It’s National Clean Out Your Closet Week so what better time than now to talk about Spring cleaning for your master bedroom and closet.
The master bedroom is supposed to be a warm, serene and inviting oasis for you after a crazy day in these very busy times. It should be a place where you want to relax and get a restful sleep after a long day. However time and time again when I get called in to assist clients with their organizing projects the bedroom is a clutter trap of stress and confusion.
For many homes I’m invited into the master bedroom has piles of clothes on the bed and floor, children and dog toys amongst them and piles of folded laundry ready to be put away but alas, they just don’t fit into the dressers. Various receipts, newspapers and magazines are often found under beds and stuffed into side tables. Photos, some in frames, many not, sit on top of any horizontal surface available, either displayed or waiting to be displayed when time permits (which is one of many projects waiting to get started or completed). Jewellery often litters the tops of bureaus and dressers, dust littering almost every surface simply because there is really no way to clean properly when there is so much clutter. Closets are overflowing with clothing on the floor, toppling off shelves and a mix of accessories strewn about. Clients are stressed and I know I can transform their space.
Just walking into a bedroom like this can raise your blood pressure, tighten the muscles in your body and cause you stress you may not even be aware of. Your plan for an oasis has turned into a cluttered cave and your hope for calm and serenity seems impossible. But there’s good news! Spring is a perfect time of year to get your bedroom and closets in order. So how do you begin to transform this cluttered cave into a calm, peaceful and efficient room?
How do you start?
We start by clearing the bed to give us a large staging area. We go through the piles of items of the floor and sort them into what does and doesn’t belong in the master bedroom. Those items that don’t belong are immediately placed in an empty bin or laundry basket to be transported to its proper location afterwards (whether it is somewhere else in your home or in the trash). We go about the room clearing the horizontal surfaces and sorting like items with like items. All pieces of paper are gathered and placed into a container for further sorting down the road. All jewellery is contained which will be sorted as well. Then we tackle the closet.
Rules to live by
I’m sure that countless times you’ve said “I’ve got so many clothes and nothing to wear”. Many people have “fat” clothes, “skinny” clothes, “work around the house clothes”, etc. all piled into their closets. As far as I’m concerned, the rules to live by are if you don’t wear it, can’t wear it or haven’t worn it in two years, it’s time to go. If it really doesn’t make you feel good when you wear it, it’s time to go. If you don’t like the colour or the feel of the fabric, donate it. If it’s damaged, worn or torn, it’s trash. But alas, I’m getting ahead of myself here.
Work in sections
Rather than completely emptying your closet in one fell swoop, do it in sections because otherwise you will likely run out of room and feel completely overwhelmed.
Start with the closet floor first, pulling everything out and then sorting like items with like items and compiling piles of items on your bed. You then take a good hard look at each item in each pile and decide whether it will be donated, its trash or it’s a keeper, keeping in mind the rules to live by as noted above.
Sorting items by type, you’ll compile slacks, shirts, coats, etc. and then you will further sort items by colour and style. Once you have gone through this process with everything in your closet and your dressers, you will end up with the items that are essential to your wardrobe and that now need to be housed back in your closet or dressers. This is not a one hour project. You do need to set aside a few hours of your own time. It may feel a little painful at first, but trust me….Once you have done a complete reorganization and been diligent about it you likely won’t have to do it again.
The next step is hanging the clothes back in your closet. Remember that game Concentration….all you have to do is match items with like items and you can maintain your closet with very little effort. Arrange clothes back on your closet within each category, and then within each category arrange by colour and hang from light to dark. This game of Concentration also applies to your dressers. I typically reload drawers if possible from head to toe in descending order. This means that what you wear on the top of your body typically goes in the top drawers of the dresser but there are times when this process needs to be adjusted depending on the size of your drawers and the volume of items you have.
If you are struggling with how to store certain items here’s a few ideas to get you going. Neckties can go on racks or hooked hangers. Belts can go on hooks or hangers or can even be placed in a decorative bin. Scarves can be folded and placed in bins. Handbags can go on shelves or in a large tote on the bottom of your closet. Smaller purses and clutches can go in a small basket or bin. Clothing that is not quite dirty, but not quite clean and you may want to wear again the next day can be positioned on a hook on the inside of your closet door.
Lastly, remember that your master bedroom closet and dressers should not be an area for general storage unless absolutely necessary. It should not be a hidden space where you barely open the doors. It should be a space where, within 30 seconds of opening the door you can put your hands on whatever it is you are looking for.
If you need help with project, don’t be afraid to ask. It can be daunting and that’s why professional organizers exist. We bring skills and expertise to the table, can assess your needs, give tailored solutions, practical techniques, coaching and do most of the physical work for you.
Organization does matter. Creating calm out of chaos is what we do best!