How are you doing today? I think this is week 481 of shelter in place, and I have no concept of time.

Recently Liam finally let me help him clean out his closet. Every now and then, he will let me help him clean his room, but this is a first for us. And I loved it! I think he did too.

Liam is our youngest son, He is twenty-two, just finishing up a college degree, and doesn’t really like change. So he doesn’t love to clean anything out. But it has been forever since the closet was worked, and since he doesn’t have closet doors, it was starting to get to him. 

Bring on the party!

I thought it would be fun to walk through how we did this (with his permission) and went from crazyville to neat and tidy, with more of the things he wants in there in just a few hours.

Ready? Let’s go.

Here is what we started with:

Overflowing bins

A bunch of empty shoe boxes

A really outdated bedding stash

Storage unit filled with legos

A rice maker

Scarves hanging over the closet rod

Dust bunnies galore

And a few other odds and ends.

First, we took everything out of the top. 

You know every single thing got the stink eye. We went through the flowchart to determine what was a keeper and what was destined for a new home. Old music books went to a few budding musicians, the empty boxes went to the recycle bin, and the pillows and blankets from childhood went to the donation pile. As we worked, we fleshed out a few ideas about how to use that space better. I tried really, really hard to let him take the lead and just really, really cheered him on. I did all the running around, to make this more enjoyable for him. I love organizing, but I know others don’t so much. So I try to make it as painless as possible for anyone I’m working with.

Next, Liam went through all the clothes – some he liked but never wore, some he didn’t like the fit of, and some he loved. Everything that didn’t fall into the love or need category left the closet.

And finally  we pulled everything out of the bottom. Drawers were emptied, items that could go somewhere else did (looking at you rice maker for future kitchen when Liam moves out someday), and the big box of drone equipment got a real conversation about how much it is used, is it loved and what are the future plans. (Spoiler alert – it gets to stay.)

With all the emptying, we cleaned. Our house gets super dusty so fast, so a neglected closet has dust bunny friends everywhere. We vacuumed, dusted, and wiped down all the areas. So much better! When a space is cleaned out good, I notice I am even more careful about what goes back in.

Here is how we ended up – 

Such an improvement! Liam made all the decisions about what to put back and how, with some help from me. He is happy with his work and the result, and now also loves to look at it. 

Next week I will walk you through the specific changes we made, how it works so much better, and a few tips on how to help someone else declutter.

What do you think? 



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