Time for the Closet Switcheroo

March 15th, 2013


It is that time of the year again… Spring ahead, lose an hour of sleep, warmer temps, more hours of daylight and time to change over your closets.

Change over your closets? Change it to what or change it to where?


Have you heard of the Pareto Principle? The what??? Pareto Principle? Wait… Don’t go anywhere. You have heard of it but maybe not by that name. It is better known as the 80 – 20 Rule. Oh yeah, the 80 – 20 rule. I won’t bore you with the details about Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed in 1906 that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population but rather tell you how it relates to our closets.

As a rule, we wear 20% of the items/outfits in our closets and drawers 80% of the time.

We often stuff our closets with items we rarely or never wear and certainly wouldn’t miss. We stuff so much in our closets that can’t find things we are looking for when we need them and sometimes we forget what we own so we end up of multiples of similar items.

Many folks have two distinct wardrobes (depending on the climate where they live). A summer wardrobe and a winter wardrobe. So how do you separate them?

Some have the space to keep two closets and switchout the items in the dressing area depending on season. Others have two sections of their closet and do the switcheroo with the current season in the most accessible section of their closet.

So as the seasons change from Winter to Spring, it is time for the big Switcheroo.

Here are three suggestions for making a successful and productive Switcheroo.

1.  Ask yourself as you take each item from your closet,

  • Do I still like this?
  • Is it in style?
  • Does it fit?
  • Is it clean?
  • Is it in need of repair?

2.  If it is a keeper, proceed to the next item. If it is in need of repair, set it aside to mend or take to a tailor or seamstress. If it is dirty, toss it in the wash.

3.  If you no longer like it, it is out of style or it no longer fits, grab a bag & pen & paper. Write down a brief description of the item and it’s condition. Then toss the item in the bag for donation. When you have finished, drop the bags at your preferred charity.  Next year when it comes time for taxes, you won’t be standing there with a handful of donations slip with a puzzled look on your face trying to recall what you donated and it’s value based on the item and it’s condition.

Repeat the same process for each item that comes out from the past season before adding it to your closet.  Your future self will thank you when it is time get dressed each day and you feel like you are shopping in store where you like everything, it is clean and it fits,  and also when it comes time for taxes next year.

Good luck and feel free to add your suggestions below.  Also, what is the oddest thing you found in your closet when doing the switcheroo?

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How to organize almost anything in 4 steps

April 7th, 2011

Have you ever wondered “what is a professional organizer’s secret to getting organized?” Well, I’ll tell you … for free. These 4 steps apply to both getting an organized home and an organized office. They will help you reduce clutter and simplify your life.

Growing up we are all taught our ABC’s but how many of us our taught how to organize things? We are taught some of the principles but rarely taught how to apply them in real life. Remember those shape sorter toys we all had as children? How about the memory game? Did you ever play Go Fish?

All of these ‘games’ taught the principles of matching like items. How is it that we lost this ability as we became adults? Did we really lose it or just forget or become lazy? It seems like the only time matching like items is highlight for adults is during challenges on Survivor. Matching like items is a primary foundation of organization.

Below of the four primary principles in organizing almost anything. They apply to closets, paper, drawers, toys, garages, attics, dishes, you name it. They are very general but they are a starting point. Look for our future posts that break down the process.

  • Empty
  • Sort
  • Purge
  • Replace

Does this sound too basic? The process itself IS very simple. Give it a shot and let us know how you do.

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