Erica Thompson, left, and Amy Tokos in the newly organized closet for the Edward Zorinsky Child Development Center.
Declutter, sort and label your way to a more organized closet space.
Sprucing up your closet can be a snap. But you have to invest the time and effort. And that starts with decluttering.
» Get rid of what you don't need.
“People stick stuff in storage that they no longer need or want ... Don't delay making those decisions. Otherwise, you'll let things pile up.”
At the child-care center, for instance, Thompson could barely open the closet door because toys, boxes of craft supplies and miscellaneous items blocked the entry. Thompson had to decide what was needed and what could be pitched.
“We placed a large trash can just outside the entry to make it easier,” Tokos said.
» Take everything out.
Thompson had many random items — from a clown's outfit to grass seed — stored inside. Instead of sifting through boxes, Tokos suggested they first pull everything out of the closet, then sort and store items.
» Store your most-used items in plain sight, less-used items below, and least-used items up high.
“A lot of times things are dropped at the entrance instead of being put away where it makes sense. If you use it, it has to be easy to get to.”
For instance, you don't want to be climbing over your Christmas decorations to get a book you read once a week.
» Store similar items together (ie. books, decorations, craft supplies) in bins.
“For her, the biggest thing was getting like things together,” Tokos said. “She had her graduation supplies that she may use once a year spread out all over the storage room. Most likely, her graduation would've happened with a few of her supplies because she would've forgotten she had all of them.”
That's fairly typical of any home, Tokos said.
“Some people think they have stuff, but can't find it. So they buy them again,” she said. “Have a home for everything.”
Thompson placed all the craft supplies together. Then toys. Then acrylic paints. And so on. Odd- shaped items also were placed in bins.
» Open containers on open shelves are a great solution for organizing children's toys.
» Make sure you label your bins.
They labeled boxes and bins with “crayons” or “paint' or “Halloween stuff” and put the containers on shelves.
Labels help, so you don't have to dig through things, Tokos said.
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