Today I present you pictures of  my ‘Closet of Doom.’

The response has been overwhelming sympathy. Everyone seems to have that one closet that has everything you no long need or do not need for the season. My closet has not reached the level of a Fibber McGhee Closet (google that for those who are too young to remember the Fibber McGhee and Molly radio show). But nor could I walk in to this small room.

So at the beginning of February, I vowed to spend 15 minutes in there everyday. When I first started, I could barely be in there that long. As I looked at the bags of stuff and boxes and papers all over the floor the feelings of defeat washed over me. I felt that there would never be an end to this.

Sometimes my fifteen minutes means going through one garbage bag filled with papers and notepads. One week was spent on a big box filled with school papers from third grade that belonged to my 18-year-old son.

I have found baseball cards, Pokemon cards (that our five-year-old grabs), pictures, jewelry, and more.  Because my husband and I are writers, we have lots of story notes, books, press kits and note pads. One basket for the clean-up is devoted to yellow legal pads. The kids keep going in there to find more treasure and I have had to ban them from the closet.

In the midst of this project I turned to Becky Esker, CPO and President of Get Organized! L.L.C. in Iowa. You can also visit her website at www.TheOrganizingChoice.com. Becky saw my pictures of the ‘Closet of Doom’ and gave me some great tips to help with the project.

“While your closet appears to be an overwhelming project, there is one key thought to keep in mind. Because it did not get this way overnight, you can not expect it to be fixed overnight either! While it may take some time, the good news is it is a simple process! It comes down to applying our 3 Step S-Wee-P™ Process.”

I guess it is like weight-loss. You didn’t get the pounds on overnight, so they are not coming off that way either. So here are the three steps Becky gave me.

1) Sort: Literally pull items out of your closet one-by-one and sort them into like categories. This means you will need some working space out in your hall or in a room nearby for piles of the various categories. Be sure to label each of your categories (a marker and large sheet of paper will do the trick). For your closet of doom, I would anticipate categories of adult coats, kids coats, mittens, papers, and decor. Other common categories found in coat closets are games, toys and garden tools.

2) Weed: After you have all the stuff pulled from your closet and into its respective category, now it is time to tackle each category. For instance, let’s take the category of adult coats. Evaluate each coat for need, size, love and condition. This is the weeding through process which leads to the purging step.

3) Purge. As you weed through your coats, if you no longer love it, purge it to the donate pile. If it is the wrong size, purge it to the donate pile. If it is torn, stained or damaged, put it in the trash pile (no one else wants it either). Ask yourself if you really need it. Better yet, take note of the number of coats you have. For instance, if you have 5 similar black coats, ask yourself how many black coats you really need. If the answer is 2, purge the other 3.

Getting through your closet of doom can be as easy as 1-2-3. If you find yourself having to stop in the middle of the process, just dump your sorted categories into each of their own empty boxes or bags. Label the bags and put them all back in your closet until you return to the project. Now you can easily pull the boxes back out and dig back in as time allows.

Becky also stated …”with a bit of time and devotion,  I am sure you will do a fantastic job!”

I really appreciate Becky’s input despite still being on the “Sort” step at this point. I  have baskets that are holding papers and legal pads. I have been finding more clothes/coats as well and have hung them up as a way of sorting.

I just hope that this task is over by the end of March.

For more information about Becky and to get organizing tips, check out her website at www.TheOrganizingChoice.com

 

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