Written By: Leah Morris
Getting ready for a new school year can be exciting – a fresh start with new teachers, classmates, skills to learn, and this year social distancing protocol to follow.
While your schedule won’t always go according to plan and stuff you can’t control there are steps you can take to tackle induced anxiety that comes around this time of year.
While this time can be stressful, there are some ways we can embrace the transition and look at it as a new start and a time for growth for ourselves as parents, as well as our children. Before you head to the store (or hop online) to go back-to-school shopping, go through your child’s closet and any dresser drawers to reset and get organized. It’s a good idea to get your child involved in the process so they can try on anything you might be unsure about – it’s crazy how much they can grow over the summer months! It will also teach them the process, so as they get older, they can eventually do it all by themselves and it will be a formed habit! Below are 5 key steps to calm closet chaos!
Step 1: Empty and Clean Your Closet. When you take everything out don’t worry about what you will find. Yes, you will probably find some stuff shoved in a back corner that you forgot about. That is O.K. Remove everything from the closet, including hangers, baskets, bins, and anything else that might be on the floor or shelves. You need a clear, clean space to plan and visualize how you're going re-organize your closet. First, dust the shelving and hanging rods. Next, run the vacuum or sweep and mop the floor. Finally, wipe the shelving, hanging rods, walls, and baseboards down with a good all-purpose cleaner. Don’t forget any baskets or bins that could be collecting dirt and dust.
Step 2: Sort items into 5 piles Trash/Donate/Keep/Relocate/Recycle
Outgrown clothes/ toys/ books to store away until you can hand-them-down to your younger kids, or donate them for others to use now.
Clothes that are too big can be relocated and saved for later. These can be placed in a bin and clearly labeled for future use.
Step 3: Put “Keep” items back in the closet. Often times it’s best to kept like times together, organize by color, and keep all hangers cohesive for an easily navigable, nice cohesive look. If you have items in drawers we encourage rolling. This is something the kids can do too and we often find it is super convenient to roll pant/shirts together as outfits for the wee ones. This makes an easy grab and go option for mornings.
Step 4: Make a List. Once you’ve gone through everything, take an inventory of what items your child has, and note what you need to purchase. Maybe all you really need to purchase is a pair of tennis shoes or maybe you need much more.
Step 5: Rehome Items. Bring dishes back to the kitchen. Put water guns outside. Maybe there are items not belonging the room that belong to someone else - return.
Remember it is a process that needs to be practiced. .The more you do it the easier it gets. If and when (yes when) your kidos closet / room gets crazy with clutter go back to this process. It’s very hard to break old habits and form new habits since our behavior is ingrained into our neural pathways. But repetition is the key to changing a habit. Practice, practice, practice.... and then one day it will become automatic :)
Leah Morris is a professional organizer, decluttering expert, speaker & coach. She is committed to helping people declutter their lives to focus on what they love. With her passion for providing solutions to problems and serving others she is able to transform spaces to be more clam, purposeful, sustainable, and joyously livable. Check out her website or you can also follow her on Instagram.
Founder + Chief Organizer