Just One Thing: Clean Out Your Closets

Michelle McNally
November 3, 2011

This week and next, our Savvy writers are talking about Just One Thing that we can do to be better organized, to whittle down our ever-growing to do lists, to prepare for the holidays, to feel more relaxed. Join us!

If you can get just one thing done before this holiday season, clean out your closets!

November brings a change of season many places, and wardrobe changing is required. The holidays bring an influx of gifts, decorations, gift wrapping supplies, and holiday greetings. With so many new things coming into your home, getting a few things out of your home is a great pro-active step to take.

Arm yourself with a trash bag, a donations box and a pen and paper, and you are ready to begin!

Sort through the coat closet: Bring all of the winter outerwear to the front of the closet and confirm it fits its owner. Many communities collect gently used coats for children, as do many centers for women and children. Make a list of who needs gloves, new boots, etc.

Pare down the toy/game/activity closet: Pull everything out, match up pieces and parts, and decide what can go. Children can lose interest in organizing tasks quickly, so a good approach is to get started without them, involve them in what's going to be donated or passed on, and then put back what's staying. Make sure there's room for new items to fit as they are received this season. Libraries often collect gently used books for various organizations, and are happy to take donations. Toys and games can go to thrift shops, as well younger friends and cousins.

Rotate seasonal wardrobes: Do a quick once over of each family member's closet and see what can go. Lighter weight clothing that will fit next season can be stored, clothing that has been outgrown can be donated or passed on. Again, take note of who needs new pants and who needs a sweater or two.

Look at your linens: Bring your seasonal table top linens, heavier sheets, and decorative towels into easy access, and put away things you won't be needing again until after the holidays. Set aside items you rarely use so that they can be donated. Make room for new gifts and purchases that may happen this holiday season.

Designate your hiding spots (secretly): Going through your closets early in the season has several advantages. You find things you forgot you had that may be put to good use and you find things that can be passed along to others. Most importantly, however, you find good hiding spots for any surprises you may be planning. That corner where you found sandals from three summers ago, a missing part from last year's Christmas gift or the mitten you've been searching for since 2009 will be perfect! 

From the Parents

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