Closet cleaning and organization 101

Glass door cabinets
Pull down hang rods and glass door cabinets

Why do so many people hate cleaning out closets? It’s so easy to toss things in, scrunching clothing closer together to jam in more clean laundry. But while the thought of sorting and organizing and really cleaning may intimidate, the hour (or three) spent with this task is well worth the work. Bella Systems Philly’s checklist (and I love lists) will help you manage a monumental task.


  • First, put on some good tunes. Music creates a good atmosphere for dreaded tasks
  • Clear the bed to use as your “staging and sorting” area
  • Gather garbage bags, boxes, totes – anything you’ll use for storing items that don’t need to live in your closet right now but that you plan to keep, and something to hold items to donate
  • Cleaning supplies – once your closet’s completely empty, take advantage and give it a though cleaning

Remove and sort

  • Pull out all shoes, bags, purses, forgotten presents you stashed for safe keeping (and promptly forgot about), and anything else that’s not clothing
  • Create spaces on the bed for blouses/ dress shirts, skirts/ dresses, work/ nice slacks, jackets/ blazers, scarves/ belts, lingerie/ robes, sorting as you go to save time later
  • If your closet’s on the smaller side or space is a premium, fold clothes that really don’t need to be hung
  • As you’re pulling out and sorting each clothing item, decide whether it’s something you still wear and is in the correct season


The closet is empty, the bedroom’s a mess. There’s no going back now! Time to clean.

  • Knock down spider webs with a duster or broom (don’t forget the hinges, doorjamb, ceiling, top shelves)
  • If your closet has a light, remove and wash the shade (if it’s washable) in warm, soapy water. If you’ve noticed that the light’s growing dimmer, consider replacing the bulb now
  • Let Mr. Clean work his magic with a Magic Eraser on the walls – great for removing scuff marks. A bonus, a damp Magic Eraser works wonders on darker marks and captures dust and grime along baseboards and doors, too. A chamois cloth dries without leaving streaks
  • Vacuum the rug or mop the floor -use the vacuum cleaner’s attachments to clean corners and other hard-to-dust areas

Closet evaluation

  • Do you have the right setup for your storage needs?
  • Could more shelves or staggered bars help keep you organized?
  • Does your closet need … something … but you’re not sure what?
  • Bella Systems Philly offers many different style options for all price points and uses 3D technology at your consultation to help you visualize the perfect closet organization system that’s right for you

Sorting, round two

As you’re preparing to return everything to the closet, give each item another look, and as you find things you’re ready to eliminate, sort them into smaller categories:

  • Clothing and accessories you think may be too worn out to wear or donate – here’s a secret: charities such as Goodwill do have places to send clothing you might not think is wearable or salvageable – so take everything you have to a thrift shop and let them decide!
  • Clothing and accessories you don’t like any more
    • Keep a list of items you’re donating. You’ll have an easier time calculating charitable deductions come tax time.
    • Visit this site Goodwill Donation Value Guide and download a copy to use as you’re sorting your donations
  • Clothing and accessories you like but don’t fit or aren’t in style

So here’s a tricky situation: If you’re a person whose size varies, there’s no reason why you can’t keep those sizes. But do you need all four sizes in your closet? Store those clothes in one of the totes. If those clothes include fancy or dress clothing, use a garment bag to limit wrinkles and, if possible, hang the bag in a different closet. Other clothing can be neatly folded -separates “good” clothing with pieces of white tissue paper for additional protection, if you like.

Restock the closet

Categorize to keep your life more organized!

  • Hang like items together
  • Hang from left to right, longer items followed by shorter items
  • Pair shoes on the floor – taller boots to the right and shorter shoes to the left (that way, longer hanging items won’t obscure the boots or make it harder to pull the boots out)
  • Put bags and purses on the shelf, if your closet has one
  • Hang scarves on a hanger and loop belts over another

Pat yourself on a job well done. Closet looking a little empty now? Go shopping!


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