Tips and Tricks Tuesday- Clean Closets

Are you ready for this month's Room Challenge? We have a shorter month, so I chose a smaller area of our home, but we all need to give it some of our personal attention. At least I know I do. It's our closets...linen, master, toy, kids, whatever kind of closet you have, pick two to clean, organize, and decorate for the month of February.
You're already thinking of which closets in your house need your attention, right?
So here are my tips for Clean Closets!

1. Empty the closet and start over. I know this seems like extra work, but a clean slate works best. Take out the toys, or the linens, or all the clothes. I'm personally working on my linen closet and master bedroom closet, but I'm "strongly encouraging" the kids to get rid of clothes they don't wear anymore.
Now's also a good time to think about painting, adding shelving, or sticking up wallpaper for the decorating/project week of our challenge later in the month.
 2. Keep it, Toss it, or donate it. Now its times to divide everything into categories. If you're cleaning out toys for the littles, do this while the angels are sleeping, because we all know what happens if they see you toss a toy they haven't used in 6 months. If it has anything to do with clothes or linens, here's a few questions you can ask yourself.
3. Dust, wipe, and sweep/vacuum. I don't know how our closets can get so "ickie" but they do. Give it a good cleaning and it will feel 1000 times fresher.

4. Put it all back, neatly. We'll be organizing closets next week, but for now put all the items back in the closet in like categories. For example, in my linen closet, I'll put towels on one shelf, sheets on another. In the master closet, dresses hang together, then skirts, then blouses, then pants are placed together. It doesn't matter what kind of system you use, just as long as it's in categories that make sense to you. Now that everything is put back, you can decide on an organizing system and what you'll need to be looking out for as you shop in the next few weeks.
 This is my linen closet from our last house and after a "clean out" day.

5. Hang in one direction, fold your sweaters. I hang everything to the right, like the picture below. It's systematic and easy when garments come out of the dryer. It took me a while to figure out that sweaters stretch over time and should be folded rather than hung. Just one of those things you figure out with time...or on a blog like this.
The task is simple this week, but because most of us have more than one closet in our home, it's going to take some time. Clean as many closets you can this week without working yourself to exhaustion. I'm budgeting my time to 1 hour each closet. I wish I could do it in 30 minutes, but I'm a realist.