The question behind a cluttered closet is how it got that way in the first place. Psychologists believe that clutter can be traced to what they call cognitive errors, flawed thinking that drives dysfunctional behavior.
Some of the most common clutter-generating comments include: “I might need these someday.” “These might be valuable.” “These might fit again if I lose (or gain) weight.” This irrational logic is what makes us cling to things.
Experts say difficulty letting go of things can go hand in hand with separation anxiety, compulsive shopping, perfectionism, and procrastination. Reluctance to cope with these behaviors can create a vicious cycle of avoidance, anxiety and guilt, resulting in a never-ending perfect storm.
There is hope, however. Here are a few simple tips to tackle your over-stuffed, messy closets.
#1. Start from Scratch
- Take everything out of your closet. If you don’t remove it all, chances are the same unworn clothes will be moved around the closet.
- Throw out old and damaged clothing; donate what you don’t need or don’t wear.
#2. Set Time Aside
- By scheduling just an hour a week, you can make a huge dent in your cluttered closet.
#3. Organize in Sections
- Assign a place for everything in your closet. Shoes in one place, sweaters in another, etc. This will help you keep order and save you time each morning.
- Make smart use of the space by installing shelves that will double storage capacity.
#4. Put One In; Take One Out
This is my favorite. For each new item you buy and put in your closet, donate one item or toss one out if it’s past its prime. This will keep you from returning to your pack-rat ways.