At one time or another, when looking into our clothes closet, we've all exclaimed, "I have nothing to wear!" While this may be true for specific occasions like a wedding at Westminster Abbey, mostly the issue arises because we forget what we own or can't see through the clutter that is also know as our wardrobe. More likely than not, a little organization can go a long way to recognizing that you do in fact, have plenty to wear.
Unlike the wardrobe help in Closet Cleaning... Clearing The Way To A Wearable Wardrobe, this is an exercise in organization NOT discovery. Today, we are focusing on putting items together in a neat, logical, and simple system. The right equipment is important, so you may need to pick up new hangers, shelf separators, wall hooks, and perhaps, a shoe rack for this project.
Use the following 10 easy tips to organize your closet. Don't worry about trying anything on, just crank up some music and get started. Remember to take a photograph before you begin so you can compare the difference when you are done!
1. If you have skinny hangers, use them (see what I mean at end of article). They will add space you didn't realize you had in your closet. BONUS: They really do help eliminate "hanger" marks and keep clothing from sliding onto the floor.
2. Whatever the configuration of your closet, take note of the area you always use. This is where you will keep the items you most frequently wear.
3. Do the same as in #2 for the other areas of your closet. Be sure to look at the upper, eye-level, and floor areas. Note the sections that are difficult to reach or that you hardly employ.
4. Good news! We are "chunking" this organization process down. You don't have to remove everything at one time to begin sorting - you only need to remove clothing in the area you will refill first. Put out a sheet on the floor of your room or use your bed to hold clothing as you make space and work through each area of your closet.
5. You will be organizing by categories of clothing, i.e., skirts, dresses, blouses, pants, suits. The idea is to pull ALL the items from a category out of your closet at one time and then separate those items by color. If you have multiple colors in a category, further organize them from light to dark. NOTE: Start with the category you select in Step #6.
6. Pick the category that you least wear. For me, it's skirts. Put them on clip hangers (see at end of article) according to color, then hang them in the area you least visit (decided in Step #3).
7. Using the principle in #6, select the next category (and so on); remember to separate into colors and rehang working your way out toward the area you always use. With each type of clothing, try to further specify each item within its category: solid vs. print, long vs. short sleeve, cocktail vs. daytime dress, etc.
8. Not everything you own can be hung - as you come upon hanging items that are better kept folded - start piles of similar items on your sheet or bed, sorted by color. These piles will now be pre-sorted for your shelves or drawers. If you have shelves in your closet, don't leave these piles for another day... Address them in the same fashion as your hanging items.
9. Organize shoes by style, then color within that style. Using the floor, or a shoe rack, put all the pumps together; line-up the black pumps next to each other, then move on to the other color pumps. Same idea goes for flats, sandals, sport shoes, etc. If you like to keep your shoes in their original boxes, photograph each shoe and tape it to the front of the box, then line the boxes up in the same manner. Boots are also lined up by style and color. Next time you look for the perfect pair of shoes to match an outfit, you will see all your options at once.
10. Accessories, like scarves, belts, hats, and purses, can be organized in similar way as the clothing categories. Be creative in displaying these items so you can see what you own at a glance. Try hooks, peg boards, or baskets. BONUS: You can now use the room you created in Step #8 on your shelves for your hats and purses.