The cold weather is fully upon us today. There is no better time to have a look at the coat closet!
As time passes and our families grow, we often accumulate coats, jackets, mittens, hats and the like. Once a year or so, we need to take everything out and sort through it.
Gather a large bag or box for donations; coats and outerwear are terrific items to pass on! Now take everything out of your closet. Clear out whatever is on the floor as well, including shoes and boots. You may want to vacuum while the closet is empty.
Move everything onto a large, clear sorting surface, such as the dining room table or even the floor. Stack the coats/shoes/boots/scarves/mittens/etc. in piles by wearer. You may have some “easy hits” that you know right away are no longer needed, such as gloves without a match or anything that no longer fits. Put these in the donation bag.
If you aren’t sure if an item still fits a family member, set it aside with a name tag on the top and have the family member try it on when he/she gets home.
Perhaps you’ve come across items that don’t really belong in this closet. Put these in your “elsewhere” bin/box to be redistributed at the end of the task. Likewise, if your closet is small, consider moving out of season clothing (e.g. lightweight jackets, flip flops, etc.) to a long-term storage location, such as a bedroom closet, basement, or under-the-bed box.
Now consider the cost of what you are keeping. Having a “coat for every occasion” is wonderful — if you have sufficient space! But if you have limited space, keeping a coat you wear only once a year will likely cause you grief. There is a “carrying cost” for every item you own. Only keep what comfortably fits in your closet.
When reloading, remember to maximize the space you’ve got. Use hooks or a towel bar for scarves, umbrellas or hats.
Another option is to add an “over the door organizer” to hold small items like mittens and hats.
If you have shelves or cubbies, use bins or baskets to hold items either for each person (e.g. Mom, Dad, etc.) or type of supply (e.g. bug spray, sunscreen, etc.)
When hanging coats, be sure to use sturdy hangers – not the wire ones from the dry cleaner.
Have you assembled a bag of items to donate? Move it now into your car and schedule a time in your calendar for dropping it off at a charity.
Were you able to let anything go? Did you free up some space?
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If you are new to the challenge, here’s a review of the process we are using all month:
1. Gather your supplies: (you can reuse these same supplies each day)
- Boxes or bags labeled with “Donate”, “Elsewhere” and “Store”
- Trash can and recycle bin
- Damp rag/wet wipe
2. Remove everything from the area (yes, everything) and wipe it clean with a damp rag.
3. Sort the items into these categories: (The Seana Method’s R.E.D.D.S. system)
- R- Restore: these are the items going back in
- E- Elsewhere: these are items to keep, but that don’t belong in this space
- D- Donate
- D- Dispose: trash or recycle
- S- Store: items you want to keep for sentimental reasons, or perhaps for a long-term future use, but which you don’t regularly use. These items will eventually need to go into a bin/box in an attic, basement, or closet.
4. Keeping the “Restore” items out, and put all other items into the boxes/bags you prepared.
5. Move items to their final destination:
- Put the “Restore” items back into your designated area.
- Carry the “Elsewhere” box/bag around your house and redistribute its contents.
- Move the “Donate” box/bag to the car to be donated.
- Trash/recycle the “Dispose” items.
- Put the “Store” items into a container and move it to a remote location for future access.