Tips for decluttering your closet
It's only February, and I'm already in spring cleaning and decluttering mode. Since switching to full-time WFH, I cannot stand how much stuff I have in my house and need to make space. I plan to be realistic instead of ruthless. I aim to get rid of some things, but if I'm not ready to part with them (but don't need them right now), I will move them to the storage unit my mom and I share nearby. When it comes to decluttering, moving things to storage, or just reorganizing, the most challenging task is simply starting. Many of us don't know where to begin, feel overwhelmed, and then let things pile up. I completely understand where that feeling comes from, which is why I want to share a few tips that can help you!
Go Through Your Closet First: My condo has only a few small closets, which are the first place things start to pile up. But don't jump to a big clear-out right away. Before packing up your clothes and saying goodbye without a second thought, you'll want to assess everything. Take a look at your bags, shoes, accessories, and clothing. Which items are worth it to you to pack and store for the future, and which things do you no longer want? To fully evaluate your closet, try pulling everything out and placing the clothes in front of you. Yes, everything. It will likely feel overwhelming but trust the process. From there, look at what you want to keep or eliminate. Have you worn this item in the last year? Is it still in good condition? Is it still in style? Do you feel good wearing it? If not, place it in either a donation or sell pile. If you're on the fence about something, as much time as it will take - TRY. IT. ON. There are so many items I was convinced I loved, but when I tried them on and styled them, I realized I was never going to reach for them. Alternatively, if there is something you love and don't wear but can't bear to part with - move it to storage. It might come back in style, and you'll reach for it again, or after a while, you'll realize you don't miss it and are ready to part ways. Anything you love can go right back into your closet. Now it's time to go through and figure out what items you want to donate and which you want to sell. Donation centers are more forgiving on how old a piece is, but they still want it in good condition. Look for a donation center (I go to Brown Elephant in my neighborhood), or see if a charity can come and pick up your items for free - you'll be surprised how many charities offer complimentary pick-up. You could also reach out to friends and host a clothing swap. For the clothing you want to sell, you could try places like Buffalo Exchange, Plato's Closet, or online sites like Poshmark and Mercari, but make sure they are in like-new condition and not too old. Many places have a 2-year restriction, so it is worth checking before you schlep everything over. No matter what, wash and dry the clothes. If you're selling or donating, it's best practice to bring clean clothes. If you want to move them to storage, ensure that they are adequately dried before packing, so they do not become damp and grow mold. This could be a huge disaster when moving them back home later.
How To Properly Pack Your Clothes: Gather any cardboard boxes that you have - I know you probably have a few lying around from your recent Amazon purchases! These can be used for packing folded clothing, and, lucky for you, it means you don't have to break them down and bring them to recycling - a chore universally hated by all. If you don't have any on hand, search online for stores, marketplaces, or local recycling centers where you can pick some up for free or at a very fair price. I love getting a few wardrobe boxes for packing clothes on hangers. They can easily be put into the box wrinkle-free and then taken back out when you're ready for them. To make extra space, I love to vacuum seal or use compression bags, as they are a great way to store items that might be bulky such as sweatshirts or linens. You can purchase them from various stores or Amazon, and these also help protect them from the elements.
Folding Non-Hanging Clothes: One of the biggest struggles is figuring out how to pack everything using the least amount of space and boxes. There are various ways to do this. I still love the Mari Kondo fold because it is efficient and packing-friendly. This method is vertical folding. To fold a shirt using a Mari Kondo method, lie it out on a flat service. Then, fold one side toward the center, following with the other side the same way. Next, fold it in half lengthwise and leave a little gap at the edge. Lastly, fold in half or thirds until you have a neat rectangle that can stand upright. Another easy way to fold your clothes is by rolling them. An excellent method I saw on TikTok is a roll and tuck. First, lie it flat on a hard surface, take the bottom a few inches of the shirt, and flip it inside out. Next, fold the sleeve inwards and lie it on the shirt, and lie it on the shirt. Then, fold the shirt so that it touches the middle. Take the other half of the shirt and fold it on top of the first half. Starting at the top of the shirt, begin rolling it down as tightly as you can. Once the shirt is rolled up, you'll notice a pouch at the bottom where you flipped the bottom of the shirt inside out. Take that pouch and fold it over the rolled shirt. This will help to keep it all in place during the move. If this sounds confusing, YouTube or TikTok it. It's a lot easier than it sounds!
Packing Up The Accessories: Accessories can lose their shape if stored incorrectly, so you want to ensure that you keep them safe on your move. I like to stuff purses and shoes with newspaper and wrap them in tissue or dust bags to keep them in their best condition.
When in Doubt, Hire the Experts:
If all of this seems like an overwhelming obstacle, or if you're like me and don't have reliable access to a car, your best bet would be to hire professionals to properly move your clothing and use these techniques in the process. JC Movers and Lumper Services Inc are professionals who not only offer traditional move services, no matter if you're moving state or need to get your things to a storage unit a few blocks away, but they also work their magic by folding and packing your clothes properly! Yes, you read that right; they will fold and pack your clothes for you. They know how important your possessions are and how stressful moving projects can be, which is why they guarantee satisfaction every time. I haven't used them yet but have them bookmarked for the future because they also disassemble heavy furniture and reassemble it, which will come in handy when I finally decide to upgrade my bed from a queen to a king and want to store my old bed frame.
Decluttering and moving don't have to be crazy stressful. However, if you feel like it's too much or you don't have the time, save yourself the headache and find a trustworthy moving company to do it for you, even if it is just going to storage. It'll be worth it!