Full disclosure time. I have literally been putting this off for MONTHS! I have had it on my “things to do list” for so long that I stopped SEEING it there. Has that ever happened to you? You keep procrastinating something and pushing it farther and farther down the list…until it’s at the bottom…and even though it’s still technically there…it’s not really there! Please tell me I’m not the only one that does that. :-)
Anyway, I just could not get myself motivated to tackle this seemingly overwhelming project, and yet when I finally DID (which is so often the case that you’d think I’d learn!) it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. Granted, it did take me a good 6 hours of work…and my room DID look like a bomb had gone off in it during the midst of the project, but overall I was so happy with the outcome I didn’t mind.
The thing that FINALLY pushed me over the edge to actually tackle this project was the need to come up with some “outfits” for several conferences I am attending this summer. I keep reading things about “what to wear” and “what to bring” and “what NOT to wear and bring!” It all had me a little concerned about whether my “wardrobe” was going to be sufficient. So I took the advice of someone on Twitter who said “Shop your closet FIRST before going to buy new clothes”. Great advice. But in order to “shop” the clothes in my closet…I had to be able to FIND them first. Thus a “makeover” was in order first, as you can see from this “Before” picture.
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I wasn’t keen on spending a whole lot of $$ for this badly-needed makeover because I have a LOT better places to put my $$ this summer (don’t we all!?!)…so a trip to IKEA & Walmart with a budget of $50 or LESS I found some great organizing tools to help me accomplish my closet rehab.
These three IKEA items cost me about $20 altogether. A laundry hamper and a hanging shoe organizer with drawers!
Then these four cloth bins from Walmart cost me about the same. So $40 total.
So I was armed and ready….it was time to ATTACK! I decided to follow the guidelines I read many moons ago in Good Housekeeping about conquering closet chaos:
- Take everything out of the closet. Everything.
- Sort through your clothing, shoes and whatever else has been lurking in your closet’s murky depths. Put them into one of three piles:
- Keep: It fits. It’s in good repair. You wear it a LOT. It’s timeless.
- Dump: Anything that is stained, ripped or stretched-out. You never wear it, you never will. Toss it.
- Donate: Anything that you haven’t worn in a year or doesn’t fit. If you’re not sure if it fits or not, try it on. (I was a stickler about this…I tried EVERYTHING on. It was actually quite eye-opening! Some stuff I was SURE didn’t fit…DID and vice versa. TRY IT ON!)
- Throw out your “dump” pile
- Donate your “donate” pile to charity. (You could also sell it on ebay or host a clothes swap with friends…but chances are you won’t. So DONATE IT!)
Now that we’ve conquered the clutter…..it’s TIME TO ORGANIZE.
Assess Your Space: Closets contain a ton of wasted space. Make use of every inch. There are organizing tools that allow you to use virtually all of your closet’s space including the backs of doors and high shelves. Even your door frame or a small, unused wall space can support a valet hook.
Group Like Items with Like Items: Make storing and finding items easier by grouping like items with like items. Tank tops hang out with tank tops. Pants hang out with pants, etc.
Store Small Items in Containers: If you have small accessory items like scarves and gloves, group them together in small boxes. Be sure to label the boxes.
Use the Back of the Door: The back of your closet’s door is the perfect place for an over-the-door shoe organizer or set of hooks.
Use Adjustable Shelves: If you do decide to invest in shelving for your closet, be sure that it’s adjustable and can change as your storage needs evolve.
While there is still some “fine-tuning” to be done…for the most part I consider it a successful “Budget Closet Makeover”.
I hope you find some inspiration and information to help you conquer YOUR closet chaos!