Kim McBrayer is a self-professed former “messy” who’s learned to be organized - and she’s helped scores of “messy” Birminghamians do the same through her business Space Cadets Organizing. Just in time for spring cleaning season, here are her tips for decluttering closets:
It is a proven fact that we wear 20% of the clothes in our closet 80% of the time, so let’s get it down to what you are really going to wear and donate the stuff taking up that valuable real estate!
1. Empty your closet and evaluate every piece in your closet, asking:
- Do I like this?
- Do I wear it?
- Does it fit?
- What can stay in your closet year round and what could be moved out due to the temperature? (If space is at a premium, consider relocating items like wool sweaters, shorts, swimsuits)
2. Not so fun, but necessary - you have to try it on! Make a decision about what to do with it with these options:
- Keep It - return back to your closet
- Give It - to a friend or relative
- Donate It - let someone else benefit from your purging
- Sell It - make some of the money back through a consignment shop
3. Toss It - unfortunately, some things are just not salvageable - time for the trash. Use the Hanger Swap
- Turn the hanger head pointing away from the wall. After you wear it, turn the hanger head as you normally would, with it facing in toward the wall. At the end of the season you can easily see what you did or didn’t wear! What is still facing out – well, out it goes! Purchase good hangers. Using the same type creates a cleaner look and can often double your hanging space by using slimline hangers. It can be an investment, so consider picking up a couple packs on each trip to the store for a few months.
- Flocked - I prefer the black velvet, but they come in many colors. Huggable Hangers is a popular brand, but other stores offer them as well. They are slimline and make the best use of space. They also work beautifully for those garments that slip off into the floor!
- Plastic Tubular - less expensive option but will still create a clean, uniform look. They take up more space than the flocked.
- Wooden - I rarely use these because they are bulky and consume the most space. However, they look amazing and are great for heavy-duty work like suits, jackets and winter coats.
4. “Birds of a feather flock together!” Organize your clothes with objects that are similar. Group the shirts, pants, sweaters, skirts, etc. and organize by color, starting with the white and ending with black. Hang the garments all facing the same direction, putting the front of the clothes facing the door. At Space Cadets, we hang the pants above the shirts and jackets, which allows the light to shine on to the lower level and the closet will feel less crowded around your face. It also puts those pants closer to your eyes to compare the navy and black.
5. Use shelves to fold items that would stretch if hanging. Place hats, purses, bags and suitcases on top shelves. Also, try to get shoes off the floor into cubbies or on shelves. Consider hooks for side walls, for ties, belts, scarves, etc.
While you’re cooped up inside during this cold weather, take a day and empty that closet. Have fun trying on everything and placing it back in your closet - backwards! Then, over the next few months, you will start to see what you are wearing - or not - and can make some objective decisions on should it stay or should it go.
See Kim share even more tips on deculutter and organization at the Birmingham Home + Garden Show
on Friday, February 19 at 2 p.m., Saturday February 20 at 3 p.m. and Sunday, February 21 at 11:30 a.m. Don't have tickets yet? Get 2-for-1 on Facebook
and treat a friend or family member to the show. We'd love to see you there!
BIRMINGHAM-JEFFERSON CONVENTION CENTER
FEBRUARY 18-21, 2016.