It’s this time every year, as the snow begins to melt (hopefully!) and the tulips start to peek out of the ground, that we get the urge to rid our house of all the junk that has accumulated over the last year. I think there is a direct correlation in the Pacific Northwest between the new, more frequent sun breaks, and the desire to lighten up our homes. It’s the time we put all the heavy blankets and thick coats away, and allow the light to fill in. With that can come a bit of an overwhelming task, because let’s be honest — it’s not always easy to purge unused perfectly good items or put away that sentimental blanket your grandma knit for you. This is where I come in. While I can’t tell you what exactly to purge and what to keep, I can offer this easy three-step process that I used on my very own hall linen closet shown here. Keep in mind, while I’m applying this specifically to a closet, you can apply these steps in every room of your home.
- — PURGE: Personally, my closet is full of curtains from our previous home, a multitude of mis-matched sheets, and an excessive amount towels. Mostly because when I get new towels, I just shove the old ones in here, but hey I may need them at some point when I have a plethora of overnight guests, right? Not likely, but it could happen, I suppose. The reality is I don’t need them, and by donating them they will likely end up in a home where there is a real need for them. Same with my old curtains and random bits in here that I haven’t touched since we moved in two years ago. Time for them to be loved in a new home.
As I go through my purging process, I make four piles: donate, keep, trash, and a maybe pile. The first three are clear on what to do with them, but the “maybe” pile is usually the one I leave until I’ve gone through everything and then revisit at the end. I don’t want to stall my sorting process by staring at one piece for 30 minutes trying to decide what to do with it. Usually by the time I’m done with everything I’m able to go back to it and make a quicker decision. It feels good by the end to see how much I’ve been able to get out of the way.
2. — STORE: Now you’ve done the hard part and said goodbye to the pieces you just don’t need. You will have items left that need to go back in the closet, plus your heavier winter things that have been out and now need to be stored during the warmer months. My favorite way to organize both open shelving and closets are with baskets. You can fill them with smaller items to help contain them and clear the shelves of clutter. Also, pieces such as towels stored in the baskets helps eliminate the drooping piles that are inevitable when stacking too many items. Baskets are also great for placing pieces that are not coordinating with the colors that are visible. For example, I have our bright pink and blue beach towels as well as my kids cartoon towels in a basket to keep my color palette neutral (my personal preference but choose a color palette you love!). Having a combination of basket storage and neatly stacked pieces helps with finding items easily, and it adds depth and texture, making your closets more visually appealing.
3. — STYLE: Finally! The fun part, making it look pretty! Now that you’ve decided what to put in baskets and what to keep out, it’s just a matter of arranging them. I like to balance the baskets on the shelves, separating them so not all the baskets are on one side, making that side feel heavy. Splitting the baskets up with some neatly stacked towels, possibly a faux plant, and other décor, creates balance on both sides of the closet. You can see on a couple of the shelves, the baskets don’t go all the way across — I alternated which sides the baskets were on to achieve visual balance. It may seem silly to put décor in a closet and in some cases, you may not have the extra space to do it. But if you do, it really takes the closet up a notch, potentially, not treating like a dumping ground. When things look nice, we are just more likely to take care of them to keep them looking that way, pretty simple right?!
Happy Spring Cleaning!
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