Closet Cleanout

Does your closet make you feel guilty? Yes, I said your closet…I feel like my closet glares at me and says, “Seriously, are you just going to ignore this mess? Bet you’d like to know where that little black dress is hiding!?” I grab my clothes and run out. The latest blow came when my teenage daughter, home from college, actually complained she couldn’t find the clothes she wanted to “steal” from me!

Yep, it’s time for a cleanout. (I swear I heard the closet cheer!) Needing some inspiration, I stumbled upon Ziploc’s 180 Fresh Feats. “Closet Showdown” with a friend sounded like a fantastic idea, but instead of a critical gal pal, I called upon the two biggest critics who happened to be right under my own roof, my teen daughters, to help me purge and organize.

Closet Clean Sweep
You would think that after taping an entire season of an organizational TV series, my closet would look like the “after” beauty shot. You’d think! In reality, my closet is a classic case of “the cobbler’s children have no shoes!” (Side bar: The story of the cobbler’s kids is a reference that one doesn’t always do for themselves or their family what they get paid to do by others.) I typically give away clothes when my closet gets cluttered to make room for the new. Problem is, the new stuff is just as cramped in my closet. Let’s face it: If there’s a sale, I’m bringing home some extra goodies.

Do It by Design
To get started, my daughters put me through the same question-and-answer session I would do with my clients (crazy, huh?). Question: “How does this closet function for you?” Answer: “Thanks for asking, Sophia: It DOESN’T! I often buy new clothing for taping shows or speaking engagements. I end up having to get rid of things I like just to make more room, silly!” Question: “How much time or money are you willing to spend on your org?” (That’s industry slang for “clean out.”) Answer: “I have three hours and a giant list of gifts to buy for the holidays (that includes you Alexa!), so let’s do this as inexpensively as possible!” After making a quick organizational must-have list and shopping trip, my “organizers” and I are ready to go.

Lying Around

I’ve learned via my two teenage daughters, who will be hitting their closets next, that anything laying on the floor will make the room look messy. A pile of cute stuffed animals and decorative pillows are no exception. A closet, no matter how large, will look unorganized with piles of clothing or shoes lying about. My shoe collection, although small, has outgrown my allotted number of cubbies. Problem: I need more cubbies. Answer: Get more cubbies. Since I do not feel like sawing, nailing or painting (or waiting for anyone else to do it). I will buy them. Problem: I need more rod space. Answer: Find more rod space using Ziploc® Space Bags® to store rarely used items. Add a scarf holder and voila! I even unearthed an ironing board and hat holder that I swore had been stolen. Not mention the little black dress my daughter was looking to steal!

Stand up Straight!
I love my boots…riding, cowboy, fashion, biker…I love them all! What I do not love about them is that I cannot see how they look because for years, they’ve sat in my closet flopped over on top of each other like puppies. A quick and inexpensive fix is to take rolled up magazines, and insert them into your boots to make them stand tall. TIP: Maximize space by placing one shoe or boot facing in and one facing out. Now you can see the design and detail on the heels and toes.

Be a Bag Lady
On par with my love of boots is my love of bags. I am very loyal to them and switch them out for seasons or occasions. If you collect couture bags, you know they come with their own dusters to keep them nice. I hold onto those like I do spare buttons that hang off new clothing, but I still can’t find them. To keep your collectibles lovely year after year, place them in Ziploc® Brand Big Bags. When packing, I tend to forget to bring the airplane pillow on EVERY trip! So, here’s a TIP: Use the stockpile of u-shaped chin-rest pillows to stuff your leather bags so they don’t crease permanently and they will stay lovely.

Go Vertical
My mantra to my clients is “go vertical!” I am always asking them to look at their vertical space to see if it’s used to its fullest potential. Admittedly, I failed. Looking at my jewelry drawer, I was ashamed. But, feeling motivated by my closet achievements, I organized my adornments and went vertical. After tough scrutiny from my girls and a big 80’s costume jewelry purge, I am delighted. Your turn: Carefully place your accessories in Ziploc® Brand Sandwich and Snack bags, then hang each bag from a simple hook for easy viewing and packing. For your next trip, pack with ease. No more transferring your jewelry from one storage container to another.

Hmmm, what can a girl do to fill all this extra closet space?

Key Concepts

  • Closet organization
  • Closet clutter
  • Closet cleaning tips

Author Bio

Kelli Ellis is an award-winning, celebrity interior designer and design psychology expert. In addition to her shows on HGTV, TLC and Bravo, Ellis has appeared on NBC, CBS and ABC, and is an annual keynote speaker at Las Vegas Market and High Point Market. She created The Kelli Kit design tool, and is currently writing a “Design Psychology” book, “Do I Look Skinny in This House?” Ellis authored the Certified Design Psychology Coaching program through the nationally-accredited Spencer Institute. Kelli is co-creator of DesignCamp.com, a two-day seminar geared toward modern business and game changing strategies for designers and online, Design Campus, for continued learning.

Disclaimer: I was paid to develop this post for Ziploc®. As always, all opinions are my own.”

About the Author

Kelli Ellis is an award-winning, celebrity interior designer and design psychology expert.