This can be a very scary place for first time organizers. This is your sanctuary! You know where everything is! …at least, where it is in the pile. Or stuffed in the drawer!
Trust me, now is the time to get everything straightened up. You can’t stay a teenager forever! It’s time to turn your big kid room into an adult room.
And don’t worry! It will still be your room! Just clean and organized 🙂
Start with your closet. I’ve talked about doing this before in my Purge your Splurge post. You want to get rid of anything that you know you are not wearing anymore. And if you want to try the reverse hanger method for a while after that to really see what you do and do not wear, go for it! But for now, at least clear the items out that you absolutely know you haven’t worn in at least 9 months to a year.
After you’ve gone through your clothing, take a look at your shelves. If you have piles hanging off the edges trying to escape, bring them down, sort them out, and put them away.
It might be a good investment for you to purchase some boxes you can store in your closet as well to hold either hats, scarves, or even sentimental belongings that you don’t want out in the open.
Next is your dresser. THIS can get a little scary.
First thing’s first…your underwear drawer. Any underwear that is “holy” (meaning see-through without meaning to be), stained, stretched, or too small, pitch them. Don’t even think about donating them. I think it’s disgusting to donate underwear in the first place, so don’t burden someone else with your nasty findings.
After going through your underwear and only keeping what’s good, move on to the socks. Find all of the lonely socks and put them in a pile (we’ll get to them in a second). Next dump all of your socks on your bed and sort them by whites, darks, and patterned. If you have over 20 pairs of white and dark socks, start purging. You only realistically need about 5 pairs of white socks, 5 black, and 3 brown, tan, grey, whatever. You know how often you wear those socks. If you only wear black socks about once a week, only keep one or two pairs! Just be honest with yourself about how much you wear them.
For your patterned socks, go through them and decide which ones you still wear and which ones you haven’t worn since high school. Yes, patterned socks are fun, but if you are an adult with a grown-up job, odds are you only wear patterned (or fuzzy) socks at nighttime or weekends. If this is the case, start purging! Keep the ones you KNOW you wear, and give away the ones that you haven’t worn in forever. Be realistic. For example, if you have 5 pairs of MSU socks, one is your all-time favorite, one you wear when your all-time favorite pair is dirty, and the rest you haven’t worn since you got your all-time favorite pair, give away those other three pairs. They need a home that loves them for who they are.
Now, onto your lonely sock pile. Start sorting again. Soon you may start finding that some belong together. If so, put them where they belong, whether it is in your drawer or in the donate pile. If you end up with socks that have no partners, either throw them away (because who wants just one sock?!) or if you are crafty save them for sock puppets with your kids! Or give them to someone crafty for the same reason.
Once you are done with that drawer, move on to your other drawers. Go through your shorts, pants, shirts, pajamas, etc. and start purging! You realistically only need 3 pairs of dress pants (black, grey, and tan/brown), 2 pairs of jeans (flared and skinny), 3 pairs of shorts (2 denim, 1 khaki), 3 sets of pajamas, and 2 sets of sweatpants. If you are holding onto clothing for sentimental or nostalgic reasons, but you never wear them anymore, I would suggest either tucking them away in your hope chest, or purchasing some Ziploc space saver bags and putting them in there. This way you can suction the air out and tuck them either under your bed or in a closet.
Now that we are done with the underwear drawer we can move on to bedding. If you are like me and you have about 17 pillow cases, of which 6 actually go to a bedding set you have all together, and the other 11 accumulated in your house over time and have no home. These are the pink, off-white, sky blue, occasionally patterned, pillow cases that came in your hope chest, were dropped and forgotten by an overnight guest, or mysteriously walked into your house in the middle of the night and found its home underneath your bed (we all have that one..).
You do not need 17 pillow cases.
First, get your complete sets together. This would include your bottom fitted sheet that wraps around your mattress, your top sheet, and at least two pillow cases. Set your complete sets aside. These ones you will keep. Complete bed sets can sometimes be expensive, so it’s better to have a couple on hand at home in case you have visitors or you have to change bedding in the middle of the night because your 3 year old decided to crawl into bed and pee all over the place.
Once you’ve done that, get going on your other bedding pieces. Sometimes you may find that you have incomplete sets, which are good to keep too. If you go through it all and find that you have mismatched pieces, donate them. I will allow keeping 2 extra mismatched pillow cases (again for overnight guests) but that is it, because you already have your complete sets that you are keeping.
In the end, you should really only keep 2 complete sets (not including the one on your bed), 2 incomplete sets, and 2-3 mismatched pillow cases. If you regularly have house guests that stay the night maybe keep one more set. But if you rarely have overnight guests, I would definitely say purge as many as you can. We found 5 incomplete sets, 2 complete sets, and about 10 mismatched pillow cases in all of our bedding. We kept the 2 complete, 2 incomplete, and 3 mismatched pillow cases.
Once you store your bedding, do not put them somewhere that can get damp or humid. This can cause the bedding to start smelling old and funky. Keep them inside either in a linen closet, or in a tub. You can even add a few dryer sheets in the tub to keep them smelling fresh. Lastly, one easy way to organize your bedding to save space is to open one of the pillow cases and tuck the matching bedding inside of the pillow case and just stack them on top of each other like that.
After you’re done with your bedding (since that took FOREVER) now it’s time to move on to your shoes.
This was the hardest part for me.
How many shoes does a girl really need?
How could I ask such a question…
This part is rarely hard for guys because most of you only own the necessary pairs. Sneakers, dress shoes, boots, flip flops, and some of you, cleats, and that’s it!
For girls it’s almost like we stitch our souls to our shoes…well no more!
For me, I love my heels. So I got the hard part out of the way first. I kept my dressy black heels, my oxfords, and another pair of tan heels, my red heels that I got for my 18th birthday that make me feel like Dorothy, and my casual black wedges with elastic straps. I also kept a pair of camo heels because my husband is a hunter and it was only fitting that I wear them with my little black dress. 🙂
Next, move on to your casuals.
I got a lot of TOMS shoes when they were first getting big and I felt like I was doing a good thing by supporting them. If you do not know what TOMS shoes are, just click the link and you will find out. Basically you buy a pair for yourself and another pair goes to children overseas who don’t have shoes. It’s a great cause!…but I don’t need 6 pairs anymore. So I kept my tan pair and my black pair.
I also tossed my old nasty running shoes and kept my new pair. No sense in keeping a pair I don’t need anymore!
I moved onto my boots and only kept one black pair and one tan pair. I had a pair of wedged tan boots but I hadn’t worn them since I bought my other tan pair. I also kept my goulashes and my winter boots (which will need replacing soon!).
Finally onto the flats. I only have one pair of flats, but if you are one who prefers flats to heels, you will probably keep more. Just be honest with yourself about how much you wear them. Keep one basic pair of each color. You don’t need 3 black pairs of flats, not matter how cute the little bow is.
If you have any other shoes you need to go through, do it now while you are on top of it all. Don’t skip it! Just get it done!
UNDER THE BED
After you are done with that, take a look under the bed.
Are there any monsters?
How could there be! There is no room for them to fit!
Go through everything under your bed and start purging. If you don’t want to get rid of anything, then either put them in their proper homes or find a good storage case to put them in.
I bought those Ziploc space bags that you suction the air out of and stuffed sweaters and more comforters in them.
TOP OF THE DRESSER
FINALLY we get to the top of the dresser.
This is not the catch-all!
Clear off the surface area and put everything in its place.
Next, sort all of your jewelry that is just chilling everywhere and put it all away in your boxes.
If you do not keep your jewelry on your dresser top, then designate that space for useful items you need in the morning to get ready. This could be your alarm clock, makeup, jewelry on the go, deodorant, hair ties, etc. Make it a functional space that you can work with!
Well, that is it. You’ve successfully gone through your entire room in less than a day (hopefully). This is just one step closer to reaching your dream organized home!
Great job and keep it up! 🙂