I received a distressed call from Jill, a dear friend of mine, who was in the process of preparing to place her home on the market.
While she had made amazing strides in decluttering her home, she was concerned that her main closets were still too packed and cluttered for potential buyers to see.
So I packed up my bag and what started out as an overnight trip turned into a 4-day decluttering and organizing adventure.
I share this real life transformation with you to serve as a quick guide, so that you can follow the same steps we took while decluttering and organizing various areas in her home.
Adventure One: The Coat Closet - From Scary to Airy
My first project was to tackle the coat closet located at the main entrance of Jill's home.
Being that this would probably be the first closet a prospective buyer would peek into before viewing the rest of the house, we knew this would be a great place to start to make a welcoming first impression.
Even though it was 95 degrees outside, when I opened the door, a barrage of heavy winter coats greeted me and for a moment, I felt I was in the middle of a deep New England winter-freeze. After a few good laughs, yes, you must have a sense of humor when it comes to decluttering and organizing, it was time to dive in.
We broke down our first organizing adventure into 4 Steps:
Step One: Take Out Each Coat and Separate Into 4 Piles
1 - The keepers to be packed away (winter gear to be packed away until next season)
2 - Seasonal keepers to be placed back into closet (light sweaters, raincoats, and night gear)
3 - The unwanted (no longer fit or simply don't like anymore)
4 - Return to rightful owner
We also eliminated all wire hangers (to be returned and recycled by returning to a dry-cleaning store).
Step Two: Clear Off The Top Shelf
We took down the boxes used to keep everyone's hats, gloves, and scarves organized.
I asked Jill to go through each box and eliminate all gloves that were missing their counterpart as well as gloves with holes. She also dwindled down the amount of scarves and hats down to a manageable size. The remaining gloves, scarves, and hats were placed with the keepers to be packed away with the coats.
Jill continued to declutter the shelf and eliminated pieces to a vacuum she no longer had, as well as unwanted decorative outdoor flags, dried flowers, and holiday place mats all of which she placed in a yard sale pile.
Step 3: Reorganize and Restore
Once all the clutter was cleared out, I discovered a wire rack attached to the wall used to keep all of her light bulbs organized and neat. Now that Jill won't have to fight through all the coats to access it again, it will make it easier to keep them organized. She will also be able to see what light bulbs she has on hand, which in turn will help her to save money on duplicate purchases.
We combined all the remaining light bulb packages and placed them back into their wire rack.
The remaining seasonal coats, light jackets, and sweaters were placed back in the closet by category on nice wooden hangers.
Coats to be packed away were shrunk down in Space Bags and placed in clear plastic totes, ready to go when they move into their new home.
Step 4: Take A Moment To Enjoy A Job Well Done
I told Jill to take a moment to behold and enjoy her newly decluttered and organized coat closet and congratulated her on a job well done.
That concludes my first chapter in Adventures in Organizing. Now, that Jill's closet is decluttered and organized, this once crowded space has now been transformed to appear bigger, lighter, and airier. More importantly, potential buyers will now be able to visualize how they will be able to utilize this coat closet to its fullest potential.
Now it's your turn, which closet in your home could use a decluttering makeover?