1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Fall Cleaning and Closet Organization. List Your Tips Here.

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Chatter - Anything and everything' started by vintageclothes-line, May 4, 2004.

  1. <b>I actually posted this in the Spring but it is very appropriate for the Fall, too. Some very good tips have been posted and feel free to post some more!</b>

    Any tips are appreciated on how to get inspired to do Spring (Fall) cleaning. Also how to organize and stay organized. Especially closets!<p>I heard if you haven't worn it in 2 years, you need to sell it or give it away. I am the worse packrat but I need to just close my eyes and toss it.<p>Give me a pep talk and some tips, please.:)
  2. crinolinegirl

    crinolinegirl Alumni

    If it makes you look fat, then in the charity shop bag it goes! That's my motto!

  3. I read that if you put everything in the closet with the hangers facing one way, but when each time you put things back in the closet after cleaning or in the case of a coat of a blazer you don't clean after every use, after wearing, put it in with the hook facing the other way. Then you will truly know what you wear and what you don't wear.

    I have heard that if you don't wear it for one year, it is a good rule of thumb to get rid of it. However, I don't agree with this 100%. Sometimes its good to hang on to some nice pieces, and then you can "go shopping in your closet" each season and see what can be can be repurposed or will look unexpected without, say the matching pants.

    maybe that is not much help, but here are my tips

    These are two totally seperate methods and pick whichever works for you. the first one is messier but may be more telling

    instead of focusing on the "get rid of" - focus on the "keep' if it is mentally easier. This may take up some room, because you will have to move everything, but it helped me. its kinda like "survivor"

    Take all your clothes out of the closet and put them somewhere else - on teh bed in the spare bedroom, a wardrobe, box, whatever. make sure you don't do this when you are expecting house guests.

    Now put these things in your closet.::

    = If a garment flatters you - not just merely technically it can get on you - put it in your closet.. If it is a color that makes you look vibrant, beautiful, and it is the right cut for your figure, keep it. Now, be honest! for example, no matter how much i like this khaki colored dress that kinda has a crocodile hunter air to it. it makes me look ill, and also makes me look like a munchkin.
    remember, we are not eliminating at this point, we are focusing on weeding out the "all stars" only sensational will apply here. remember, you are not thinking about what you are getting rid of here. AND BE LABEL BLIND.

    = a pair of each color of socks - black, white, brown, pink - whatever you have. ditto on the pantyhose/stockings/garters

    =7 pairs of panties/bras = but only if they fit you and are in good condition and make sure you have a variety fo colors for different outfits . ditto on any other underthing like camisoles.

    = a pair of jeans - no holes - that fit you well. so you aren't raking leaves in a 50s wiggle dress lol.

    = a pair of shoes in good condition that when all is said and done, you find yourself grabbing day after day to wear because they go with so much and/or are comfortable. for me, these are my black patent leathers driving loafers. i find they are comfy in MOST circumstances and go with a ton of things.

    also in the "keep" pile= allow yourself a sentimental favorite. wedding shoes, the sweater from high school, the hat your gradnfather gave you, etc...

    Now, get dressed everyday. just with what is in the closet. no fair getting other things from the other room because you didn't do the wash. Now, say the next day comes and you are invited spur of the moment to a summer outdoor bridal shower in a tent on a lawn, and afterwards someone else's pool party. You already have the most flattering, best fitting bathing suit in the closet as well as your most flattering dress and a few skirt choices. But, you can't wear your pair of shoes. say they are my loafers. the leather soles just wouldn't cut it at the pool party. so think for a minute (no peeking in the other room!) what would be the perfect shoe you would need? Say you pick a certain pair of sandals that can do both events, plus a belt for the outfit- now go in the other room and add them to the closet. You also add a sun hat - JUST ONE! and think about it before you just "look to see what you have" and of course, you found you had a run in a particular color of stockings, so go in the room to bring out a replacement.

    so, basically the rule is, when you really need something and what you have there cannot perform that function, that's when you can dive into your other stash. and the other rule is you can't stand there in front of your stuff deciding it. if its an item you can't think about off the top of your head, than it isn't important. and of course it is also like "going shopping"- only with your stuff.

    What you will see happen is that there is major room created without having to suffer - the duplicates and triplicates of things that are duplicated unnecssarily disapper (i was surprised that i really did have 14 pairs of black shoes and i really only wore four - i kept my patent loafers, a pair of pumps, sandals, and a funky pair of special occassion shoes that have always loved to wear - and do when the time arises) I was shocked that i had THREE pairs of those 'in between a loafer and stacked heeled pump" things from the 90s. what WAS i thinking?

    what also happens, is that piece you now realize you have to constantly wash because you always wear it several times a week - when it comes time, get a duplicate of that, or you know what cuts. etc of clothes to look for when you do buy again without having to wonder will i actually wear this? i know there are things that i would love to buy, but then i have to really assess if i would actually wear it.

    I found that some of the stuff i kept - instead of all these black cocktail dresses that i wear once and take up space, i have kept a few really flattering pieces that i can interchange to wear to the same occassions, and can change up the look and many of them due quadruple duty. I am never stuck having to shop last minute for an event, and can never be accused of wearing the same dress everyday either.

    Anyhow, after you have a new set of eyes, you can divide the rest into what to donate, what to resell, what to pitch, and what is damaged but the fabric is worth salvaging (but only if you have a use for it - decorative use, to help alter the matching dress you kept that does with it. If you aren't going to use it - give it or sell it to someone that does. That would be the first thing that a lot of books tell you to do - put things in boxes, but i found it impossible for me without doing the above. i would rationalize too much.

    Keep it in the mindset that this stuff CANNOT be kept, at least by you. maybe it is a dress that you can't wear but put it in your closet because your mom did (and it has no value as a vintage piece, lets say). If you can't bare to part with it, give it to a sibling or other relative who appreciate the connection.

    I say keep that mindset, because inevitably, there will be items that you mend the rules on, but if you start out that way in phase two, it makes things easier. and oh yeah $$$ also motivates if there are things you can consign/sell or write off as a donation. i know the space and lack of clutter are probably worth zillions of dollars more of course.

    PS - i almost forgot....it is easy for me to forget because i live in a 2 maybe 3 season environment...also put your winter coat you absolutely love and looks good on you in there, and continue the process as the weather changes.
  4. Sorry for that novel, YIKES!!!
  5. Oh my gosh, I am taking a break after being in the basement for four hours and you have inspired me! (Haven't started my closet yet but the same rules would apply down there.)<p>Actually last week I cleaned out the garage and the screen porch so I could set up racks to hang the clothes coming from the basement. Then I will start on my closet and move out-of-season clothes to the space made in the basement. My DH told me I could not get this done and I am going to prove him wrong!<p>Your ideas really need to be put in the tips page at the VFG. I mean it. You know some people actually make money by going in someone else's home and organizing their closets.<p>Well, back to the grind. Will let you know how it is progressing.
  6. Wonder why my html didn't work?
  7. A closet cleaning buddy is a good idea. Someone who can be brutally honest about what you should keep, what looks good on you.

    Then you do the same for them...pay back time!!
  8. alonesolo

    alonesolo Guest

    The only things that inspire me to clean is when I find company is coming to stay from outta town. Or my daughter coming over and looking at my closet and saying " Mom clean it out!"

    It brought back memories reading Chris' tips on the hangers. My mom always made me keep the hangers facing the same way in the closet ( sound somewhat like a mommy dearest scene??) She was adamant about it! Told me if there was ever a fire then I could grab the clothes outta the closet quickly. Well mom! Which was more important the clothes or my life!
  9. pastperfect2

    pastperfect2 Alumni +

    Right now my inspiration is that I am moving at the end of June - and if I don't clean it out, I have to pay someone to move it!

    So I have cleaned out my closet and dresser, and it's on to the wardrobe, the guest room closet and then the bath and kitchen cabinets.

    After that: the Attic and basment!

  10. cherry-pie-and-roses

    cherry-pie-and-roses Registered Guest

    Inspired? To clean? Uhhh...I don't think so.

    One DD has the cleaning gene and I let her use it to her heart's desire. Unfortunately, one aspect of that gene is if you can't see it, it's clean. Then I have to hunt for mail, money, purses, anything that can be shoved in a drawer.

    I have the packrat-itis gene and have no interest in being treated for it. I don't care if there is a diagnosis code for it and I don't want medication and/or treatment for it. :D


    ...whose clothing hint is to have a color scheme of separates that is flattering to you. Almost everything I own is pink, fuchsia, red, purple, or black with varying shades and tints to go with the seasons. And, as I've told my friends, the only reason I wear black is because the garment wasn't available in pink, fuchsia, red, or purple.

    Everything is interchangable and can be layered.

    Oh, yes, I know that my interchanged colors would not be comfortable for a classic, old money, beige-is-my-life gal, but I lean toward the dramatic. (Couldja tell?)

    (God, gimme gaud)
    Rhinestones are a good thing.
  11. dibs2002

    dibs2002 Registered Guest

    "Inspired? To clean? Uhhh...I don't think so"

    I'm with you Brenda!

  12. <i>Your ideas really need to be put in the tips page at the VFG. I mean it.</i>

    (blushing). I am very flattered that you think that way, but just happy it helped someone and that i am not just a crazy person.

    The whole seperating into "Keep, Donate, Pitch" boxes that many books talk about just didn't work for me, esp with loving vintage. i would always say "but wait...this piece is important....this one i SHOULD keep...this one has beautiful fabric...."

    The whole closet thing changes my mind set about that the alternative is not throwing out, it is just making room for my perfect Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca hat that i will ...oh i WILL own someday. Or just making it better. THEN and only then comes the donate...pitch..repair thing have even a sliver a chance to work. i found my emotional attachment to it was less when it was out of sight, out of mind for a while. it was no longer "my stuff"
    having the accident with the moving truck changed my life perspective as well, as because of the insurance adjustors, i couldn't clean or repair anything for awhile, and living with 4 t-shirts, 2 pairs of shorts, a pair of jeans, two pairs of shoes, and my two favorite purses for over a month, (i would have bought a few extras...but when our stuff was coming tomorrow...no wait...friday...no wait....next tuesday...i just waited and washed what i had. it made me love some of my clothes more, and some that i thought i loved, i was ready to move on from.

    the other problem is because many of us also wear vintage, at least from time to time, the lines between "wardrobe" and "collection" really do blur...as clothing is ...well unless you live at a nudist colony and of course they still wear things when the occassion or the weather dictates...clothing, as well as food, shelter, water, is one of the basic human necessities and the line gets psychologically screwier than it does for collecting thimbles. yes, you can still be a packrat on thimbles or clothing, but clothing kind of gets mixed up in more than one psychological category just because of what it is what it is.

    oh well..i should write a book...things a flipped over and flooded moving truck taught me....then again maybe not!

  13. oh, and lets not forget...have a wedding, have the rehearsal dinner at your house and have 40 people from out of town seeing your home for the first time come. i don;t have much more time left LOL!!!
  14. camelbackcat

    camelbackcat Alumni +

    I have that same pack rat gene and I don't want treatment LOL! I did donate about 20 bags of carp to my grad school tenants.
    My husband is very German and a neat freak. We've compromised by having one room that is totally, utterly, for me. I can pack rat to my heart's content.
    When it comes time for spring cleaning, I close that door, and call the maid.
    Sorry, but I'm lazy and my dear mom's neat genes didn't transfer to me.
  15. route66gal

    route66gal Registered Guest

    Wow, those were great ideas! I've been struggling here for the past couple of weeks. Just looking around and not knowing where to begin. It's hard when the "extra" room is the room full of stuff to sell on ebay! But I know I just have to DO IT and get it done.


  16. dancingdresses

    dancingdresses Registered Guest

    Oh, Brenda!

    You have a DD like that, too?! Mine actually inventoried my canned goods one day, hung a list inside the curboard door and suggested that I cross of canned goods as I used them. :D

    *it is to laugh*

    My younger is the exact opposite. Loves her stuff, loves lots of stuff and loves having it ALL around her. Everywhere. Tons of it. Mountains, actually.

    My spring cleaning tip:
    Hire a good friend to come to your house with a large gun and threaten to use it on you, if you don't sort out and clean up the mess.

    Anyone out there have 3 free days and a large gun?
  17. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    my dear mom's neat genes didn't transfer to me.

    Mine either! I detest cleaning, and I do as little as possible. But I'm lucky, as dh is also a packrat, so we are both quite content with the overwhelming mass of stuff.

    I do spring cleaning one room at a time, and I'll spend an entire day totally cleaning that room. I haven't started yet, as I always do it in June, after school lets out and I've got plenty of time.

    Except for items of sentimental value, if we haven't used it in a year, it goes. We have a great charity thrift that I take everything to, so I know my junk will just keep on giving.

  18. I am just posting here so this will get "bumped up" to Today's Post per Linda's request...as this was from forever and a day ago.

    ...and of course if anyone has any other ideas...i guess now it is fall cleaning....don't be shy.

Share This Page