As I went through the process of de-cluttering and re-organizing (who am I kidding...just plain organizing in the first place) our closet, I found several tips that made the process much easier.
Downsize. You would not believe the things I found that I had multiples of. Silly things! Things like sample size bottles or shampoo and conditioner from hotels. I get it, those are convenient when traveling, but not convenient enough to warrant having 20+ bottles laying around the house. Those got put in the donate pile. Too many bottles take up too much space.
Use stuff! Sounds pretty simple right? I'm one of those (weird) people that hangs onto things for something "special." I mean, I hang onto Bath and Body Works body wash because it is fancier than normal body wash and I don't want to waste it. Whaaaat!? Seriously, I just started using a bottle that I got two years ago for my birthday. I guess making a baby is a special enough time as any...
Containers. I put just about everything in containers. Our linen closet serves as storage for linens as well as our bath supplies and medicine so it was essential that is all get organized into containers based on how often we used items, what they were used for, and simply containing chaos. I used small baskets for wash cloths and sunscreen. I used larger baskets for CT's bath towels, towels we use on the dogs, replacement bath items (back up shower gel, shampoo, etc.), and ironing accessories. I bought containers with lids for medicines, dog needs, and sunscreen. (We don't have a medicine cabinet).
Toss it. I am a huge collector of stuff. For some reason I hang onto it just in case I might need it one day and typically it's trash. Like a half used bottle of hotel shampoo? Yeah. I tossed it. I hate waste and especially hate feeling wasteful so I have a really hard time with this one.
Categorize. Put like things together. Better yet, put like things in baskets, bins, and bags. Stack the things you use least often on the bottom and most often used on top or in the front.
- Do I use this every day?
- Have I used this in the last week, month, year?
- Is it worn out or easily replacable? Does it need to be replaced?
Based on your answers to these questions you may decide to keep, toss, repurpose, or donate items.
Keep items that you do use on a weekly or monthly basis, but organize them accordingly. Those items don't deserve a spot at the front of your closet.
Keep items that are hard to replace or expensive. Even if you don't use them often, it may benefit you to hang onto them so that when they are needed you aren't spending a large sum.
Toss items that are old and worn out. For example, crusty hair gel, separated nail polish, etc.
Repurpose items that are old, but can be used in another area of the house. Old washcloths and towels make great dust rags, car wash rags, or doggy towels. Glass candle jars can be cleaned of used wax and used for more storage. Think about putting Q-tips, cotton rounds, and hair ties in them.