Spring Cleaning – Coming out of the Closet

The April Martha Stewart Living magazine proposed an approach to cleaning out a clothes closet. Much like my place of employment’s lean methodology, the goal is to sort, simplify, standardize and sweep (the 5S’s). Looking for some motivation to overhaul the closet and a need to find a particular black tank top, I gave it a shot. Besides, gives me something to blog about that isn’t cooking, as it seems to have been the theme lately.

Key Points:

  • It’s all got to come out
  • Create clear piles to sort into
  • Be realistic
  • Enjoy the journey


      • I liked Martha’s piles to get started but found that for “Store”, instead of piling, I just took it to its new storage place.
    • I also didn’t use the “Keep” pile for the whole process. After I got going, I just sorted straight from my bed (The Pile) and put away.
  • Using polka dot paper was a great inspiration and fun to color code
  • Repair also included “clean” for things like hand bags and sweaters
  • Give away ended up being two piles, one for Goodwill and for the nicer items, either consignment or for an appreciative friend


  • Unload your whole closet. Consider pulling in clothes from drawers and maybe closets in other rooms, as I did
  • Pile it in one place for emphasis (pronounced em – FA – sis not EM – fa – sis)
  • Vacuum, wipe down all surfaces, clean baseboards etc. I was surprise by the dust bunnies
  • Put it all back in, critically appraising each item as to its fate: store, repair, keep, toss, give away
  • Keep a nice steady pace and if you get hung up, just put something to the side and come back too
  • Clean out your purses too: always plenty of garbage, enough hair ties for the year and $3.57 in change
  • Try on things if you aren’t sure they fit. Be honest – did you really ever fit into that?
  • Change out your hangers to get rid of those dry cleaner hangers that accumulate
  • Be on the look out for treasures: I found my Mrs. Knight puffy pain t-shirt from a NKOTB concert a few years ago (squeal!!) and a pig ear, apparently “hid” in my pj drawer

    Finito! All put back together and sorted by color and type: Dresses, pants, tops and skirts.

Closet success stories to share?

2 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning – Coming out of the Closet

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