Black hole: “a place where…things…disappear without trace.”
How many times have you frustratingly declared "I have nothing to wear!" while peering into your jam-packed closet? We’ve all been there, but no more! It’s time to clear out the chaos and unearth those forgotten treasures! I personally find this to be a really fun home organizing challenge. Just follow my easy-to-use guide!
In advance, purchase matching hangers – no wire hangers (they ruin shoulders) – and consider cascading hangers for small spaces. Non-slip hangers are great. If you go to www.hsn.com and search for "huggable hangers," you will find excellent Joy Mangano hanger sets at a great price.
Also consider purchasing a system for storing your shoes and handbags that works with your space. There are several ways to do so. I suggest you check out www.containerstore.com. (You can always store them under your bed.) There was also a helpful article in Good Housekeeping about "DIY Closet Organizers."
Now, let’s take stock of and purge your closet so you will have even more to wear!
First, set up 5 locations (using marked boxes and a bag for trash): Maybe/Alter/Donate/Sell/Trash. Keeps will be left on the bed.
Next, start removing everything from your closet (clothes, shoes, boots, hats, scarves, handbags – the whole kit and caboodle) and put each item in one of the 6 places after checking for size, rips, stains, style, likeability, and how long it’s been since you’ve worn it.
So now that you have weeded things out and categorized them:
Assess your Keeps.
Clean the shelves and floor. Put in any organizing items you have purchased.
Now it’s time to rehang your Keeps in your nicely-cleaned closet on brand new hangers that will protect your clothing!
There are a couple of ways to hang them: According to item type = all jeans together, all blouses together, all suits together, all slacks together, etc.
According to occasion = casual/work/date night/dressy. Once hung, sort according to color (e.g., all the reds together). Doing so will make finding things, as well as re-hanging them, quicker.
Certain items belong in the dresser: t-shirts, lingerie, socks, gym clothes, sweaters, tank tops, and pajamas. When it comes to sweaters, they keep their shape better if folded. If they must be hung, be sure to use padded hangers. Fold t-shirts and tank tops according to the KonMari method to save space and avoid wrinkles. (There are many Marie Kondo videos on YouTube.)
You can and should wear an article more than once if it’s still clean and fresh. It’s actually better for the garment, which will last longer and stay white longer. You can freshen jackets, wool skirts, sweaters, etc. by using one of the dryer "dry cleaning" kits.
TRICK: Are your clothes wrinkled? Put them in a low heat dryer with a damp cloth for about 5 minutes and the wrinkles will fall out. Then shake, hang, and wear.
Scarves – There are special hangers for scarves if you wish to hang them. They can be found at The Dollar Store. Or simply fold them neatly and place them in a pretty basket on one of the shelves of your closet.
Hats and gloves can also be stored on a shelf.
Coats and outer garments should be kept separate and hopefully you have a coat closet.
If you have seasonal clothes, you may need to separate the closet according to seasons. Ideally, you can pack and store them elsewhere when not in use.
Suggestion: Follow the 1-in-1-out rule, meaning if you purchase a new item, an old one needs to go. This will keep you from re-stuffing your closet.
Some people like to turn hangers when an item has been worn. At the end of 6 months or a year, take a long hard look at the unturned hangers (untouched items). Time to go?
Now comes the fun part! Did you find things you forgot you had? It’s like shopping in your own closet! Consider matching different pieces together. Add a piece of jewelry or a scarf and you have a new outfit! Maybe make a few inexpensive purchases to add some style or trendiness. You can get rid of one part of an outfit but keep the rest (e.g., suit jackets). Use your imagination and fashion sense; be creative!
WANT TO MAKE IT EASIER TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE ON WORK MORNINGS?
On Sunday night, put together 5 work outfits. (Check for spots, loose hems, missing buttons, etc.) Hang accompanying jewelry or scarves with each outfit (you can put jewelry in a plastic grocery bag and hang it on the hanger). Put the appropriate shoes/boots underneath. And each morning, VOILA! Just pick one and go!
When all else fails, perhaps you need a wardrobe consultation and/or closet organization by a professional. Many Professional Organizers offer this service.
Good luck on your journey! Let me know if I can help!