The thought of closet organizing makes most people groan. But it doesn’t need to be this way! Spend just 5 minutes a day and you can turn your messy closet into an organized one. Set a timer and let’s get started!
- Day 1
Your first 5 minutes will be devoted to assessing the contents of your closet. With pen and paper in hand, jot down what items you haven’t used in years (be honest). You will be throwing or giving these items away. If you can’t bear to toss an item, give some thought as to where the item could go for a new home and a new life.
When your timer goes off, stop. Put the pen and paper on the closet floor and close the door. You’ll be back tomorrow.
- Tomorrow is here!
Continue your closet organizing adventure. Go to your closet and pick up your pen and paper. Keep on creating your list of what in your closet you can get rid of and what items need to find a new home. Use as many 5 minute sessions as necessary on this step. Feel like you’re not getting anywhere? Nonsense! This step makes all the difference down the road when you are maintaining your organized closet.
Simply stated, it will be A LOT easier to keep your closet organized when it only contains what you truly use and is not being used as your personal archive. (In fact, it will probably help you if you can designate one closet or space in your home as a storage container for all those items you need seasonally or for keepsakes. Things you only access occasionally.)
In addition, doing this one step over several days will give you a chance to really think about those items you’ve collected over the years. If you couldn’t decide what to do with an item yesterday, reassess it again today, you’ll find you’re ready to give away things on Day 5 that you couldn’t bear to part with on Day 1.
- The next step to your closet organizing
Once you have completed the list of unnecessary items in your closet, grab a couple of boxes and your timer. Set your 5 minutes and, using your list, toss the trash in the trash box and the give-away items in the give-away box. If this takes you more than 5 minutes, stop and continue tomorrow. This step will go fairly quickly, however, if you’ve done a thorough job with your list from Day 1.
- Moving right along
Now that all the excess stuff is gone from your closet, you can get down to organizing what is left. Use your 5 minutes to genuinely study what’s remaining in your closet.
* Which items do you use everyday?
* Which items can be stored together?
* Which items can be stored on shelves?
* Which items can be stored in drawers?
* Which items should be put in bins?
* Which items simply don’t belong in this closet?
Take notes during this step and use as many 5 minutes as you need. Again, doing this over several days gives you time to consider how you use each item in your closet each day and what type of organizational system will make the most sense for you. You’re aiming for usability here and it may take a bit of trial and error. That’s fine because the end result will be a closet you can easily keep organized without even thinking about it.
- Time to organize your closet
Using your notes from the previous step, get the supplies you need to organize your closet. Again, take your time with this step, noting what is working and what is not along the way. Tweak as necessary.
* Need more hangars, bins, baskets? Put them on your shopping list for next time you go to the discount store.
* For starters, use whatever organizing supplies you already have including old boxes. It can help to live with your ideas for a week or two to enable you to understand exactly the type of organizing supplies that will serve you the best, so feel free to use temporary containers while you’re at this stage of your closet organizing project.
* OR…if you’re unsure about sizes and shapes of organizing products, buy just a few samples, leave the tags on and try them out. Then return what you don’t need and purchase what you do.
This step can either be completed as part of your normal shopping (requiring no extra trip to the store and keeping within the 5 minute concept) or simply dive in and do one big shopping trip. Your choice.
- Live with it
There’s no substitute for living with your organizing to see what you’ve accomplished and what you need to change. Use your 5-minutes-a-day to ask yourself what you like and don’t like about your newly organized closet. Take notes and make changes. Do you prefer having your wardrobe organized into outfits? Or possibly it would suit you better to sort your clothes into category or colour?
- Last step
This is the maintenance step and it’s easier than you think. For your closet organizing enterprise to give you the results you want, you’ll need to take 5 minutes each day and put things away in your closet where they belong.
But beware. Skip this step for just 7 days and you’ll need to put in 35 minutes to get back on track. Maybe you don’t have 35 minutes to organize your closet, so you don’t do it. It won’t be long before your closet will be in chaos again and you’re using EXTRA time every day just to locate items that should be at your fingertips.
That’s right, you’re going to use the time anyway. Being disorganized is a huge time waster. So stick to your 5 minutes a day, no matter what. It won’t be long until your new habit becomes second nature and you can’t imagine NOT doing a quick tidy-up each day.
All it takes is 5 minutes.
By Colleen Langenfeld