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Ready for Day 1 of the 30-minute Diwali cleaning challenge?
Today, we start with the master bedroom closet. Closets can be a pleasure to watch the day they are cleaned and a nightmare on days when they resemble a dump yard. Depending on how many clothes you have, how big your closet is and when was the last time you cleaned, this activity can either take 30 minutes or longer. If you can’t get to it all today, attend to the messiest part today; the rest will be a breeze.
What you’ll need:
- A small cleaning bucket to carry around the cleaning stuff.
- A microfiber mitt or an old vest.
- Some cleaning solution like Colin or just plain water.
- Shelf liners.
- Vacuum cleaner if it is a sliding wardrobe.
- One huge plastic bag to give away items in good condition.
- One huge plastic bag to trash items of clothing.
- Music of your choice ( I’m listening to this one from Ae Dil Hai Mushkil)
- A timer set to 30 minutes.
My walk-in closet looks like this.
Let’s get started.
Steps to clean:
- Clear the floor. Do not be intimated by this step. Just close your eyes and empty the entire closet on to the floor.
- Dust the shelves with a dry microfiber cloth. Clean the tracks if it is a sliding wardrobe either with a cloth or a vacuum cleaner. The tracks gather fine dust and it’s good to vacuum at least once in 3 months for ease of operation.
- Clean the shelves again with Colin if there are stains.
- Line the shelves with shelf liner. You get liners such as these in HomeTown or in Commercial Street (at least in Bangalore). These are usually available for Rs. 500 for 5 meters, and can be cut to your required size. Even cheaper ones are available in the local shops. If you don’t want to spend on liners and the shelves are laminated then leave it as is. If they are painted shelves, then you may use a brown paper used to cover notebooks.
- Do you have drawer partitions? Partitions make it easy to organize and retrieve innerwear, socks, scarves etc. I’m a big fan of the KonMari method of folding clothes. It requires practice, but it’s fun. Try it! Sort out the smaller clothes from the pile and fill the drawers and we’ll get to the bigger ones next.
- Identify into which of the three piles each piece of clothing will go into: to keep, to donate, to trash. How do you identify which ones to keep and which ones to give away? I bought a beautiful mustard and black kurta years ago in an exhibition that got me compliments every time I wore it, but it doesn’t fit me any more. Should I keep it or trash it? How about the dress you got with your first salary (sentimental value)? Or, how about that dress you bought at a sale and thought was a steal, but never wore it even once?
- Purge : If it doesn’t make you happy, if you would be embarrassed to wear it out today, or it isn’t practical then it goes.
- Keeper: if it makes you happy, confident, and fits well, it stays. There is nothing about a black legging or blue denim that will make you happy or confident. These are necessities that stay!
- If it is in great shape but doesn’t fit you, donate it.
- Make a mental note of how you want to organize the shelves. Do you hang your clothes or stack them? There is a style that is individualistic and suits our space and lifestyles. So stick to it. I stack my clothes this way:
- daily wear in one part, occasional wear and saris in another
- daily wear sets on one shelf as: kurtas on one side, salwars in the middle and churidars/leggings in the extreme. It’s easy to mix and match.
- Too many black leggings? Identify the ones in bad shape and trash them. Kurtas with a button gone or a hole that need fixing – if you haven’t got to it in 6 months, it’s less likely you will anytime soon. So that should go, too.
- As you sort, keep filling the bags meant for donation and the one that goes to trash. In the end, you’ll be surprised by how many are out of the closet. If you are done, take away the piles.
- Place scented sachets in each of the shelves. The closet smells amazing every time you open it and is a mindful reminder to keep the closet organized.
And, we’re done. Wear good to feel good. It took me 20 minutes this morning to sort through one part of the closet. The rest are in good shape. See you tomorrow or sorting out the kids closet. We will follow the same steps of:
EMPTY – DUST – SORT – PURGE – KEEP