Organizing Your Closet

Do you have an overflowing, stuffed to the brim, cluttered closet? These are my tips for keeping my closet organized.

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General Rules of Thumb

  1. Know what you have. Take inventory regularly.
  2. Put things away so that your future self will thank you. In other words, don’t put things away in places that are hard to access (ex: Hard to reach shelves, stuffed into overfull drawer, etc.)
  3. Spend 5 minutes every day putting things where they belong. (*But FIRST, do a big purge!)

STAGE 1

  • Make sure you have a lot of available uncluttered floor space.
  • Put ALL of the clothing you own on the floor. You are taking inventory. (*Collect the clothing that may be scattered around your house as well – this should be comprehensive.)
  • Put everything into categories (distinct piles on the floor).

Category Examples:

  • socks (you could sort by summer, winter, athletic, etc.)
  • workout clothes (tops, bottoms, sports bras, etc.)
  • sleepwear
  • tops (tanks, tees, long sleeve, etc.)
  • dresses (formal vs. casual, or by season)
  • bottoms (jeans, shorts, dress pants, etc.)
  • sweaters (hoodies, cardigans, etc.)
  • accessories (belts, scarves, etc.)
  • shoes (sorted by style)

The goal is to very clearly see everything you own for each type of clothing, and have everything organized by its function.

STAGE 2

  • Get 3 big bags or boxes. Label: 1) Throw out, 2) Donate, 3) Purgatory *Purgatory is an in-between place for things you aren’t ready to get rid of, but know you probably don’t need anymore. I recommend keeping your purgatory bag/box somewhere out of sight, and if you don’t go looking for an item after 6 months, donate it.
  • Everything else goes in the “Definitely Keep” pile, to be put back in your closet/dresser.

STAGE 3

  • Go through each pile you’ve created. BE RUTHLESS. Here are some things to think about when deciding what goes and what stays:
    • When is the last time I wore this?
    • When I get dressed, do I always choose other items over this one?
    • Do I have another version of this that is in better shape, or is better quality?
    • Does this item still feel like “me”?
    • Do I feel happy when I look at it?

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STAGE 4

  • Hopefully now you have decluttered your closet/dresser in a major way, and have a better sense of all the things you own. The next step is putting it all back in with a system you can maintain.
  • Consider the space you have. Do you have any shelves or drawers to work with? It is ideal to have distinct drawers, or drawer/shelf dividers and/or baskets, so you can keep items sorted in their categories.
    • I use 4 cheap collapsible fabric baskets from Target for my pyjamas, workout clothes, hoodies/sweats, and misc. items. My dresser has 4 drawers: 1) underwear/bras (I use a divider), 2) socks/tights, bathing suits (divider), 3) pants, 4) tops that don’t need to be hung up.
  • You don’t want any drawer to be stuffed to the brim – it needs to be easy to see everything you have, and easy to put your things away.
  • Start by putting your favorite things back first.  As you go along, hold items you aren’t sure about against the ones you truly love and see if they measure up. Don’t settle – remind yourself, “I am worth having things that make me feel good.”
  • Once you have reduced your wardrobe to the things you actually wear/need, and are able to see everything you own, you need to establish a PARTICULAR place for everything. ESTABLISHING THE SYSTEM IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. This is what makes maintaining the system possible. It needs to be easy for you to put things back where they go.

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I hope these are helpful suggestions.  If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you!

One thought on “Organizing Your Closet

  1. Taking an inventory will definitely be in my decluttering process. I was shocked the first time I took an inventory and had over 150 items of clothing. Definitely don’t need 24 tshirts.

    Like

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