coordinate ranges from light to dark. Whenever you take something off a hanger, put the empty hanger back in the same place. “And to keep things looking as neat as possible, Mary recommends avoiding glass-fronted drawers or stacking folded clothes over five items.