So, ladies and gents, this month we’ve been discussing the importance of spring cleaning. And not just the “time to toss those Chinese food boxes I shoved under the bed last November” kind of importance.

Our theory is that the only way spring will happen is if every New Yorker, young old, every size, age and color, were to do their spring cleaning. The “if you clean it, spring will come” theory — one that we think just may have had some credence. After all, the outlook is significantly warmer at present, with not a flake of snow in sight, so maybe… just maybe… people cleaned just enough to kickstart spring.

To be sure we keep the warming trend going, it’s time to tackle the one thing that really counts — your closet.

 

closet organization, spring cleaning, storage in nycStep One: Enter the Black Hole

New York City closets have the tendency to become the black holes of our everyday existence. It’s a slippery slope from neatly hanging your clothes to just shoving some books in there “temporarily,” to creating a ravenous, stuff-sucking vortex of terror. This is not hyperbole. We’ve seen some things.

You don’t want your closet to be the skeleton in your closet. This is why it’s so important to tackle your closet now. And as the saying goes, you’ll want to do the first things first — which, in this case, means to basically do some heavy excavation. Yes, my friends, we’re talking about the grand purge.

Put on some background music, take a deep breath and take everything out of your closet. Everything. Every last piece of clothing, pair of shoes and random piñata or slot car track purchased (ironically in the first case, earnestly in the second) on an Amazon-fueled binge.

Get it out, lay it out, survey the scene and prepare for action.

 

Step Two: The Great Divide

Now is the time to pile on the piles. Divide your closet dwellers by clothes, shoes and everything else.

Sort your clothes by importance. Those under the “they’ll pry this from my cold dead hands” list are obviously shoe-ins for survival. Divide the rest into “they’ll do in a pinch” and “what was I thinking?” Donate the latter, sort the former and then donate anything that doesn’t make the cut. Do the same with your shoes, and booyah! You’re halfway there.

Of course, the New York City clothing conundrum is largely based on climate. Since we have these things called “seasons,” we’ll still need to somehow hold onto heavy jackets, even while the weather calls for nothing more than a thong and a few ice cubes. (Unless you are Miley Cyrus, please do not act on this wardrobe recommendation anywhere other than your own apartment.)

For that bulky winter wear that we’re all so ridiculously excited to get rid of for a while, we’ve got one word: Storage. Seriously. And, yeah, we’re a storage company and, sure we’ve got some skin in the game, but honestly — exorcising your apartment of the ghost of winter past feels ridiculously good. Personal storage is an easy, cheap way to do it.

 

Step Three: The Hard Part

Unless you’re Carrie Bradshaw or a leprechaun or some other hyperactive mythical creature, your closet is not only stuffed with clothes; it’s stuffed with stuff. This is really when the rubber meets the road as far as spring cleaning is concerned.

Go for the great divide one more time, this time creating piles of “I love and use this a lot,” “sentimental must keep,” “sentimental… but kind of dragging me down,” “I freaking love this, use it every other year on a full moon,” and “I must have been high.”

The “I must have been high” stuff gets donated. “I love and use this a lot” stays. Sort your sentimental piles, and toss the mash notes from people you don’t even remember knowing. The rest goes to storage, along with the “only use every other year on a full moon.”

We called this the hard part because it is easy to get sucked down the sentimental spiral when you dig all this stuff up. So give yourself a little time to sort, honor the items of your past that no longer fit who you are today, and enjoy your newly cleaned closet.

Let’s hope that, this time, spring actually sticks.