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How to Sort of Organize Your Closet in Less Than One Million Steps

Updated on August 16, 2013
Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannie has been writing online for over 8 years. She covers a wide variety of topics—anything from hamsters to office work.

BEFORE! | Source

Or... How to Ruin a Perfectly Lovely Saturday

Everything started out just fine. It was a chilly Saturday in October and everything was going well. However, a dark cloud loomed over my head.... the closet. Since it was already October 13th and the Halloween decorations were apparently not going to jump out the closet on their own, it was a situation that had to be confronted head on. To make matters more dire, the shelving unit in theliving room had collapsed. There was a perfectly good stand I could use for my now homeless books. Guess where that stand was located? Oh yes, it was in the closet of doom. The time had come... it was time to clean out the closet.

If you are a brave soul and wish to take this journey with me, I hope you will learn all of the important steps to organizing your own closet. You might want to delete some of the steps, such as the many times I wanted to give up or burst into tears, but you might find it necessary to incorporate those steps into your own adventure. If your closet looks anything like mine, crying might be very, very necessary.

1st Step: Find Entertainment

Since cleaning out your closet is probably going to be frustrating and a bit boring, you should find an additional source of entertainment. For me, I enjoy scary movies and it is October. In celebration of Halloween coming in the near future, I decided to watch Insidious while throwing stuff out the closet. You might wonder, "Why Insidious?" and that answer would be simple: it is hard to feel sorry for yourself while organizing your closet and watching Insidious. Sure my closet is a disaster, but at least my home isn't full of demons and ghosts. I don't have to pack up everything and move out. My closet is super simple to organize as opposed to that.

So remember, when you clean and organize your own closet, it could be worse. At least your closet isn't full of demons that might attack you. At least, I hope not. If so, just leave the closet alone and get a new place to live.

If horror movies are not your thing, that is fine. I can forgive you. You are obviously desperate if you are reading this hub, so I can support your need to clean your closet while not watch a scary movie. Instead, turn on some good music or watch a comedy. Whatever you can do to make you happy during this adventure is going to help a lot.

Pool noodles!
Pool noodles! | Source

2nd Step: Open the Closet Door

Oh yeah, there is some scary stuff in that closet, but the first step is opening the door. Once you open the door, you can take the time to look around and do some inventory. You can also take a little time to wonder why on earth you have all this stuff. You can also ponder over what some of the things in the closet actually are since not everything is going to be evident right off the bat.

Interesting things found in my closet:

  • Pool noodles
  • An ironing board I forgot existed.
  • More empty boxes than any person needs.
  • More Easter decorations than I knew I had.
  • Not one, but two hamster cages.
  • Not one, but two fish tanks... and a fish bowl.

Cleaning items
Cleaning items | Source
Christmas decorations
Christmas decorations | Source
Knitting supplies from a long forgotten project.
Knitting supplies from a long forgotten project. | Source

3rd Step: Start Taking Stuff Out

Once you've really taken some time to get to know all your stuff, it is time to take everything out of the closet. My recommendation to you is to sit items in little piles based on how you would like to organize your stuff. If you happen to have empty boxes in your closet, AWESOME! You are going to put stuff in boxes according to how you are categorizing them.

For instance, I organized my closet items like so:

  • Christmas decorations
  • Halloween decorations
  • Easter decorations
  • Board games
  • Knitting supplies
  • Cleaning items (vacuums, brooms, etc.)
  • Scarves, gloves, and hats
  • Pet supplies
  • Summer stuff
  • Weird stuff I can't put in a category

4th Step: Burst Into Tears and/or Walk Away

At this point, you might just look around and feel overwhelmed. This is the point when you might consider just walking out and accepting that you are going to have random crap to crawl over for the rest of your stay in your home. The closet will never be organized. Your home will always look like a bomb went off in it. Worst of all, you will never get the Halloween decorations out of the closet and nothing will be achieved. If you need a good cry, just do it.

Now that all that is over, come back to the junk sitting all over your floor. At least you home isn't being haunted by evil spirits and demons, so you can totally do this. If need be, bribe yourself with some caffeine or chocolate. If you absolutely must, I would not frown upon a little bit of alcohol consumption as long as it won't tire you out. You can do this! Even if you can't do this, just simply lower your standards. You will have an awesome, kind of organized closet in no time.

AFTER! Not perfect, but who cares?
AFTER! Not perfect, but who cares? | Source
I really did throw out some stuff... really!
I really did throw out some stuff... really! | Source

5th Step: Start Putting Stuff Back in the Closet

Now that you are finished with your minor breakdown, start boxing up some stuff you've been simply throwing in the closet without a care for a while. Throw out things you do not need. If some items are in good condition, but you don't need them anymore, you can opt to sell them on Craigslist or Ebay. You will be making money! See, this whole experience is not so bad after all. You could also donate items to charity. You are such a wonderful person!

Once you are able to really see what you have, you can better determine how to organize all these items. You might even find some useful things you needed and now you don't have to buy them. Sure, your closet might not be perfect, but what is in life? At least you can find things easier and you can walk through your livingroom again after your closet exploded. As an added bonus, you can enjoy fun stuff like Halloween decorations and a stand for your books until you can afford a new shelving unit. OK, perhaps that last part was a little too personal, but you get the idea. Enjoy!

Copyright ©2012 Jeannieinabottle

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Submit a Comment
  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    I am happy you enjoyed the hub. Hopefully it will inspire you to clean and organize your closets, too. I should honestly tackle things at work as well. Shesh! Thanks for your comment.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Funny approach to a much dreaded task. Hopefully this will succeed in giving me a little motivation, as I definitely have some very messy closets at home, and one terribly, terribly messy one at work that needs to be dealt with very soon.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Yes, loud music does help when cleaning. At least my apartment looks semi-decent now. Whew! Thanks for the comment.

  • Ruchira profile image


    8 years ago from United States

    Seriously loud music does wonders when cleaning. It helps one's momentum and does not tire one out.

    Gotta start cleaning lady!!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    You are so right! There is a freeing feeling once it is all done. It is nice being able to find things again. Thanks for the votes up! And thanks for the reminder... it has been a while since I tackled the bathroom cupboard.

  • Efficient Admin profile image

    Michelle Dee 

    8 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    Yep this reminds me that I need to clean out my bathroom cupboards and drawers. I went through the closets back in January this year, but have kept putting off the bathroom cupboards and drawers. Also the freezer needs to be cleaned out too! It sure is great once it's done, kind of like a "freeing" feeling from the clutter. Voted up and all.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    It can take a while to get around to cleaning out closets. It is one of those chores you can put off for a while until things are falling on your head. Quite a few things were falling on my head. I hope you and Eminem have a fun time cleaning out the closet. :-) You never know... it would be hilarious if you found pool noodles after all. Thanks for the comment!

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 

    8 years ago from Orlando, FL

    I've had cleaning out a closet (some reason Eminem's song is in my head now) for a few months. I did get a linen closet down recently. Woot! I have a few more closets to go. Oh my! I'll listen to Em when I decide to tackle this task. I doubt I'll find pool noodles. Haha!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Yes, there are so many closet mysteries! Haha. Thanks for the information. I need all the organization help I can get. Thanks for the votes up, too! :-)

  • Sinea Pies profile image

    Sinea Pies 

    8 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Oh how I laughed through this one, Jeannieinabottle. So funny and so TRUE! LOVE the pool noodles. I found some old fencing foils in one of our closets. I have NO idea how they got there or how long they'd been there. Zorro might be missing them. (Just kidding...they're not that pretty.)

    Voted up, useful and FUNNY! :) BTW, my blog is all about organizing. I am putting this link on my Facebook Fanpage for my readers to enjoy. They will!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Vellur - Thanks so much. It was a stressful experience, but hey, I got through it.

    rcrumple - You are so kind to offer such a fun opportunity like that for me. I like the idea of tying a rope around my waste. It is sort of like Poltergeist... maybe I will find the last person that was lost in the closet and bring them back! :-) Thanks for the comment!

  • rcrumple profile image


    8 years ago from Kentucky

    Jeannie - My wife and I agree. You did such a fantastic job on your closet, we'd like to invite you to do all of ours. We hired a person once to do it, but they entered my wife's and have never been seen again. We've learned out lesson and have a rope ready to tie around your waist so you don't get lost. I'll let her know you'll be coming soon! lol Great job! A real fun read!

  • Vellur profile image

    Nithya Venkat 

    8 years ago from Dubai

    A closet well arranged is a source of delight but to achieve it a lot of hard work and determination is needed. Great hub.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    P.S. Thank you for sharing this hub, Alecia! :-)

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Alecia, I know exactly what you mean. It sounds like we have the same coat / Christmas supply closet. That was the one I tackled this weekend. My clothing closet is not so bad. I won't allow myself new clothes unless I periodically organize that closet. Therefore, it is always the nicest closet. :-) Thank you for your comment!

    Janine, we should have cleaned closets together. I have to bribe myself with little treats so I do tasks I don't like. Today, I put plastic on my bedroom window. I was allowed to watch a marathon of my favorite show, Destination Truth, while doing that. :-) Thank you for sharing and for the votes!

  • Janine Huldie profile image

    Janine Huldie 

    8 years ago from New York, New York

    Oh Jeannie, I just did this last weekend and where were you then!! No seriously this was great and loved how you were watching Insidious while cleaning your closet out. Another awesome Hub article that I thoroughly enjoyed and have of voted, shared and tweeted too!

  • Alecia Murphy profile image

    Alecia Murphy 

    8 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

    I think the worst closet has to be the one with my clothes in it. I use that one everyday. The linen closet is bad but I just close it and walk away since it's not in my room. And don't get me started on the coat closet- it has all of the Christmas decorations and present paraphernalia so I have to use it when it's cold outside. But something about cleaning out your closet makes you want to not buy any other useless junk again...yet somehow we do and a year later I find myself saying the same thing!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    11 closets! Oh my! I am so sorry. I do actually have 4 closets, which is pretty decent for a one bedroom apartment. However, 2 of the closets are pretty organized... not great, but OK. I just rearranged/organized the one closet; however, there is one other closet I should tackle... maybe there will be a snow day this winter and I will do it then. ;-)

    Good luck with your closets. Remember what I said... when all else fails, lower your standards! :-) Thanks for the vote up and for the comment.

  • fpherj48 profile image


    8 years ago from Carson City

    Jeannie.....I should have never read this, but it's too's even too late for me to cry. My disasters are the step beyond crying......yes, I'm talking about the contemplation of the jump off the high bridge over a rushing river. Actually, for complete success, I don't live all that far from Niagara Falls.

    In my home, there are 11 closets. Not little closets...HUGE closets. I still recall telling the realtor how "my house has to have LOTS of storage space." For once in my life...someone listened to me. I really don't like her much any more. We did have 12, until we utilized one for space for a bigger bathroom....

    My final comment is that if word gets out that I'm "cleaning closets," no one comes any where near me or the house......for any reason whatsoever.

    I applaud your courage...............UP++

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Yes, I've made many discoveries this weekend. I took out my Halloween clothes and discovered a Halloween sweatshirt I bought in November for a few bucks and forgot existed. I also had forgotten about my ironing board and I can use it now. I guess that goes to show how much ironing I do. ;-) I think I might try to start knitting again, too. Thanks for your comment and hooray for the little joys in life!

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    8 years ago from Olympia, WA

    You are just too funny! This hub speaks to millions; of that I have no doubt. The thing about it is....I always find something I didn't know existed, and that is such a bonus. Just last week I found an eyeglasses cleaning cloth that I had forgotten about, this two days after I was bemoaning the fact that I didn't have one.

    It's a wonderful life and it's the little things that bring such joy! LOL

    Great fun Jeannie!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Be strong and be brave! It can be done. To be honest, I did lower my standards. I got a lot done, but I could have done more. The way I look at it something is better than nothing and I did achieve a lot in less than 2 hours. Thanks for your comment!

  • Just Ask Susan profile image

    Susan Zutautas 

    8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    This is something I've been putting off for a very long time now .... and I know I have to get it done. Thanks for the motivation :)


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