Every wish your closet would just clean itself? Someday we might have a robot for that, but for the most part, it’s on us. It can be hard enough to keep clutter off the countertops and dressers, and a lot of times that means piling the messes somewhere hidden. That’s the number one way to packed, full closets; simply shifting everything that’s a mess into that tiny hidden room. While there are many ways to go about it, some complex, some expensive, and some easy, neat, and cost effective, one thing is for sure; we could all use a little help getting our wardrobes and stacks of boxes into a better arrangement. Why not maximize space and save ourselves the headache of wading through tons of junk on a daily basis!
Let’s look at some easy ways to get some order on the cheap.
Double Bar: One great idea is to split the hanger bar in half, and run a 2x4 vertically to take the new weight load. Right of the bat, you end up with half a closet for clothing and the other have can be stacked with tubs, or give one or multiple horizontal shelves. This small change works really well for men’s half of a large walk-in closet. They can often set a dresser in the open space and just forget about it. This can reduce clutter in the main bedroom as well, as they can get a much narrower wall table for an easy surface to drop keys and change, and make up for any lost space with under-bed tupperwares. this can work really good for smaller bedrooms as well – especially for single people who might have a computer desk vying for space, which may be much more important than living and cleaning around a dresser as well.
Storage Totes: While these have been around for years, some are better than others. We prefer the totes that can handle a vertical load, if stuff is stacked on top of them. This year it’s the yellow top Home Depot HDX brand of totes that are fitting the bill at the lowest cost. Having two of these down low in the closet can serve as a catch-all for hiding quick stack of junk. Giving yourself a limited area for that type of stuff also means you might clean it out occasionally! Some of these totes have a handle and wheels so heavier loads can be wheeled instead of hauled at the cost of your back. Analyze well and decide if it’s worth the few extra bucks.
Plastic Drawer Organizers: Thankfully these were invented, giving us a light weight, cost effective way to distribute project items, sweaters, and even socks and undergarments. If you find the right model, these can be stacked, giving a super cool way to establish modular closet organization. You won’t even have to vacuum the floors on those areas anymore, as the footprint can render that pointless. These can be found at Target or Walmart, or places like the Container Store. On a random day, you can even find them at thrift markets or stores.
Hanger Systems: There have been many adjustments to the basic invention that is the coat hanger. Some of them involve layered hangars which let you do things like drape a dozen pair of pants in the small space it would otherwise take to drape 3 or 4. There are also vertical units that let you put sweaters in 10-15 vertical compartments, all in the same horizontal space it would take to hang 6-7 jackets. Then when spring comes around, you can move that whole into a storage closet, and out of your main bedroom!
Metal Expandable Shelving: There have been many advances in easy to assemble and move shelving. There are large plastic units with tubes and shelves that are easy to put together, and create a unique shelving wall quite easily. There are also metal versions that might look a little more high-end, and also have more strength for stacking more weight.
Kids Closet Shelving: It’s usually good to make sure kid’s shelving is sturdy and anchored steadfastly to the wall, in case they try to climb it! There are special types of shelves for kids too, to accommodate their super short clothing. Those shelves might let you hang clothes low for them to handle themselves – or they will allow more bars so you can store more clothing for multiple kids, or for their ever changing size needs.
HOW DO YOU CLEAN SHELVING?
One of the best ways is to use a vacuum with a dusting attachment. This can make quick work of a difficult job, and also, of all areas, prevent dust from spreading onto clothes which can be a trigger for some people’s allergies. If the clothing itself has gotten dusty with time, just wet-clean off your dusting attachment the day before, and once dry, use it to vacuum dust off the clothing!
Another easy tip is to have an extra storage tote, keeping it empty, and during the time of cleaning, toss all loose stuff from one small area into the bin, so you can vacuum those places. Then with the items in the bin, use your duster attachment to quickly poke and drag across those surfaces, pulling the dust off of that stuff as well.
SHOULD I USE WET OR DRY CLEANING TECHNIQUES?
That all depends on the material of the shelves. Plastic can handle wet, but remember that if things are really dusty, and you then apply a wet spray or rag, then that dust will turn into dark grime which then gets pushed around. That would be bad if your white sweater was sitting next to it, and a grimy sponge then gets pushed past it! That’s why for closets, which are often clean least frequently, we recommend dry cleaning tactics first, followed by damp only when necessary.
Can I get a maid to clean out my closets?
This will depend on the level of stacked items in the closet, and the type of cleaning service being hired. If you have normal closets, vacuuming and dusting are often accommodated. Some services are focused on a steady list of actions so that you get the most work for the dollar – they service lots of customers and aim for five star expectations. Other services will take an hourly pay and stick around as long as you’ll have them, often classifying as a ‘de-cluttering’ service with the goal of billing for dozens of hours at a few houses a week instead of a few hours at 10+ houses per week. The best cleaning services know what they are getting into before they commit to the work. This way they can offer a reliable expectation of cost to value, and keep you smiling every time you call them!