Closets are a fairly new addition to our homes. When I lived in Germany, I found that closets were few and usually free standing wardrobes or armoires. I was told that closets were considered a room and increased the tax on the home.
According to Wikipedia, a closet is an enclosed space used for general storage or storing clothes. It wasn’t until post WWII that larger closets were introduced into housing to attract wealthy buyers. Today we totally expect closets of all types throughout our homes.
I have found that closets become a great place in many homes to hide stuff we don’t want sitting around in our living space. I find items that have been bought and not yet found a home or that need to be returned. I find boxes of mail that have been swept off tables and counters before company comes and never seem to come back out to be sorted and filed. I find broken items waiting for repair. The list goes on. The bottom line is that many closets hide chaos. This is not a happy situation, so what should we do?
Determine the main purpose of each closet. Is it a clothes closet, coat closet, linen closet, utility closet, or an off season clothing closet?
List all other purposes for each closet. Does the closet also hold gift wrap, gifts, suitcases, medicines, back up cosmetics, or paper products?
Develop a vision of how you want the closet to look and how you want to feel when you access the closet. (i.e. I want all items organized and either in labeled bins or aligned so that I can see each item. I want my closet fully utilized but with some space for new items. I want to feel confident when I look into the closet that I can easily find the item I am looking for.)
Develop a brainstorm list of what you need to do to make this vision come true. (i.e. I will sort all like items. I will remove items that don’t fit my vision of this closet. I will add shelves. I will purchase bins. I will label shelves and bins.) Your list will match your needs and your vision.
Plan a time for completing your tasks. Write the “do” dates on your calendar.
Actually do the tasks.
Develop a maintenance plan. Some closets only need a real redo every year. The clothes closet might need serious maintenance each season.
Work on one closet at a time until your whole closet system gives you pleasure just to open the door and find what you want.
Jonda S. Beattie Professional Organizer
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