Friday, October 08, 2010

12 Weeks Until Christmas: Week 2 Closet Week (GIVEAWAY)

After week 1, are you now ready to tackle getting your house organized and ready for the holidays? OK, then it's time to start big with the one area we're all most likely to have disorganized: the closets.

It's true. When you have visitors five minutes away from your house and clutter in the living room, where do you stash it on short notice? The closet. When you need to get the laundry off the guest bed, where does it go? The floor of the closet, of course.

It's the perfect hiding spot for anything out of place, although it then becomes a black hole of out-of-place items, when actually your closets can be one of your best tools for staying organized!

So this week's challenge: clean out those closets and get them organized! And we've got tips from me, Lisa, Kelly and Heather to help you along the way.

Living room/Hall closet

The hall closet often has a mix of outerwear, family games, cleaning supplies and other random stuff crammed in it. So the first step is to pull it all out of the closet. Get yourself some boxes or laundry baskets to help you sort it all, along with a trash bag.

First, make sure all trash immediately goes into the trash bag: lost paperwork from kids' backpacks, a torn mitten, broken toys, or anything else that can no longer serve a purpose. Take anything that belongs elsewhere back to its proper place.

Next, take all out of season items (if you live in a climate where it gets cold) and toss them in one box or storage container. Sandals, sunhats, light jackets and anything that screams summer need to give up their spots to make room for winter coats, scarves and snow boots. If anything in the closet is too large or too small for anyone in your family, place it in a different box to either save for a garage sale or give to a charity like Goodwill.

Finally, put it all back in place. I like to use an over the door shoe holder to keep track of mittens, scarves and other accessories for my family, but small plastic containers can do the job, too.

Bedroom closets

Now is the time to tackle all of that laundry and store away clothing you won't need until it's swimsuit season again to make room for all of those wonderfully cozy sweaters. The hardest part for me is taking the time to gather up everything that I won't be using for months, make sure it's all washed and then store it away.

Now, laundry isn't my favorite chore, but it needs to be done. And when tackling a massive project like this, it's best to sort it all out into 1-load piles each, and set aside an evening or a weekend afternoon to get this done. I hate taking the time to pre-treat stains - or worse, re-treat stains and try again - which is why I'm a big fan of Tide with Acti-Lift. It's the best detergent I've tried at getting out stains the first time, while still keeping my clothing looking bright and new.

Also, when washing clothing you plan to store away, add just a little extra fabric softener in a scent you love. If you keep them stored in air-tight containers, your clothes will still smell fresh when you open them again. This year I'm using the new Ultra Downy Sun Blossom scent - when I open up the storage containers in the spring, I know I'll still have that fresh, just-washed scent to greet me!

We have several clear plastic storage bins in the back of our closet to hold out of season clothing and linens. The clear plastic makes it easy to see what's inside, in case you do need to break out short sleeve tops but aren't ready for shorts yet. If you don't have clear plastic containers, any other storage solution will do, but make sure you label the boxes or bins so you know where to find things when you need them.

Finally, the biggest hurdle of bedroom closets is simply putting everything in its place. Match up shoes and line them up or put them on a shoe rack. Keep all of your pants together in one area, skirts in another, tops and sweaters in yet another. You don't want to be frantically searching through your sweaters just to find the one little black skirt you stuck in the middle somewhere. If you share your closet with your spouse, assign each of you one side of the closet to keep your clothing sorted out.

Giveaway!

We're going to get you ready to tackle all of that laundry in your closets with a little help from Tide and Downy! One lucky reader will win 3 bottles of Tide with Acti-Lift, as well as 3 bottles of Ultra Downy in the new Sun Blossom scent!

To enter, leave a comment below with your best organization tip for keeping your closets from turning into a jumbled mess. (mandatory entry)

For additional entries:

2. Leave a comment here with your best laundry or stain-fighting tip! (one entry - separate comment)
3. Follow me on Twitter @mommystory and tweet this contest leaving me a link here in the comments. (one entry)
4. Follow @Tide on Twitter and thank them for helping you get your summer clothing ready to be stored away with a link to this post. (1 entry - leave a comment here with you link)
5. Write a blog post about how you plan to (or already are!) getting your closets organized and ready for winter and link back to this post. (1 entry - leave a comment here with your link)

Giveaway will close on Friday, October 15 at 11:59pm ET. One winner will be selected by random drawing to win the Tide/Downy prize pack. Winner has three days after being contacted by e-mail to respond or another winner will be chosen in his or her place.

Full disclosure: This giveaway prize is being provided by Tide and Downy. I received no compensation nor was I given any free product. I just really like their products and reached out to them to join us in this series. Thanks, Tide & Downy!

114 comments:

debbie said...

I only have 1 closet in my whole house. I don't know what I was thinking when I bought it. It is a walkin, so I removed all the shelves but one. I use totes. I have one or two totes for each holiday. A couple of totes for off season clothes. One for books, and one smaller one for important papers.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I use a little dish soap to remove food and blood stains.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

i sort my clothes by type and also turn hangers around so i can see whether i'm actually wearing all of my clothes
11newmom at gmail

Shel said...

I use color-coded hangers to easily find what I need in my closet: white hangers for dresses, blue for pants, pink for tops. This way when I'm in a hurry I can easily find an outfit to wear without sorting through everything I own. I also purge any small, too large or out-of-date clothes each season and donate them to Goodwill.

shel704 at aol dot com

Shel said...

Twitter follower and I tweeted:
http://twitter.com/auntiethesis/status/26953522650

hfilipiak said...

I arrange all my clothes in sets, such as a skirt and blouse together so it is easy to have an outfit to wear quickly. I also often put a necklace on the hanger or pin a brooch on the lapel all ready to go.

MOMFOREVERANDEVER said...

get rid of things you do not need- open it up and ask- did I use it over the past year- can someone else use what I am hoarding? pass it on

Anonymous said...

Everything is in bins according to what it is and in if the bin full then something must be given anyway before something elsre enters my house! traicetrump@yahoo.com

brenda said...

I organize everything in my closet by item, all shirts must be together, all pants and jeans are together and all sweaters and jackets are together. I have plastic storage bins for my shoes and boots as well.

bg_sweeps@yahoo.com

girlforgotten81 said...

My best tip for keeping closets organized is to go through them and remove what isn't in season. I put those items in storage, and it makes plenty of room for things we'll actually be using, and minimizes clutter!

girlforgotten81@aol.com

Terri said...

I replaced my closet storage bins with clear bins only (gave the colored ones that you can't see through to hubby for him to use in the garage). I use different sized bins on closet shelves for various items (e.g. big for blankets, medium for sweaters, small for hats, gloves & scarves).

girlforgotten81 said...

I ALWAYS treat blood-stains with ice cold water immediately. Takes it right out!

girlforgotten81@aol.com

Terri said...

My stain-fighting tip is to treat the stain right away. I rub detergent into stain and let it sit for 30 min. before putting the item into washer with other similar items and use warm water.

Anonymous said...

rinse with water then rub some shampoo into the fabric that is stained leave on until laundrying.

frogz60@hotmail.com

Amber said...

My tip is to regularly go through the closet and clean out stuff you no longer wear/use to donate to charity!
Thank you for the giveaway :)
hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

Amber said...

Using baking soda + vinegar really get out some tough stains! It's all-natural too!
Thank you for the giveaway :)
hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

elizabeth p said...

I use different colors of hangers to keep things organized. I am queenesperfect at yahoo.com

carcon said...

For my blouses I have one of those double hanger things that hangs off the main pole and drops down to give you another lower pole to hang double the items on. On top I keep all solid color tops and on the lower pole all printed tops. That gives me double the closet space and make everything look very neat.

Angel Jacklyn said...

ONLY HANG SUMMER CLOTHES DURING SUMMER AND WINTER CLOTHES DURING WINTER kytah00@yahoo.com

Angel Jacklyn said...

MY BEST STAIN FIGHTING LAUNDRY TIP IS TO PREVENT. ONLY WASH WHITES WITH WHITES LOL kytah00@yahoo.com

Angel Jacklyn said...

FOLLOWING YOU ON TWITTER USER NAME "kytah00" & TWEETED GIVEAWAY @ http://twitter.com/#!/kytah00/status/27007078195 kytah00@yahoo.com

Angel Jacklyn said...

FOLLOWING TIDE ON TWITTER USER NAME "kytah00" & THANKED THEM THROUGH A TWEET @ http://twitter.com/#!/kytah00/status/27007112704 kytah00@yahoo.com

patramey said...

i put two rods in
one above for shirts and one for pants below
I get alot more in my closet now
thanks for the opportunity

patramey@comcast.net

sweepmom said...

I keep my shoes in their boxes on a shelf in my closet. This helps keep things nice and tidy.

Anonymous said...

HORTON111@AOL.COM

DON'T BUY CLOTHES ON SALE THINKING YOU WILL LOSE THAT EXTRA 15 POUNDS AND BE ABLE TO WEAR THE SALE ITEM

Anonymous said...

HORTON111@AOL.COM

I ALWAYS PUT SOME LIQUID SOAP ON A STAIN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE...EVEN IF I AM OUT SOMEWHERE

mina said...

Shoe racks are a must (for me at least). They help to clear up space.

Nanette said...

I have a closet organizer with separate compartments for shoes and different levels of rods for hanging my clothes.
nanoarta1 at gmail dot com

snowluvnferret said...

I don't have any "organizers" in my closet but I find if I keep my clothes/shoes in color order (from what to red to purple to black) then I can actually find things!

rugerpuppies at hotmail dot ocm

hity88 said...

I believe in the old adage, a place for everything and everything in its place. This applies to the closet also.

COURTNEYSTOFFEL said...

I keep everything "like" together. The jeans all go in one place, tops, etc. I cant stand a messy closet so everythiing is seperated into bins or hanging up.

hebert024 at aol dot com

sksweeps said...

I'm with you on the see thru storage boxes! I also use the bags that you can suck the air out of to reduce space needed, to store seasonable items.

sksweeps (at) earthlink (dot) net

Stephanie said...

once a year we tackle our closets and donate clothes that don't fit anymore and goods we don't use
tvollowitz at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

hairspray will take out most inkstains

gjsrjs@sbcglobal.net

Missybeez said...

I color code my clothes and I also make sure to declutter by giving clothes away that I dont wear.

honeybeez80@yahoo.com

Min K said...

I have plastic boxes.

Debbie said...

To keep closets from becoming cluttered messes, invest in plastic tubs which stack nicely with the lids on. They come in various sizes, so keep like items in each bin and then keep similar bins together on the shelf.

Debbie said...

Treat stains when they are fresh. I like to use Shout. It has taken out most stains. Rub it in with your fingers and then wash. Check it before putting it in the dryer and if needed, repeat.

Debbie said...

I follow you on Twitter and tweeted: http://twitter.com/splashesofgrace/status/27101160659

Debbie said...

I follow @Tide on twitter and tweeted a comment @Tide: http://twitter.com/splashesofgrace/status/27101349028

Jean said...

I hang all our clothes by color.

Sarah said...

My organizational tip: put blankets/sheets away as soon as you fold them. If I have a lot of laundry in a basket from several washings, I'm more likely to just stuff it in the linen closet in a sloppy fashion.

Super Blogger Girl! said...

i use a clip bored to fold my t shirts around, that way they are all exactly the same size and stack really well in the closet

jennifer.lleras@gmail.com

flychild7 said...

My tip:

I put pants with pants and shirts with shirts, that way I grab one of each and just keep going :D

flychild7(at)gmail(dot)com

flychild7 said...

Soak Soak Soak in tide and then wash, it seems to work for when trying to get a tough stain out

flychild7(at)gmail(dot)com

Tammy said...

Keep some lesser used items in under the bed storage units.

Julieh said...

I keep organized closets by going through everything every 3 months, and sorting to keep, donate,and throw away. honeypie411 at yahoo dot com

Debbie C said...

Well, I am not the person to ask for closet organization tips. One thing I do is to hang a second rod lower down in the closet and that way I have two rods to hang short things like shirts and blouses.

Debbie C said...

One of my best laundry tips is to add borax to the wash water to make clothing smell sweet and clean. Much better than perfumey soaps.

Posh Play said...

My best closet organization tip is to keep labeled boxes in your garage or storage for each season and only have clothes for that season in your closet and then put them in the boxes to store during the months you won't be wearing them.

Posh Play said...

My best stain fighting tip is to rinse them immediately and use a little Shout. Shout is my new go to cleaning supply for laundry!

sjt42075 said...

i keep only seasonal clothes in our closets and clean out all of our closets at the beginning of spring and fall.i store the out of season clothes under the beds.
stracey2010@live.com

terri142 said...

By best tip is to get rid of things that you don't wear or use. Less stuff means less mess.

tderosa142 at gmail dot com

terri142 said...

My best stain fighting tip is to pre-treat the stain quickly and use a great laundry detergent like Tide.

tderosa142 at gmail dot com

terri142 said...

I am now following you on twitter(terri142) and tweeted.

http://twitter.com/terri142/status/27287376669

tderosa142 at gmail dot com

tdean30 said...

Get a shoe hanger organizer. Shoes take up a lot of space in the bottom that would be better for totes. Also those plastic bags that suck all the air out are awesome.

tdlsfm(at)gmail(dot)com

B.J. said...

Making sure all of your clothes are hung up helps plus getting a shoe organizer and then if you have suitcases in your closet pack them with other smaller things in your closet(chucosbabygirl(at)yahoo(dot)com)

Jennifer Mathis said...

I use a lot of those space saver bags

meandi09@yahoo.com

EMAIL ewalsh40@gmail.com said...

I always clean them out whenever I clean that particular area. If I'm cleaning the bedroom I check the closet, hallway same thing. And just move things out that don't belong.

ewalsh40(at)gmail(dot)com

Becca Ann said...

I try to keep 2 totes on the floor and hang everything up.. put shoes in the totes

Becca Ann said...

I pretreat as soon as I can

Erica C. said...

I have bins for bulky stuff like sweaters, and bins for jeans. They are clear so it's easy to tell if what you want is in them.

iplaytrack1224 said...

Awesome blog and thanks for the giveaway!
Would love, love, LOVE to win this!
=]

Alisha L. said...

The best tip I can offer to anyone (and that I try to keep my husband doing) is to have a place for everything and to make sure that things to back in their place right away after use, no stuffing things in the closet to "deal with later". It takes so little time to just put things back where they belong but once everything gets all jumbled it takes forever to sort things out.

bakergurl02 @ yahoo dot com

Alisha L. said...

My best laundry tip it to always pre-treat stains right away..Even if you aren't actually going to be washing them that day make sure to pre-treat.

bakergurl02 @ yahoo dot com

anissa said...

Having a hamper in the closet so you can be sure to throw your clothes in there.
anissacoupons at hotmail dot com

anissa said...

followed and twittered
http://twitter.com/#!/goochin/status/27376131777

Mark N. said...

Have a place for everything and put everything back in its place, or throw it out.

kroch said...

We use clear storage containers with labels so everything is put in it's place.

Dancehottie1621@aol.com

Michele said...

Thank you for the giveaway! We use large Rubbermaid and sterlite plastic tubs with lids. You can buy them in clear, solid, or colorful containers which help brighten up your closet!

mrsmiki77 (at) gmail (dot) com

Michele said...

As soon as possible, I wash clothes in cold water to help fight the stains.

mrsmiki77 (at) gmail (dot) com

Erin said...

My best closet organizing tip is to make sure you hang/fold everything each time you put it in your closet. That way you don't end up with a pile on the bottom. Thank you for the lovely giveaway.

sewmuchstuff at ymail dot com

Erin said...

My best stain fighting tip is to treat the stain immediately. Letting it sit makes it never come out.

Erin said...

I'm a twitter follower (@sewmuchstuff) and I tweeted
http://twitter.com/SewMuchStuff/status/27388670095

sewmuchstuff at ymail dot com

Erin said...

I follow Tide on twitter, and I sent them a message here:
http://twitter.com/SewMuchStuff/status/27388801657

sewmuchstuff at ymail dot com

Anonymous said...

We couldn't seem no matter how We tried to get Son's room cleaned so We gave Him to 2 week s and nothing happened age 14. So when He was in school We took everything out of His room except bed and dresser and it all went out on Our front screen porch and I went thru it and sorted and separated He had no control over it...so it won't be long this way but We know It was once all clean for awhile now I am doing this to other rooms.....

ky2here said...

One in - out out. For every new item of clothing I bring into the house, a similar item goes out to charity.

I also empty the closets completely at least once a year to get rid of the little extras that accumulate.

ky2here at msn dot com

Deb said...

I'm definitely not the most organized, but what I am good at is purging! After each season, I will get rid of any clothes that I haven't worn that season, and usually others that I don't think I'll wear again....it's the only way to keep my closets from overflowing

llinda29 said...

My best organization tip for keeping your closets from turning into a jumbled mess is to clean as you go and get rid of unneeded stuff

kakihara said...

Once a year I go through my closet and anything that hasn't been worn in the last year goes to the goodwill.

Tammie said...

My best organization tip for keeping closets from turning into a jumbled mess is called, quite simply, 'charitable donations.' :)

mcj4tlj(at)comcast(dot)net

EmmaPeel said...

Organizing of closets I'd say keep like things in one pace and in your bedroom closet put his things to one side and her things to one side

EmmaPeel said...

Laundry tip I guess would be pre-soaking stained items in borax and washing like colours together

amyd said...

well I put bins on the bottom of my kids so they can sort there toys,also clean it often&throw stuff out!
ardelong2(at)gmail(dot)com

amyd said...

pre treat stains as they happen,do not let them sit!
ardelong2(at)gmail(dot)com

Tracey said...

A place for everything and everything in it's place, everytime.
traymona[at]aol.com

susan said...

Treat it with ice cold water immediately! suelee1998 @ gmail.com

Deborah Wellenstein said...

My husband and I have a large walk-in closet in our bedroom. One half if his, one half is mine. We keep it organized by going through our clothes a couple of times a year and getting rid of anything we don;t like or doesn't fit. Thanks!

Deborah Wellenstein said...

To handle stains on clothes, I spray them with a pre-treater as soon after they happen as I can. Thanks!

Janna @ Feed Your Pig said...

Donate what you don't wear in one month!
Awesome contest! Thanks for entering me!
Janna Johnson
jannajanna@hotmail.com
Janna@Feedyourpigblog.com
www.feedyourpigblog.com

susan1215 said...

I go through my closet when the season changes and get rid of clothes that I no longer wear.

s2s2 at comcast dot net

susan1215 said...

I treat a stain by presoaking the stain before I wash the item

susan1215 said...

http://twitter.com/susan1215/status/27464413042

amy16323 said...

always presoak in water and soap
amy16323(at)gmail(dot)com

Chisum's Crew said...

We added more rods for hanging clothes and have a hanging organizer on the inside of our door. trinitygsd at yahoo dot com

js22 said...

having a double rod for half the closet width really helps! Shirts, skirts, and folded pants can be hung there. Dresses and coats and long skirts, can go on the single rod portion.
Also, my closet has some built-in shelves, so that's great for storing sweaters !
Thanks for the giveaway!
email in blogger profile.

js22 said...

My sister told me that Tide has a relatively new product - Tide Stain Release - that got stains out of her tablecloth that had been there for years and through a number of washings.
I had a dress that had stains that my usual stain remover didn't work on. Before I threw it out, I went bought the Tide Stain Release and did a load of laundry using it- after the first wash the stain was barely visible. I did another load of laundry and put the dress in it along with the Tide Stain Release and voila- no stains! Gotta tell you I am impressed!
email in blogger profile.

js22 said...

i follow you on twitter - js22222222 .
tweet: http://twitter.com/js22222222/statuses/27469765761
email in blogger profile.

js22 said...

i follow tide on twitter - js22222222 .
tweet: http://twitter.com/js22222222/status/27469959325

Nicole Greene said...

I make sure to do laundry often and always hang my clothes back up if they aren't dirty after I wear them :)

pittsy82@Hotmail.com

Nicole Greene said...

I follow on Twitter @pittsy82 and tweeted http://twitter.com/pittsy82/status/27473484174

pittsy82@hotmail.com

ShesAnAngel said...

My best tip to keep closest organized is to buy one of those over-the-door organizers with pockets...I use one in my hall closet and it's awesome for gloves, dog leashes, and everything else!

justine417@comcast.net

ShesAnAngel said...

My best laundry tip is to get to the stain before it's dried! Other than that, I swear by Oxi-clean, it has even saved my clothing after an ink explosion!

justine417@comcast.net

ShesAnAngel said...

I'm following you via twitter and i tweeted

http://twitter.com/#!/ShesAnAngel417/status/27476600570

justine417@comcast.net

ShesAnAngel said...

I'm following Tide via twitter and i thanked them with a link to your site!

http://twitter.com/#!/ShesAnAngel417/status/27476772580

justine417@comcast.net

Shellie & Brutus said...

I buy clear plastic shoe boxes from the dollar store and store my shoes in them. I put them on the top shelf of my closet so everything is nice and neat.
fatmeatloaf1 at gmail dot com

Shellie & Brutus said...

I use hair spray for tough stains.
fatmeatloaf1 at gmail dot com

Harriett said...

Hang everything up.
Keep everything off the floor. Get of things u don't or can't wear.

Harriett said...

I fight stains by pre-treating.

brianpiero said...

Thanks for the giveaway...we try to keep our indoor closets uncluttered by storing anything that is not clothing or linens separately, in the garage i.e. tennis rackets, etc.

senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

hiann88 said...

I installed a double rack in my closet (one above the other - effectively doubling my closet - shirts above, pants below).

brianpiero said...

Following you via Twitter: @brianpiero

Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/brianpiero/status/27499914064

senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

Jinxy and Me said...

Store the flat and fitted sheets inside the matching pillow case to keep things tidy.

Betty C said...

I use plastic bins to store items out of season and infrequently used. They stack easily and I can see what is in each one.