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National Clean Out Your Closet Week With Our 5 Steps to Organizing

Photo of Woman Organizing Clothing

The Marie Kondo movement has many people organizing their clothing.  If you tried Marie’s konmari approach and it didn’t spark the joy you were hoping for, or you didn’t complete the task, here is a different method – 5 Steps to an Organized Closet:

Step 1:  STRATEGIZE

Set the purpose of the closet space to contain ONLY clothing.

Set aside anything that isn’t clothing and relocate those items to a new place after you have organized your closet.

Step 2:  PRIORITIZE

  • Take everything out of your closet, EVERYTHING.
  • Go through all of your clothing. The first step to establishing an efficient closet is taking stock and clearing out unworn inventory. Here’s the reality: Most of us only wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time.
  • Try on anything that you are not sure fits or even looks good on you. Ditch anything that:
    • needs repair or has stains—if you haven’t taken care of it by now you are not going to
    • you can’t remember the last time you wore it
    • you would not purchase today
    • is not suitable for your current lifestyle
    • does not fit, feel great, and does not make you look fabulous
  • Group what is left by clothing type; all dress pants together, jeans, skirts, dresses, jackets, cardigans, blouses, tee shirts/pullover tops, sweaters, undergarments, shoes, belts, ties, scarves, hats, handbags, and jewelry.
  • Within each of those groups sort by color. Reexamine what you have.  Do you need five black t-shirts?  Do you need 15 pairs of blue jeans?  Do you wear all five t-shirts and all 15 blue jeans?  If not, keep only the ones you wear and love.
  • Think about what colors look best on you. Is your closet a rainbow of colors?  If it is, you have too much.  Narrow down your wardrobe to a palette of colors include 2-3 neutrals (cream, grey, navy) and 2-3 pops of color (coral, green, blue).
  • Think about patterns. Does your wardrobe have every pattern imaginable?  If yes, you have too much.  Narrow it down to a floral pattern—one that suits your body type, and a geometrical pattern such as stripes or polka dots—again one that suits your body type. 

Step 3:  LOCALIZE

NEVER SAY I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR AGAIN!

Once you are ready to put everything back in your closet, how you localize your clothing is the key to helping you never say, “I have nothing to wear again.”

BY CLOTHING TYPE 
  • One approach, probably the most common approach to organizing your clothing in a closet, is to place all of your tops, jackets, and dresses on the upper row and all of your pants, shorts, and skirts on the bottom row. Just like your body; tops on the upper half, bottoms on the lower half.  If you have one single rod in your closet, you can add rod extenders for very little money and doubling the space!
  • On the upper rod hang all dresses in one area, followed by jackets, cardigans, long-sleeved tops, short-sleeved tops, sleeveless tops.
  • On the lower rod place all dress pants, followed by casual pants, shorts, and skirts.
  • Within each type of clothing sort by color, light to dark (White, tan, pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, brown, grey, black.)
  • Organizing your clothing using this approach would include all seasons of clothing in each grouping. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to see my summer shorts in the dead of winter.  But, I also don’t have a lot of storage space to store them other than in my closet.
BY SEASON AND CLOTHING TYPE 

Another way would be to separate spring/summer clothing from fall/winter clothing. This approach is similar to the popular capsule wardrobe that is splashing Pinterest!

  • If it is spring/summer time, place all of your spring/summer clothing on the upper rod and all fall/winter clothing on the lower rod.
  • This places the clothing you will be wearing at eye level.
  • When the season changes, flip your clothing.
BY OUTFITS
  • The last approach I can suggest, and the one that can help many with, “I have nothing to wear,” is to create outfits with your clothing and hanging an entire outfit together.
  • Or, if you don’t want to organize your clothing by outfits, but like the idea of outfits, take a picture of the outfit that includes the shoes, jewelry, scarf, handbag, etc. to wear with the outfit and keep pictures digitally on your phone/tablet or in a photo book that you store in your closet.
  • This approach can limit the use of each clothing item.  To remedy this, once a month put together new outfits and take more pictures!

Step 4:  CONTAINERIZE

Now for the fun part, putting it all back in your closet.  If your current closet system is not working for you because your clothes are all crammed in that when you pull out one hanger five more come with it than it might be worth the investment to install a different system or use products that can help maximize your current system.

CLOSET SYSTEM UPGRADE 
  • Many organizing product stores and home improvement stores have their line of closet systems and can help you design a system that will maximize your space.
  • You will need to provide the measurements of your closet, and they require precise measurements.
ACCESSORIZE YOUR CLOSET

Step 5:  MAXIMIZE

  • Keep a bag or bin in your closet to place clothing you discover you no longer want. When it is full take it for consignment or donation and place a new bag in your closet.  This will keep you from returning clothing that you won’t wear again back into your closet.
  • Rotate your clothing seasonally so you are selecting only from what you will wear.
  • Let go of anything you haven’t worn in a year.

If it seems too overwhelming to tackle organizing your clothing and closet on your own, contact us we LOVE to organize clothing and design functional closets!

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