End of Summer, End the Closet Clutter


Summer is over! They are all back in school! WHEW. SOB. Do you know what else that means? No interruptions or objections as we clean out their closets! Find an item that’s objectionable in size or wear? Into the charity pile! You might now even have a stack of clothes that are okay for weekend wear and another that’s stacked with nicer, better fitting, unstained clothes to wear at school as hot days wind down into cooler ones.

Pull out last year’s jeans, pants and long sleeved shirts. It could snow next WEEK! Label the inside with a Sharpie using the first initial of the owner’s name. It makes it easier in the laundry room sorting clothes too! We keep a Sharpie in there too for any clothes which have evaded my rabid branding of all of my childrens’ clothing items.

Next, get out socks, undies, tennis shoes, (do we even call them that anymore?) sweatshirts, and sweaters. Check the condition of them all. Too small? Worn out? No? Then into the next youngest child’s pile or tub, or into the charity sack. Look at the clothing items in natural but not direct sunlight.  Some stains take a while to come to the surface (sometimes months). If the stain won’t come out with OXY the first time, it probably never will. 

Now’s the time to buy whatever you need, while the stores are less crowded but sales are still going on. This month, most stores will clearance out all of their summer items and school supplies. It might be a good time to stock up on back packs and other things that are made in China and might not make it through Christmas. Between cheap materials and unruly zippers, I’ve about had it with them.

Local consignment stores are just now getting in their fall items as well. Stock up on inexpensive hats, gloves and light coats. We always need an extra ‘something’ until school opens on Monday so that we can go retrieve our other ‘something’ that we left in the lunch room or on the playground and which might have made its way to the school’s  lost and found.

This is a good time for you to go through YOUR clothes also! Go through your summer clothes and if you don’t already have one, get a tub to put your off season clothes in if they don’t fit into the back of your closet (or a younger son’s closet. They seem to be the only ones who would always have enough space in their closet for your things.) Take stock in what’s really not worth keeping until next summer (for whatever reason). Add them to the charity pile!

Now as you pull out your fall clothes, having them for the first time in a while can allow you to see them in a whole new light.  Do you really need five black sweaters? Four pairs of khakis? Pull out each of the iffy items, put them into the pile and get rid of them. It may make you a little nervous at first, but it’s cathartic, as I’ve read: ‘the less you have, the more you can enjoy what you really love.’

Do you have a nice and functioning jacket? Does it fit? Need to be cleaned? Check those pockets first. Do your fall shoes still work for you? Do they fit? Need a polish? I adore my Danskos but after eight years they just did not feel as good as they once had.  A helpful associate at Dillard’s told me that even though they still looked decent and were far from falling apart (do they ever?) the bounce was gone in the sole (now that is a metaphor that I’ll have to explore later). I got some new ones and WOW. Now THAT is why I love Danskos!

So, now that the kiddos are back in school and you’ve cleaned the whole house of all those iffy clothes, and moved an obscene amounts of piles to charity, go schedule yourself a haircut, massage, facial or mani/pedi. Because in a month, we’re going to do some more!

For more fabulous tips and organization information, you can find me at pieceofcakeorganizing.net or on FB at Piece of Cake Organizing and also on Twitter @WendyHimes.


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