How to Spring Clean Your Closets and Drawers
You know what we love here at Martha Stewart? A good closet clean out. It's not just us, though: Researchers recently found a correlation between clutter and mental health, proving that a disorganized home really does make people—especially women—feel stressed. In our hectic times the last thing anyone needs is for their home life to be stressful. One of the easiest and most impactful places to start decluttering is in your own bedroom closet and drawers. After all, isn't it so much nicer to quickly find the top or sweater you were looking for rather than digging around and making an even bigger mess, leaving you frustrated, late, and oftentimes without the item you actually needed in the first place?
To help you reach organized nirvana, we suggest starting with Marie Kondo's KonMari method and giving your wardrobe a good purge. There are so many great, guilt-free ways to get rid of things you know you're not going to use: you can donate them to those in need ensuring they get a good home, host a clothing swap with like-minded friends as an eco-friendly way to add some new pieces to your collection, or even make some cash back off those mistake purchases by selling them online.
Once you've gotten rid of the extras, it's time to organize what's left. Follow our guide full of tried-and-true tips to get your closets and dresser drawers in order. If the whole task feels overwhelming, tackle one shelf or drawer at a time. Whatever style works for you, one thing is a given: At the end of the process it'll be a delight to get dressed each day.
Start with a Purge
The first step to getting your closets in order is assessing what's inside and getting rid of anything you don't need or use. "The most important step is to let go of the items that do not spark joy for you first—you will be amazed by how much less you have to store after that first step," says organizing expert Marie Kondo. Use this handy guide to learn how to responsibily get rid of anything.
Organize Your Items By Type and Color
Now it's time to put everything back. Arrange your clothing, shoes, and accessories by color and type making sure to keep your frequently worn items in the most accessible spot. Martha's clothes, pictured here, are arranged by item and color, and spaced evenly apart.
There are some spots in your closet that just don't stay tidy. Your underwear drawer is often the perfect example. "Sometimes the fabric of the clothes can be quite flimsy," explains Kondo, "and even when you fold them it can come loose or undone everytime you open the drawer." These silkier pieces stay put longer stored in a box. Other great items to place in boxes: socks, t-shirts, stockings, sunglasses
Keep Knits Folded
To avoid that stretched out neck senario and keep your sweaters looking their best, always fold and stack them on a shelf. "If you hang a sweater, you'll end up with distortion from the hangers, you'll have horns on your shoulder, or your arm gets stuck in the hanger and stretches it," warns Gwen Whiting of The Laundress. To learn how to best care for your favorite sweaters read our handy guide featuring more of Whitings tips.
Get the Right Tools
If you're planning on investing in closet solutions like racks, shelves, and cubbies, make sure to measure and decide what will go where before pulling the trigger. Some items are really beneficial in making your closet more efficient: a stool (to help you reach items stored on high shelves), a mirror (full-length if you can), a garment valet rod to set out clothes for the next day, and good lighting are among the most important.
Store Your Jewelry
Orphaned teacups and saucers are perfect vessels for sorting jewelry, and, when arranged in a velvet-lined drawer, they give you an easy-to-scan bird's-eye view of your bijoux. Looking for more DIY jewelry organizing ideas? We've got them right here.
Keep Clothes Smelling Fresh
These adorable handmade sachets with moth-repelling lavender buds will keep your clothes smelling good and help keep bugs at bay.
Maintain Your Organized Closet
Now that you've tackled a major closet cleanse, don't let all that work go to waste. To keep your racks airy and organized, quickly check-in every month to make sure things are in order. One tip that helps is hanging a sturdy, extra-large tote bag or pretty wicker basket in a central location and let it serve as a collection bin for clothes, housewares, toys, and other items that you decide to give away. When the bag is full, simply grab the handles and take the contents to a local charity.