>  Expat Resources   >  Spring Cleaning Series: Part 1
closet organizer

Probably many of you do not enjoy organizing closets or drawers, but I think this is one of my most favorite things to do! Every Spring, I completely empty my closet, removing all my clothes, shoes, belts, and any other items stored inside this tiny place. I only add the garments back into my closet if I know I will wear them several times in the season. Removing everything also gives me a chance to examine garments that need to be mended or shoes that need to be repaired and cleaned.

messy closet

Cleaning the Closet Itself

Emptying the closet down to its bare bones offers up an excellent time for deep cleaning by wiping down the walls, dusting shelves, and cleaning baseboards. Removing all the dust and dirt will make your closet smell fresh and help manage any allergies you may be battling.

Winter Packing

Set aside all the clothing items that you will not be wearing in the Spring and Summer season. Items such as sweaters, cardigans, wool-made items, etc., need to be laundered and stored away until the winter season.  I have discovered plastic containers that roll under the bed are great for stowing seasonal clothing.

winter clothes


Now is the time to ask yourself the critical questions about the items in your closet:

“Do I like/sort-of-like/don’t like” the garment? Clothes that you “like” can make their way back into the closet but must be placed in groups within the closet space. For example, all shirts are hung together. The same goes for pants, dresses, skirts, and so on. We will organize each of the categories in more detail later.

The items you “don’t like” need to go in a donation box. The things you are “not sure you like” need to go in a pile and be reviewed again later. If you struggle with deciding on the “unsure” items, ask yourself if you have worn the garment in the last six months? Do you like how it looks on you? Does it make you feel good when wearing it?


If you decide to keep the item, make sure that you hang it backward when placing it back in the closet (meaning hang from the rod’s backside to towards you). If you have not worn this item by the end of the month (you will be able to tell by the hanger not being turned around), it is time to donate the garment.


Now, look let’s take a look at the clothes that you decided to keep in your closet. Review them again and make sure without a doubt you love them and will wear them. Now that you have these items in your closet by subgroups let’s take it up a notch.  Within each category, arrange them by style and color. You will be surprised at how enjoyable it will be to coordinate outfits for your next day to work or an outing.

Check out some great GADGETS below that are space savers for your closet.


Sort your shoes in the same way you sorted your clothes. Place those winter boots in a storage container, slide them under the bed, or move to a different closet.  If you have not worn them in the past 9-6 months, you probably are not that crazy about wearing them in the future. Therefore, you need to add them to your donation pile.

shoe organizer


Shoes that you love to wear may need some repairs or cleaning, so before you place them back in your closet, spend some time shining them up! I often wear sneakers and find this is an excellent time to wash them and let them dry in the sun.

shoe repair


If you struggle with foot odor coming from your shoes in your closet, I suggest purchasing Sneaker Balls, place them inside your shoes. Another great tip to help with your more dresser shoes as well as keeping their form is to buy Cedar Shoe Trees.

Depending on your closet, organizing your shoes can be done easily.  If you have a shelf above your clothes bar, stack shoes in either the original shoebox or plastic shoe containers with a photo of the shoes taped to the front of the box. Here are some other options to consider:

Hats/Sports Gear/Scarfs/Belts

Being we are heading into warmer temperatures, it is a good time to store away winter hats, gloves, and scarves.  Summer hats are tricky in finding a good place to store.  I have hung them on the bedroom wall, which becomes wall decoration, or in my closet on the top shelf.

I have found a great organizer for scarves and belts to help make it easy to see all of your options in one place. Again, if you have scarves that you don’t wear more than 3-4 times in a season, it is probably taking up space in your closet and time to donate. For belts, make sure they still fit, are in good condition, and go with outfits in your closet.

Sports Gear

If you enjoy sports such as bicycling, running, or soccer, you will need to sort through the items and toss out things you don’t wear. Keeping these items organized in one place is a great way to make getting dressed for these activities more accessible. I use a door organizer to store all my running/cycling socks, gloves, caps, and other sports gear.

sports gear

I hope these closet organizing tips have helped inspire you to do some spring cleaning this season. I look forward to sharing more helpful tips in my Spring-Cleaning Series, so stay tuned and check your inbox.

If you have any other helpful tips, you do in your closet, and please share them in the comments.

Enjoy your travels! Please read my blogs about other exciting places around the world at Traveling Lens Photography.

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