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The Purge: How to Clean Your Closets Like Never Before


If your latest shopping binge at the Patrick Henry Mall has left your closets overflowing, or you frequently find yourself digging frantically through drawers in search of your favorite pair of jeans, it’s time to reorganize. These pro tips will help you purge and clean the spacious closets in your Alta Citizen home like never before. You’ll maximize closet space and reduce your stress.

Getting Started

That overwhelmed feeling is easy to get when you look into your messy or overstuffed closet. For inspiration, check out a few episodes of organizing guru Marie Kondo’s hit Netflix series, “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” read her bestselling book, or just surf the web to find some great DIY closet makeovers.

The Purge

Now that you’re raring to go, pick your first closet or chest of drawers and remove everything – yes, everything! Pile it on your bed, sofa or the floor nearby. Then pick up each item, make sure it’s still wearable or usable (no holes or permanent stains etc.) and decide if it’s something you really want or need. Based on this assessment, place each item into one of four new piles or hampers: keep, resell, donate or trash. Be strategic and realistic about what you keep. One handy rule of thumb: if you haven’t worn or used it in the last 12 months, out it goes.

Sort and Reorganize

Take the items you’re keeping and organize them into logical groups based on how you wear or use them. For example, work and dressy clothes versus hangout clothes. Or, warm weather clothing versus cold weather items. Then, neatly hang or refold each item and place it in your closet or drawers. You can also sub-sort each group to keep similar items together. For instance, all the dresses on the far left of your hanging space, followed by shirts and tops, then pants. Arrange everything so that the most used items are the most accessible.

Finishing Touches

If you’ve really been bitten by the closet cleaning bug and want to take your closet to the next level, buy matching hangers and place them in the closet facing in the same direction. Then, arrange the items by color (from lightest to darkest) within each category of clothing. Buy some decorative boxes to store and organize smaller and loose items, or those pieces that don’t fold or hang easily. Use hooks with removable adhesive to hang accessories such as hats, belts, and purses on the back of the closet door or any extra wall space. Your closet will now look like an elegant department store display.

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow … Unless Money is Involved!

Don’t just throw away the pieces you’ve decided not to keep. Earn some extra cash by reselling higher-value, designer items on websites like Poshmark and The Real Real. If you have a lot of items to get rid of at once, it may be too time consuming to resell them all on sites such as eBay, Mercari or Facebook Marketplace. But you can stop by a local consignment store such as Clothes Mentor or Act II Consignment Boutique and let them take a look to see if there’s anything they think will sell. Consignment stores take a percentage of the sale price and you get the remainder. Donate everything else that’s still in good condition to your preferred thrift store.

Looking for more fun things to do in and around Newport News? Check out the Alta Citizen blog for ideas.

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