Conquering the Clutter in Your Closets

June 11, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

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My excuse is that I need more closet space. Be it the kitchen, hallway, spare room or my bedroom, I just don’t have enough closet space. Of course, the problem with that argument is that I know people with half the space I have and somehow they manage to be much more organized than I am.

Then there is the fact that McMillan and Company Professional Organizers say that, “about 80% of clutter is due to disorganization NOT lack of space.”

De-cluttering your closets is a great place to start, that way, you can have space to put things away as you get organized. Because I’m tackling the kitchen in a separate post, I’ll stick mostly to closets in the bedroom, spare room and hallway.

First of all, it isn’t going to help to just shift items from one place to another. Get rid of clothes that don’t fit. I bit the bullet last year and got rid of all of my “fat” clothes. That gives me great incentive to watch my weight because I have no “plan B” and I sure don’t intend to actually go and purchase any larger sizes. Next, if you haven’t worn it or used it for a year or so, get rid of it. The exception would be formal wear or items used yearly, such as holiday items.

After you have tossed out several items, go through and see if there is ANYTHING else that can GO.

Now, as a caregiver you may be responsible for your loved one’s living space (if you aren’t now you probably will be at some point). This is a good time to purge. Keep the items that are comfortable and easy to get into and out of. I know of some people who put complete outfits together, so that their loved one (or caregiver) just pulls out one hanger and everything is there.

Next, make a plan. Bedroom closets, particularly have several categories of items: clothes, coats/jackets, shoes, belts, ties and purses. Some people categorize by color or by season. I am not sure it matters HOW you categorize, but it is important to get your own organizational set up. You might have to pick up some hangers, tie/belt rack or shoe organizer. Of course, you can also purchase a closet organizing system as well. Whatever your plan, make this your mantra. “A place for everything and everything in its place.”

Finally, you have to maintain your area. Give your closets 15 minutes per week of “maintenance.” That (well spent time) should enable you to get anything in order that isn’t in its place, remove items that don’t belong and adjust anything that isn’t working.

Happy Organizing. I promise that clearing the clutter will help in your battle against Alzheimer’s disease.

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