Monsters lurk in the darkest regions of my closets. I know they do. And if I dig in there, I know they’ll get me. But ... but ... I NEEDED things that I KNEW were in there ... somewhere. It had to be done. I couldn't avoid it any longer. I gathered up my tools ...
Pith helmet, whip, chair, canteen …. oops, sorry, wrong list! Lemme see … where is that list?? Ah, here we go:
#1 Priority – GET HELP! When I clean closets, the first thing I do is coerce … er umm, bribe … find some help. STRONG help. I know that I probably put those now-two-ton boxes in there by myself when we moved here, but I sure can’t seem to lift them now! So I snag a hubby or son or son-in-law to give me help - whoever is handiest. Promises of a pan of brownies or homemade bread usually is sufficient around my house.
#2 Pull EVERYTHING out of the closet, hanging clothes and all. I don’t know about you, but when we moved into this house in the mid-90's, I was exhausted most of the time to the point of really not caring where everything went. My only criteria was stick it away somewhere so long as it wasn’t left out for someone to trip over.
#3 Get a couple of large boxes or lawn/leaf trash bags. You’ll be filling these with items you really don’t want anymore but are in good enough shape to donate and the other will be out-and-out garbage fodder.
#4 Take a good look at the mounds of items now on your bed and covering probably every spare inch of floor space. All that came out of there ??? We have a large walk-in closet so not only was the king sized bed filled, but floor space and I had to set up a couple of card tables in the hall. Thankfully, it's a wide hall.
#5 Sort items by person. If that person doesn’t live/sleep/reside in that room, tell them to come get it, or better yet, deliver it to their room / house. Preferably if they’re not home … makes for less hassle. My favorite thing is to wrap a piece of Christmas ribbon around the stack/pile/box and tell them Merry Christmas.
#6 Now draw a quick sketch of your closet space. If there’s a deep dark corner way in the back that you don’t get to very often, how about putting seasonal items back there? Or perhaps old sentimental items such as high school yearbooks, bowling trophies, boxes of baby clothes (my youngest ‘baby’ is now 34). If you have a partner you share closet space with, eyeball how much each would need and draw a line down through your sketch. Ours is 70/30, mine being the 70%, naturally. We've been married for 40 years ... he'd probably faint if I made it 50-50!
#7 Thoroughly clean every surface in the closet.
#8 Begin re-packing the closet with the items you have determined can go back into those dark corners. And for heavens sake, MARK the boxes you stick back there (REMOVE old labels - boxes get turned) so a quick scan with the flashlight will tell you what is in the boxes a year from now.
We’re getting down to the end now … you’ve thrown away, donated, returned to owner all the extraneous stuff you had gathered in there. If you’ve done it diligently and ruthlessly enough, your pile should be drastically reduced by now and everything will fit into place like it should.
#9 Take a bubble bath with candlelight and a cup of herbal tea or perhaps even a glass of wine.
Marge in Reno