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Start Spring Cleaning Now: Tips for Decluttering Your Custom Closet

4 minute read, by Closet America, on Mar 1, 2017

Spring cleaning can be quite the chore—break it down into steps and keep things simple by starting with your custom closet!

When I was a girl, spring cleaning was always a little disappointing. I watched a lot of Disney movies as a child, so I remained secretly convinced that the process should involve friendly forest animals who helped me sweep and wash the floors.

But unless you’re a real-life princess, the process tends to be a little less enjoyable. For most of my clients, spring cleaning feels like the chore to beat all chores, the culmination of a winter’s worth of procrastination. To make the process a little more bearable, it helps to start early and break spring cleaning into a number of smaller projects so that you can move at a steady pace throughout your whole home over the course of several weeks. And it will probably come as no surprise that I’d suggest you start with your custom walk-in closet.

Take Care of Your Closet

The nice thing about beginning with your closet is that it’s relatively small and often already semi-organized. So getting it in perfect order is an easy win that can make you more motivated to tackle larger projects, like your garage or basement.

To start, I’d recommend that you remove every single item from your closet. Feel free to leave clothes on their hangers, but the goal is a completely bare canvas. The good news is that if your closet system itself is made from high-quality materials, it won’t need a lot of heavy-duty cleaning. I’d suggest running a dusting rag inside each drawer and shelf, working from the top of your closet down. For a restored shine, you can lightly spritz a microfiber cleaning cloth with a bit of water or gentle cleanser before wiping down outside panels and shelves.

Make Your Closet Smell Fresh And New

Especially if your wardrobe includes a lot of clothing you haven’t worn in awhile, it’s possible the space will smell a little musty. I’d suggest using this time to dust the carpet or floor of your closet with baking soda. Let this sit for at least thirty minutes before vacuuming. The soda will absorb lingering odors without leaving your closet smelling of unnatural air fresheners.

While you’re waiting, you’ll want to carefully vacuum each of your angled shoe shelves by hand to get rid of any dirt that your heels and flats might have picked up. You might even want to give your shoe collection a quick dusting of baking soda (which you can mix with a couple drops of your favorite essential oils). Gym shoes, boots, and other footwear you use heavily can be left out in the sunshine for a day or two so the baking soda can do its work better. When you’re finished, organize your shoes by season and color and display them back on your shelves.

Take Care of Your Wardrobe

Now comes the hard part: evaluating your clothes and purging anything you no longer need. A valet rod can make this process a lot smoother: I like to hang each item here while I assess it. To make the cut, every article of clothing should meet three criteria. It should still fit, it should mesh with your current style, and it should have been worn within the past year. Anything that doesn’t qualify should go in a pile to be donated.

This is a good time to do a “wellness check” on your remaining clothing. Are there loose buttons or other small mending tasks that you’ve been putting off? I also use this occasion to send as much of my wardrobe as I can to the dry cleaners in one fell swoop—especially winter coats and cold weather wear that I know I’ll be packing away before long.

Use Your Custom Closet to Your Advantage

Once your wardrobe has been sorted, you’re ready to place everything back inside your custom closet. This is a good time to prepare for warmer weather. My clients sometimes forget that Closet America’s shelving systems are adjustable, so as you move toward more lightweight fabrics, you’ll need less clearance for each shelf. I’d suggest leaving one or two shelves as-is for sweaters and other knits. But be sure to adjust any shelving where you’ll be storing lighter layers.  

If you have a wardrobe lift, you can also try cycling heavy winter clothing here. You’ll still be able to access it during cold snaps, but it’s a little more out of the way. Everything else can go on your regular hanging rods. Just make sure to organize items by fabric type and by color to keep your space looking organized.

Stand Back and Admire Your Skill

When you’re finished, you’ll have a custom closet that looks like new, with clothing that is clean, cared-for, and well organized. And you might even have a little extra closet space to hit the spring fashion sales and update your look.

If you haven’t gone custom yet, now’s a great time to schedule your free design consultation. And if you’ve tackled your closet already but are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of taming your garage, your mudroom, or your home office, we’re happy to design a storage solution that will put a spring back in your step.

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