Try Tackling One Summer Chore: Clean Out Your Closet

Between beach bonfires, pool parties and backyard barbecues, there’s a lot to do in the fun department this summer. But finding ways to be productive can give you a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Isn’t now the perfect time to commit to a closet cleanout?

Your closet door’s been that friend to keep your messy secrets hidden, such as whatever’s been shoved behind your tower of shoe boxes. Maybe it’s time for you to proudly swing open that door and show the world (ok, just whoever visits your home) what a little TLC can do for your closet.

Try these tips for cleaning out your closet. You’ll feel great making your wardrobe more organized and functional.

Be prepared mentally and physically. You’ll want a mindset that’s ready to let go of pieces with sentimental value. And you’ll need to be ready for a little labor or love. Don’t start this project if you’re looking to kill time before going to bed. Then, you’ll want to be sure you’ve got what you need: boxes, bins or reusable totes for donation drops and any shoe racks, shelving or organizational supplies you want to use.

Yep, you’ve got to take E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G out so you can really see what’s behind those doors. Be honest. You’ve forgotten about some shirts that are now much too wrinkly from being shoved in there.

If hauling it all out at once feels too overwhelming, then take it a section at a time. Start with shoes, belts or sweaters to help you ease into things.

There are obvious piles to make, such as KEEP, TOSS or DONATE, but get creative when it comes to where else things might end up. If your older brother or best friend has been eyeing a particular pair of sneakers or handbag, consider making his or her day with an unexpected hand-me-down.

When adding to that KEEP pile, ask yourself questions like, “Have I worn this in the past year,” “Is this even stylish,” “Do these hurt my feet” and “Do I feel good in this?”

Whatever you do, don’t play the “someday game.” There are seven days in the week and “someday” is not one of them. Toss it or donate it.

Grab the vacuum, cloth rags, cotton balls and your favorite essential oil. Once you’ve gotten rid of all the dust, along with price tags and buttons lurking in the corners, get a twofer using cotton balls and essential oils.

Soak the cotton balls with your favorite essential oil to keep your wardrobe smelling fresh and to keep the moths away. You can put them in the corners of your closet so you won’t see them, but you’ll definitely smell them (note: refresh them about every four weeks).

If you’ve always wanted to organize your shoes by color or to swap sweaters for handbags on your shelves, this is your time! Make the space work for you.

Consider folding athletic wear like sweats, leggings and hoodies. That’ll leave hanging space for your work clothes and weekend wear. Maybe you want to hang scarves or ties in a cascading effect, letting you see all the options at one time. There are plenty of organizational units, bins and shelving systems to help you create the space you want.

You’ve put in a lot of hard work to create a space that works for you. It might have taken longer than expected, but the payoff was worth it. Don’t let it go back to the way things used to be. Keep it manageable with seasonal cleanouts to keep your closet organized, clean, functional and presentable.

You’ve been showing off that sparkling clean and neatly organized closet—good for you! But is there another part of your life that might need a little tidying up, such as switching to clean electricity? You can make your electricity squeaky clean by using renewable power, like wind and solar energy.

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