Start with the closets. You need to make room to put stuff away. Pick one closet and set a timer for 20 minutes and weed out what you can in that time. Take a break and repeat. Most importantly, once you’ve weeded things out, get them out of your home. They go right to the donation bin or recycling. A lot of organizations will schedule pickups where you just put your stuff outside and they come get it.
Once you’ve done that, look for additional space you’re not using to its fullest. Under beds, creating multiple levels in cabinets, using closet wall and door space, etc.
Pace yourself, celebrate even the tiniest of accomplishments, but, most importantly, get started.
Shower curtain rings on a clothes hanger. Thread the scarves through the curtain rings and hang the whole thing up.
You have a bunch of clothes sitting around. I know you do. Whether they’re clean and piled in a basket, or dirty and on the floor, or probably a bunch of both, they aren’t where they belong. Take 20 minutes to put that shit away. Clean: in drawers, hung up, or folded and put away. Dirty: in the hamper (or even better, in the washer). Vanquish the floordrobe.
I roll ‘em. Takes up less room.
Move the sweatshirts to the hanging organizer (they take up a lot of drawer space), and see if there are baskets that fit into the hanging organizers that you can put the socks into. The hanging organizers are also really good for things like jeans, too.
delores-mulva asked you:
I’ve conquered Clothes Mountain and put everything away. My hamper is filling up but I’m holding back on doing laundry because I have no room in my closet or dresser to put the clean clothes away. That sounds like a terrible excuse, but that’s my situation. I need to get rid of old things but I have a really, really hard time deciding what to get rid of. It would be nice if I could reduce shit by 30%. I’m almost ready to just toss every third thing I pick up. Any tips?
calvercraft asked you:
Dear UFYH, what’s the best way to cut down the size of your wardrobe? I have literally over 30 dresses, I’m too scared to count my other clothes but I’m lucky if I wear a dress more than once a week. My clothes overflow a 4-drawer dresser AND a bookshelf, and let’s not even get into the ones hanging up. My shoes pile up on the shelf in the top of my closet, and fall down on my head when I try to get them down. The biggest problem? I LOVE EVERY PIECE! HELP
You guys either need to get more storage, or get merciless. Lots of people will tell you to try that “turn the hanger backwards” trick and get rid of everything you haven’t worn, but that requires a lot of time. You know what you wear and what you don’t. My cut-off is generally two seasons. If I haven’t worn a summer dress in two summers, it’s not really in the rotation and it’s just taking up space and needs to be culled. Anything that doesn’t fit right, gone.
Neither of you mentioned it, but I’ll address one thing: lots of people don’t like doing this because it reminds them of how much money they spent on those things they’re getting rid of. Here’s the thing: the money’s already spent. You’re not getting it back (unless you can consign stuff, but even that’s just a fraction). By sitting in your closet taking up space, these items aren’t giving you their money’s worth anyway. Start fresh and be more conscious of what you’re buying and why.
My stuff is usually on hangers, so I just hang it from my closet door or aside from the rest of my closet stuff. I hang all of the necessary accessories and such off of various parts of the hangers and put the shoes right underneath.
One piece at a time. Handle every item only once: pick it up, decide if it needs to be washed, hung up, folded and put away, or put aside for donation. Start at the top of the pile, and work 20 minutes at a time, taking a 10-minute break in between until the pile is under control. Stop looking at the pile. Just look at one item at a time.
I’m almost afraid to say vinegar :)
Try making a paste of baking soda and water and working it into the build-up/fabric with an old toothbrush. Let it sit, then wash it as usual. OxiClean would also be worth a try. I think the paste/brush combo is key, though.
I like to roll ‘em, so you don’t have to displace a whole stack to get to the one you want. If you prefer folding, stack like with like. Similar colors together, or undershirts separate, any system that involves the least amount of disruption to get to the one you want.
I don’t like hanging them because they get those poky hanger dents, even with padded hangers.
I’m a huge fan of hanging storage like this, which creates “shelves” (and drawers, if you use the inserts) with only hanging space. Don’t neglect your inside-of-the-closet-door space either; there are over-the-door hangers for everything. Utilize your underbed space for less-used items, and you should be able to banish the floordrobe.
I heard about Unfuck Your Habitat through a friend about a month ago, and have been making slow but steady improvements in my apartment’s overall habitat.
I’ve never been good about hanging my clothes up (I always had dressers growing up, so my closets have always been dedicated to shoveling all my stuff into when I have to “tidy up” in a hurry), so for my first Before & After I decided to tackle my closet. It took 3 20/10s, with a small break to go to the store and buy more hangers. Ta-da!
Here’s my thing about once-worn clothing: if it’s clean enough to put back on your body, it’s clean enough to put back in your closet or drawers. If you’re really skeeved, but not skeeved enough to wash the stuff, consider one of those hanging fabric shelf things you can put in your closet, so you can fold the stuff up and keep it neat before its next wearing.
I’ve gotten this question a few times, so I’ll preface it by saying that I generally just hang stuff back up or fold it and put it away. If it’s dirty enough that I don’t want it touching my other clothes, it’s dirty enough to wash.
If you do want to keep your once-worn clothes separate, consider designating a drawer or a section of your closet for these items, or hanging fabric storage for your closet that’ll keep it separate and organized but not touching anything.
Can you section off an area of closet for them? Or maybe use a hanging closet organizer (the kind with shelves) so you can fold them and put them behind closed doors without them coming in contact with clean stuff?