Organize Your Closet and Experience the Joy of Giving at the Same Time

The holiday season is known for being a time for giving. However, “giving” doesn’t necessarily mean “gifting.” You can celebrate the season by donating clothes, shoes, books, toys or even furniture — and you can organize your closet in the process.

This year, take some time to sort through your belongings and give away items that you don’t regularly use to people who need them. And while you’re at it, give yourself a tidy home by organizing as you go.

Clean Your Closet

The closet is going to be one of the areas in which you’ll find the most items to donate. Set a few hours aside for sorting clothes and other closet organization tasks, as they tend to be time-consuming.

Purge your possessions.

Grab a bag or a box and fill it with any clothes, shoes or linens that you no longer wear or use. A good rule of thumb is to donate anything that hasn’t made its way into rotation in the past year. Tip: Before donating any clothes or linens, you’ll want to make sure they’re clean.

Organize your closet.

Now it’s time to whip that closet into shape. Organize your closet by sorting clothes based on color to make it easier to find that yellow shirt when you’re looking for it. You can take this organizational method a step further by arranging color-coded clothes according to fabric weight or sleeve length. Store any out-of-season clothes in labelled storage bins on the shelf above your hanging rack.

Straighten your shoes.

Nothing says “chaos” like a closet floor teeming with mismatched shoes. Kick clutter out by investing in an inexpensive shoe rack to hang on the back of your door or store underneath hanging clothes. You can also organize shoes in the boxes they came in or in clear boxes so you can see which pair is where.

Make Donating a Teachable Moment

Gathering items to donate to churches, shelters or charity organizations is a great way to teach children the value of selfless giving. If you have kids, enlist their help in sorting clothes or toys. Give them each a box and have them search their dressers and closets for items they’ve grown out of or don’t play with any longer.

Throughout the process, they can learn compassion and the importance of giving back to their community. Afterwards, you can teach them a thing or two about organization.

Sort out the dresser.

Start by folding all clothes that are kept in bureaus and by assigning each drawer a type of clothing. For example, one could be for school socks and underwear, while another could hold soccer shorts, socks and shin guards.

Organize the closet.

Ask the kids to arrange their shoes neatly, with the pairs they wear most often nearest the door. To make the most of sorting clothes and closet organization, have your children arrange their clothes by how frequently they’re worn. One idea would be to make school uniforms and play clothes easily accessible, with nicer dresses or suits further from the door.

Tackle the toys.

Once your children have decided which toys and games they’ll keep, have them store their playthings in an orderly fashion. They can place stuffed animals, dump trucks and other large toys into their toy chests. Games can be stacked on a bookshelf and those tiny building blocks you always step on can be kept orderly using plastic sandwich bags or small storage containers.

Make Decluttering and Donating a Family Tradition

Just because you’re done organizing your home doesn’t mean there’s nothing left to donate. Many charities will also accept books, kitchen utensils, knickknacks and even furniture. For larger items like beds or sofas, you can often call and schedule a home pickup. Tip: Call or check pick-up schedules online before buying any replacement furniture. Some organizations may not be able to retrieve your larger items for a week or so.

While you don’t necessarily need to give until it hurts, it doesn’t hurt to give what you’re no longer using. Immerse yourself in the holiday spirit by donating clothing and items you don’t need. Then take the time to organize your home so you can make a clean start in the new year.

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