Wardrobe organization

Unruly closets need periodic cleaning and sorting. The beginning of the new year is as good a time as any to take on such organizational tasks.

Cooler weather keeps many people indoors. Although this may cause a bit of cabin fever, time spent inside gives people a chance to tackle some much-needed organization projects without the distractions of outdoor activities.

One task to tackle is sorting through wardrobes and making room for new clothes, as extra clothing can quickly take over a home. In fact, according to the National Association of Professional Organizers, too much clutter, general disorganization and difficulty determining what to keep and/or discard are the primary reasons individuals reach out to professional organizers. If clearing away closet clutter is on the top of your to-do list, consider the following tips.

- Know what you have. It’s easier to determine what you can keep and what you can donate or discard when you have an idea of what’s in your closet. Take all of your clothes out of closets and drawers and place them on the bed or floor.

- Clean the closets thoroughly. The closet organization company Closets by Design suggests a yearly and thorough cleaning of closets. This includes dusting shelving and vacuuming the floor of the closet. You can do the same with armoires and dresser drawers.

- Take inventory of your clothing. Create three main sorting piles. Label one “keep,” another “donate” and the third one “sell.” As you look at your clothing, keep only those items that fit you well and suit both your tastes and your lifestyle. If a piece is high-quality and worth the cost of repair, bring it to a tailor or make the modifications yourself. Let go of items you never wear or those you bought on a whim because you wanted to try something trendy. In addition, figure out which type of clothing best suits your lifestyle. If you have 10 pairs of yoga pants but never hit the gym, you can thin out that collection.

- Immediately bag donation items. Move items you will be donating out of the room. Place them by the front door and make a plan to drop them off at a thrift store or in a nearby clothing bin.

- Don’t overlook sales opportunities. An easy way to make a little extra money is to sell used belongings at consignment stores. Such stores are popular in towns all across the country as more people attempt to conserve and cut back on their spending. Consignment shops typically do most of the work, including marketing the items, which can be less hectic and safer than selling things on your own. Only bring in items that are clean and in good condition. Opt to have clothing donated after the consignment period is over if items haven’t sold so they don’t end up back in your closet.

- Group remaining “keep” clothes in the closet by category. Organize the clothing you keep by color or style (i.e., casual, formal, exercise, etc.). Arrange the clothes in a way that makes most sense to you.

- Consider moving off-season clothes. Sturdy storage containers and bags can be used to keep off-season clothing out of the closet until it’s needed. This frees up more space.