This is a great time to declutter your home before the summer vacation, the camps, and the swim lessons.

Here is the golden rule of cleaning and clearing: use a timer. Start with an alarm for 30 minutes. At the end of 30 minutes, put away whatever you have do so far and pick another day and time to come back to the job. This will keep you excited about cleaning and clearing.

Start with an area you use every day, like your closet.

The best way to store sweaters and coats is in plastic totes. If you don’t have plastic sealable bins, cardboard boxes will work too.


Before storing your winter clothes, wash them. All the stains of winter coffee and snow muck will have less of a chance to sink into the fabric of the garment if you wash and dry them. This will also make it unappetizing for moths. Wash everything in hot water if the wash instructions on the garment allow. After drying well, make sure there are no remnant dampness in the garments. Once dry, fold sweaters tight rolled and place them in sealable plastic totes with a bag of lavender or a few blocks of fresh cedar to keep moths away and smelling wonderful when you take them out in six months.

For jackets, while it is best to hang them, you can fold them and lay them in plastic boxes with lavender.

If the boxes are not transparent, label them.

You can store your clothes in the basement or maybe in a compact climate controlled self-storage facility that can become your walk-in closet away from home.


Start a charity carton…

Once the carton is maybe half or completely full, move that away from the area you are working on and start a new carton. Do not seal these cartons.

Always wash these give-aways before donating them.

Do not give away a box of winter clothes in spring or summer. Ideally store them until it gets cooler in your basement or in a climate controlled self-storage facility near you.


Start again the following day or week and work for 30 minutes or an hour again. Suddenly in a month you will see your closet clean and every time to come back to clean you will find you can get rid or store away more….and you will have a neat and well organized closet in 30 days. When we try and do it slowly we appreciate what we have and enjoy the journey more than the destination.