Monday, January 16, 2012

Getting Organized: The Closet Makeover

I can only dream of having one of those closets like Carrie from Sex in the City has that could be a room all on its own. I currently share a walk-in closet with my hubby and have completely full a closet of clothes in one of our two guest rooms.

I won't lie, I sometimes go to my closet (especially in the guest room) and think, wow, I totally forgot about this piece!

My goal over the next few weeks is to have a come to Jesus meeting with much of my wardrobe and if it is not something I'm totally in love with, it's being donated. I can't completely say I'm doing this because I want to clear out some space, but if I do want to start to change up my wardrobe, some of those less worn pieces have to go.

I have pieces from college (Maybe even high school. . .) that are tucked in the back of my closet. Not because I wear them all the time (Hello, they are in the back of the closet.), but because I think, "Oh that might be nice to wear for _____." Being honest with myself, I realize that when _____  usually comes I have found something else to wear.

Seeing that I obviously have trouble parting with my clothes unless I am truly just over them, here are a few tips I found to make the choices a little easier.

You need a clear, clean space to plan and visualize how you're going re-organize your closet. Take everything out of your closet including:
  • Clothing;
  • Accessories (i.e. shoes, handbags, scarves, etc.); and,
  • Closet organizers such as shelf dividers, trays, baskets, bins and hangers.
Then, give your closet a good 3-step cleaning:
  1. Dust the shelving and hanging rods.
  2. Run the vacuum or Swiffer the floor.
  3. Wipe down any baskets or bins that could be collecting dirt and dust.
Closets are finite spaces so choose wisely when giving up valuable real estate and be prepared to separate your clothes into distinct piles:

  • Toss
  • Keep
It's important to focus on what you want to "keep" at first rather than what you want to "toss." Be a brutal critic here--if something is just so-so, you will probably not wear it, therefore it's not worth the closet real estate. Ask yourself these 3 questions:
  1. Do you love it?
  2. Do you wear it?
  3. Does it project the image you want to project? (I love this question via organizing guru Julie Morgenstern)
If the answer is YES to all 3, then you can confidently place that item into the Keeper pile. Congrats to that item!

Rule of Thumb: The more often you work on closet maintenance, the less time it will take. Go through your closet and complete a quick makeover (or make-under) once a month, and tackle the full re-organization process twice a year. You can also follow one of these schedules:
  • By Season: 4 times in the Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer or 2 times in the Fall and Spring.
  • By Date: Choose an important date like your birthday or New Years and make a habit of re-organizing at that time each year.
  • By Event: The next time you can't find an important piece of clothing, that's a good sign you need to re-org your closet.
So friends, do you have any tips for me to make it easier to say goodbye to some of those pieces that although I haven't worn I just can't seem to part with?


  1. good advice all round. It helps tremendously to do this procedure every so often - it makes you spend less or spend wisely when you next decide to buy something, just because the whole procedure revives memories of forgotten items and points out empty slots in colour or style departments...

  2. My husband would love you. He's always complaining about my messy closet. And yes, I soooooooooooooo need to organize.

  3. Love the "does it project the image you want to project" thought! So many great tips here. Happy closet time!

  4. I love closet organizing so much!

    I'm actually guilty of the opposite thing, where I'm too quick to give up on clothes that I later want.

  5. Another great tip I read is once you wear an item and you are hanging it back up to turn around your hanger in the opposite direction and at the end of each season, the clothes still in the original position get rid of.

  6. Categorize your clothes according to color. This is another effective way on how to organize your closet. Group your clothes and accessories according to the frequency you’ve used them (such as office wear, night out clothes, formal wear, etc). After you’ve made a main set of grouping, group them again into shirts, shorts, blazers, polo, etc. Then, put them back on the shelf or rack according to their color coordination.