Weather Forecast


Gert’s Dirt: In and out of the closet

From Donna Bellino 

The goal for your clothes closet is to be able to see and use everything you have. The closet is a place store items, maintain their appearance, protect them from damage, and it can be a lovely, clean and organized space.

Make closet organization a fun weekend project by inviting a friend to come over and help. He or she can give you the thumbs up or down as you try on outfits. As with other projects we’ve tackled in this column, closet organization requires boxes for sorting items. There should be one for donations, one for trash, and maybe this time, one for items you plan to sell. There are second hand stores that sell on consignment and several online options including Facebook, Craig’s List and eBay. Look at similar items and adjust for wear when pricing your items. Also you may have better luck selling items in their season –sweaters in the fall, shorts and sandals in the summer, and so on.

Next, empty the closet completely. Vacuum the floor and wash rods, shelves and baseboards. This would also be a good time to consider sprucing up your closet with a fresh coat of paint, new wall paper or additional lighting.

Now it’s time to appraise the situation and develop a system to keep things tidy. Here are some ideas:

• Use shelves rather than drawers for stacks of sweaters, jeans and tee’s.

• Place big bulky sweaters on the bottom so your stack won’t get top heavy.

• Place jeans in neat piles according to style and color.

• Arrange T-shirts according to color. Keep stacks no more than 8-10 inches high. Notice and copy how the department stores display folded garments.

• Hang your other clothes on the rod by color, too. Button the first few buttons on each shirt to keep it hanging properly. That way it won’t slip off the hanger

• For goodness sake, get those dry cleaning bags off of your garments so they can air out from those nasty chemicals.

And now for a very special, top-secret, just-between-you-and-me Gert’s Dirt tip: Hang all of your clothes on the rod with the opening of the hanger facing out. You know, backwards. Then, each time you wear an item, hang it back up normally with the opening of hanger facing in. Next year when it is time to go through the donation, trash or sell sorting, you will know if the item was something you actually wore! Here are some more ideas. I’m on a roll!

• Place dividers on a shelf to organize purses and a basket for storing socks.

• Use wire shelves for shoes and hang belts and scarves on pretty hooks.

• Glue cork board to a flat wall surface and use long, sturdy pins to hang necklaces.

• Attach a full length mirror on the back of the door, or have one in your room.

• Keep a small garbage can for discarding tags from new clothes, strings, lint, and to dispose of the stuff that has accumulated in your pockets

• Use a small bowl to collect buttons, spare change, or other items until you can put them back where they belong.

If you want to make your closet smell nice, try this recipe using essential oils: Grapefruit and mint for a refreshing scent or lavender and tangerine for a more relaxing fragrance. You will need a 16-oz. spray bottle and a small funnel.


• 1/2 tsp or 50 drops of essential oil of your choice

• 1/8 cup unflavored vodka (top shelf not necessary!)

• 1 3/4 cup filtered water

Mix. Funnel into your bottle. Shake. Spray!

I think it is now safe to come out of the closet.

Donna Bellino is a Registered Nurse and owner of Gertie’s Cleaning and Home Service. I care for you, your health, and your home.

Gertie’s: Naturally Clean!