There’s probably a very good reason why they seem to overflow with clothing, shoes, hats, belts, etc. Most likely you need to commit to clearing out the space, so it can act as a functional, organized closet. I’m warning you ahead of time: this activity is going to be tough, especially if you’re sentimental. Just keep in mind that change is good, and that cleaning out the closet will feel great once done. Plus, think about all the money you’ll make holding a yard sale, or about the people who will enjoy and appreciate items you donate.
· Get rid of items you have not worn in the last 18 months.
· Think about getting rid of items you haven’t worn in the last 12 months.
· Remove items from the closet that you "had" to keep for one reason or another (will lose weight, will gain weight, special occasion/prom memories, will come back into style, etc.). Spread the clothing on the bed and take a hard look at it – do you really need to hold onto this stuff? Letting go feels great.
· Gather every single pair of shoes you have and lay them on the floor. Do you have multiple pairs of black heels? How about pairs that do not fit, or are uncomfortable to wear? Be strict with yourself and discard ones you don’t need. Less is more!
· Whether you’re a marathon runner, go to the gym three times per week, or simply go for walks through your neighborhood, your athletic shoes are only good for a period of time (support, absorb shock and cushion your foot). Get rid of the ones that are not suitable to wear-even if they still look good to you.
· Evaluate the accessories stored in the closet, from hats to belts, and separate the keepers from the giveaways. Remember, if you haven’t worn something for almost two years, get rid of it!
· Gather the contents of the hall closets. Apply the same rules above, and you should lessen the load.
By now you’ve hopefully got a significantly less amount of stuff in your closet, and more room to do some spring shopping or store other stuff that’s been waiting for a home.
I am the first to admit I never thought about cleaning out my cleaning supplies until this year. The more I researched, the more I realized I had lots of stuff sitting under my sink that should not have been there.
· Once opened, paint lasts about three years. Instead of saving it in the back of a pantry, give it to someone who can use it. Try giving to a neighbor, a local community center or school, or even an organization like Habitat for Humanity.
· Bleach only lasts about four months! Call your local recycling office or poison control center to find out how to dispose of it.
· Both liquid and powder laundry detergent can last up to 12 months if unopened. If opened, they are good for about six months.
· Both liquid and powder dish soap last for one year.
· Mr. Clean, Windex, and Pledge are good up to two years whether opened or not.
· Aerosol air fresheners last about two years.
There’s no way you’re fooling me now, especially if you travel or get lots of gift-with-purchase cosmetic packs! Most can save lots of space by going through personal products, cosmetics, hair stuff, etc. Be ruthless and honest, are you really ever going to use all 25 of the tubes of lip gloss you’ve got shoved in the drawer?
· Do you have more then three cosmetic bags? It’s okay to have one to carry in a purse or gym bag, one to use for traveling, and another for backup; however, if you have more then three, get rid of extras.
· Do you have a collection of products from hotels? Small bottles of shampoo, bar soap, and mini-sewing kits? Donate these to a shelter or organization of choice, no questions asked!
· Nail polish lasts about one year, so get rid of your oldies even if they’re goodies.
· Shampoo, conditioner and body lotion are pretty durable. However, it probably needs to head for the trashcan after three years.
· Once opened, mascara is only good for four months.
· Whether opened or not, hair gel and hairspray will last three years.
· Mouthwash lasts about three years after the manufacture date, so check the label.
· Like to relax in a hot bath with bath oil? Bath oil goes bad after a year, whether opened or not, so toss if old.
· Still have lipstick from the last century? Toss it! Lipstick stays good for about two years.
· Empty your bathroom cabinets, and clear out the items from underneath the sink. Look at the label on each product, and get rid of anything that has expired. This one seems like common sense, but I was shocked to find a bottle of aspirin tucked in the back of my cabinet that had expired in 2001!