A morning well spent should not include having to dig through your closet to figure out your outfit for that day. This is one of the first places we visit in the morning, and can set the tone for the rest of the day; clutter and disorganization are just asking for frustration and a bad mood.
The one thing holding most people back from organizing their closet is that it is a daunting task- where do you even start? Here are some easy tips to turn that frustration-creator into an organized, easily accessible dream closet.
1) Allot yourself enough time to tackle this project; most experts say that you should allow 3-4 hours for a master closet. If this is too overwhelming, start with a smaller project such as a linen or a child’s closet.
2) Pull everything out. Yes, this makes a big mess, but it will be easier to start with a fresh space. Keep like items together, such as clothes, shoes, purses, etc.
3) Evaluate what you’ve pulled out and get rid of anything that doesn’t belong in YOUR closet. As a rule, reserve this space for items you wear regularly. Even items such as evening gowns and coats can be moved elsewhere, room permitting. Things such as photo albums, linens and holiday decorations should not be allowed to invade your closet space. Move them to another room or the garage.
4) Focus on one grouping and start sorting! It’s helpful in this step to have baskets or boxes for the following: Trash, Donate, Repair. Items that are torn or beyond repair should just be thrown away. If a pair of pants are simply missing a button or need hemming, put them in the Repair pile.
5) As you sort, be brutally honest. If you let yourself waver, you won’t make any progress. Ask yourself these questions: 1) Have you worn it within the last year? (Six months for places without four distinct seasons). 2) Does it make you look and FEEL fabulous? If no, get rid of it! 3) Is it age-appropriate? Consider where you are in your life and whether those tight tube tops really show that. Figure out what image you want to portray and keep only the clothes that keep with your vision. 4) Does it fit? Many of us hold on to things with the hopes that we’ll fit into them “one day.” Dress for your body NOW. As my favorite fashion gurus Stacy London and Clinton Kelly (from TLC’s ‘What Not to Wear’) say, you can look fabulous at any weight as long as you know how to dress your body. So get rid of those “someday” clothes and when you do hit your goal weight, reward yourself by buying some fab new clothes to fit your great new body! Remember, be honest- you’ll be left only with the items you love!
5) Once you’ve sorted through everything and filled up that Donate box, put everything back into your closet. When doing this, take the time to organize your remaining items. With tops, sort first by sleeve length then by color. Use this same approach with pants; this will allow you to see what you have and make putting outfits together much easier.
Another way to organize is by the type of activity the clothes go with such as weekend, work, etc. When using this method, be sure to group like items together and again organize by sleeve/pant length and color for easy access to outfits.
6) Once you’ve filled your hanging space, focus on your shelves. Place folded items (jeans, sweaters) first then fill the rest with your accessories. Remember to sort by type or color (open toed sandals, pumps; clutches, totes).
7) Enjoy your newly purged and organized closet! Notice how much easier it is to see and find your favorite items.
Make sure to take that Donate box to a charity such as Goodwill. Give any work-appropriate clothing to organizations that donate them to people trying to get back into the workforce, such as Dress for Success (www.dressforsuccess.org).
For help with creating a custom storage solution, check out www.closetfactory.com for great ideas and to sign up for a free in-home consultation.