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Winter Cleaning: Organize Closets |

Winter Cleaning: Organize Closets

How Do I Begin to Organize This Mess?

Every winter, when I am stuck indoors for about three months straight, I look around my house and sigh, because I am forced to see what large collection of stuff I have that is hiding on shelves, in closets, and in my basement.

This year, I finally decided to take the plunge, and scheduled my time during the coldest months, January and February, so that I can start to organize my closets, and get rid of things that have been sitting around for over 5 years.

Much of what I need to organize and go through is still left from when our daughters were babies, car seats, and high chairs, baby clothes and such that we can give to someone else that needs them if we could just get them organized.  It is such a hassle to search for things in closets that are stacked to the brim with unwanted and unused items.  Half the time, the piles fall over when we are searching, making the closet even more messy and disorganized.

I decided to start with our living room which is the room that we spend the most time in. Not only did we have stacks of papers that we are “working on” (translate: unfiled), but we also had games stored under a table that we no longer played with, and a closet full of children’s winter clothes that no longer fit.

We also have a drawer filled with cassette tapes that we no longer play, and who knows what else I will find as I go along.

Getting the Family Involved with Closet Organization

As it turned out, I needed to get my husband and kids involved with the closet organization project.  For just the living room, there were decisions that I could not make without consulting them.  For instance, which games should we keep?  So both my teenagers and my husband were recruited into the sorting and organizing, and then they also helped with the cleaning.

I have never figured out how dust can get in closets.  If you keep a closet door closed most of the time, where does the dust come from?  Nevertheless, there was a lot of dust in our closets to clean.

Cleaning the Bedroom Closets

The upstairs rooms in our house are another story. Over the 20 years that we have lived in our house, we have put a lot of things in our closets that once out of sight were completely out of mind. Since I have been losing weight since May, I started getting rid of clothes that didn’t fit because they were too big. (yay!)

But I still have plenty of items in my bedroom closet, which is long and narrow that I need to go through and organize, and decide if I want to keep. Some are clothes that still have tags on and have never been worn, and some are so sadly out of style, that they just must go.

I have been studying closet organizer systems for my bedroom, and am convinced that the John Louis Closet Shelving System is a good choice for my home. I will probably buy one for myself and my husband. However, that doesn’t negate the emptying out of my closet, and going through clothing piece by piece.

Cleaning Our the Kids’ Bedrooms

I have cleaned out my girls’ bedrooms as they have grown, but besides the clothes I gave to my sister, almost everything else is just packed away.  We did clean out our attic this summer when we had a garage sale, but there is so much more just hidden away in their closets, around their rooms, and even tucked under their beds.

The problem with cleaning out their closets is that it is such an emotional experience, and brings back so many memories of them growing up.  I think that I will save that job for last.

I Am Terrified of Cleaning Our Basement

I am terrified of cleaning out our basement.  There is such an incredible amount of old stuff from early in our marriage in the basement closet, and then there is also all of my husband’s hobby equipment.  Add to that about forty years worth of books, an old desk, lamps.  I am really not sure what is there anymore.

I will have to make sure that I take someone down there with me, when I start cleaning it out, because I need a guard.  With all the stuff cluttering the basement, there could be all kinds of creatures living there without my knowledge.



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John Louis Home JLH-620 Standard Stand Alone Tower, Honey Maple Price: $125.49
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John Louis Home JLH-528 Premier 12-Inch Deep Closet Shelving System, Honey Maple Price: $349.99
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    avatar Paula Atwell (aka lakeerieartists), the owner of a small local gallery, Lake Erie Artists Gallery, in Cleveland, Ohio, is an artist, author, and a lover of all things vintage. You can follow Paula on Twitter.
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