Beauty. Fashion. Food. Lifestyle.

Monday, May 6, 2019

21 Closet Organizing Tips

One of my goals for 2019 was to share with you, how I organize my closet. It only takes me ONE (FULL) DAY to do so. It wasn't always like that! It use to take me three days. That's how many clothes I use to have. My closet used to be filled to the max with the current season, while the other season was neatly packed in bins. I got tired of hauling storage bins and changing my closet every season. Something had to change. My inspiration to change were fashion bloggers who encouraged others to pare down their closet and Marie Kondo. I'm happy to say, I now have more hangers than clothes. One tip from Marie Kondo, was to visualize the closet you want. I would LOVE Mariah Carey's closet (a full room), but the important thing is to visualize for the space you have (large/small). I hope my tips help you.

1. How is your closet designed? For years, I had a closet that had a rod in the front and a rod in the back. I always enjoyed the front rod, because it was easy to get to my clothes. I would lose track of the clothing on the back rod or things would get jumbled. I had a chance to remodel my home and decided to change things up. I wanted a closet that would hold both my Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter clothing. I wanted my clothes to be easily accessible. Instead of going front & back again, I decided to go up & down. My home has really high ceilings. I decided to use that space (which also created a narrower and more streamlined closet). I had the carpenters install a bottom & top rod. I keep my Spring/Summer clothes on the bottom rod and Fall/Winter clothing on the top rod. I no longer have to change out my closet (clothes) every season (no more keeping clothes in bins). I can see everything I have and everything is accessible. This style closet also keeps everything organized, because I barely use anything on the top rod. This style of closet is not for everyone. You must keep your clothes to a minimum. You must purchase a "clothes reach pole hook" (I purchased mine from eBay) to retrieve clothing from the top rod. In New Orleans, it rarely gets cold (so I hardly use clothes on the top rod (maybe four months out the year) 2.Visualize your closet as a boutique. When I was in college, I loved shopping at boutique stores. Why? They weren't overwhelming. There was a limited amount of clothing on a rack. You could easily see things. It was relaxing. When I started blogging and heard about creating a capsule wardrobe, my eyes lit up. Its definitely a goal of mine (or to come close). When I open my closet doors, I want to pick out an outfit...put it on...and feel great walking out the door. Organizing your closet will give you that confidence. If you're constantly questioning, if an outfit looks good on you, something is not right. Most likely that outfit shouldn't be in your closet.  3. Invest in uniform hangers. I actually purchased the ones you see below on eBay. I purchased a box of them at a much better price, than a bed & bath or organizing store. They make your closet and clothes look better. Now lets start...

4. As Marie Kondo suggests, pull everything out of your closet and place it into a pile. I actually make two piles on my bed! One side is Spring/Summer clothing. The other side is Fall/Winter apparel. I also create a third pile on the floor for all of my coats & jackets. I find it easier to sort through each season individually. If you feel overwhelmed by placing everything in one room, put the other piles in another room (as you work on one season at a time). 5. Try on everything! I rolled my eyes, when Marie Kondo suggested this in her book. I clean out my closet twice a year. How can things change? Your weight can change. I've gone down 3 sizes since blogging. Your style can change. I've learned so much about fashion & styling, since blogging. What I liked 10-20 years ago, is not the same today. My style is totally different. Also, clothes hung on a hanger may look differently on you! Try each outfit on. Look in the mirror. Be honest with yourself. How does it look? Do you feel comfortable in it? Do you feel excited about wearing it? Do you want to wear it? If so, put it back in your closet. If not, donate or sell it. 6. Is it in good condition? White clothing can turn over time. Tears can occur. Buttons loosen. Evaluate the condition of an outfit.

Do you have a penchant for certain things? Mine are food-themed pajamas, pretty robes and cute tshirts. I keep these to a minimum (I limit myself to 5-6 of each, which takes up less than 10% of my closet space). 7. Hang penchant items in your closet, instead of folding them. Keep them in the corner nook of your closet (as shown below). 8. Re-purpose clothing. Do you see the black dress I'm wearing in the picture with a tag? It's a knit. It's too short to wear out, so I pair it with black leggings. I wear it around the house to retrieve my Shipt order or do light gardening etc.

9. Arrangement of clothes. I organize the clothes in my closet from short to long. Lets start from long (right side of my closet) and go to short (left side of my closet). That brings me to my next category...PANTS. Try on those pants. Do they fit? Do they look good on you? Do you love them? If so, keep them. If not, donate or throw them away. 10. Create outfits. When I purchase a bottom (such as a pair of pants), I also think about what top I'm going to wear with it (what looks good with it). I use to have a closet  where I would hang up all of my pants and then all of my tops. It got to be a big mess! I would question what top would look good with what bottom. When I'm ready to go somewhere, I don't want to think about it. I make sure each bottom has a top (outfit). When I pull that hanger, I know that top looks great with those jeans or trousers. Consider pairing your clothes. Pairing clothes makes your closet look neater.

11. Expect your style to change. This usually happens every 5-10 years. I'm currently in a "I-love-dresses" phase. What's your best asset? Mine are my legs. I love wearing dresses with cute sandals. They flatter my figure and look good on me. I got rid of a lot of skirts. Do you see that lonely one hanging there? I couldn't understand it, because I use to love skirts. However, when I looked at the skirts on the floor to be donated, they were all full skirts. That style no longer looks good on me. The more streamline the skirt, the more flattering for my figure. Pencil skirts look great on me. I use to like and get caught up with what looked good on ANOTHER person...I would buy it (and it just didn't look the same). I wasted so much money. So that brings me to... 12. Understanding and being honest with YOUR body type. I'm tall and busty, so I avoid a lot of prints on top. I have to pay attention to necklines. I love crew, envelope-neck and scoop necklines. I prefer 3/4 and long sleeve tops. These are subtle things, but they make a difference in how one looks in an outfit. Outfit yourself in what makes you look good...what flatters YOU.

13. Do you love neutrals or color? I'm a neutral girl. My wardrobe is a sea of black, navy and taupes. Why? They look good on me. They pair well together. I can mix n match them with no problem. When I travel, I don't have to bring many shoes, because a couple of pair will go with several outfits. I live on the East Coast (we love our neutrals LOL). But I do have some color in my closet! You need to have color in your closet. Let me tell you what I learned through blogging! If you're not big on color, pair a neutral with a color. See those yellow shorts below? I paired a navy top with them. It makes it a lot more palatable for me. I always get compliments. So I pair my colors with neutrals. I'm finished with the bottom (Spring/Summer) rack! It only took up 1/2 of my closet. 14. Think of your closet as your computer's hard drive. It only has so much space!!!  Fill it (your closet) with important stuff and resist buying extra stuff. Take that money and use it for a trip, movie or dinner. 15. Think of your closet as an Oscar Closet. Only what YOU consider THE BEST should be in it. NO ROOM for second or third place items. It's valuable space!

Fall & Winter. 16. I limit my active-wear apparel (personal choice, everyone is different). I don't need a closet full of these outfits. I love them for walking, running errands and the weekend. So I limit them to 10% of my closet.

17. Keep holiday themed clothing minimal. I only have these three things. I usually pair the Twinkle and Sparkle sweater with a blazer. I get compliments on the silver sweater every New Years (but I think next year I will have to let it go because its getting old). I purchased the navy french-inspired sweater a year ago. It's so pretty. It has miniature croissants, eiffel towers, cups of coffee (cafe au lait) etc on it. These kind of things shouldn't consume your closet.

18. While assessing outfits, also assess shoes & handbags (make a list). When looking at outfits, I also think about what shoes I will wear with that outfit. Also what handbags I will pair with it. This is a great time to asses what you have, and note what you need (and what you don't need). My wardrobe consists of a lot of neutrals and solids. I've learned to spice things up with shoes, handbags and makeup. 19. Can clothing be salvaged, by taking it to a tailor? Give it a try! I purchased a  camel suit below. I dropped a size. So when I went back to purchase it in the correct size, the pants were there but the jacket was sold out. It's just one size too big, so I'm taking it to a tailor.

20. Try on your jackets, rain jackets and winter coats at least once a year! Let me share a funny story. It doesn't get cold in New Orleans very often. I was invited to a movie premiere, and it turned bitter cold. I needed to wear a coat. Twice a year, when I cleaned out my closet I would try on all of my clothes. I never tried on my coats. Remember the weight lost? My coats were too big. LOL Not sloppy big, but they were too big. So I put on a big turtleneck, wore one of the coats and made due. It taught me a valuable lesson. Also, send coats etc to the cleaners.

21. Shoe storage. I hate shoe boxes. They tear...get musty...fall apart...don't look uniformed. I had my contractor, build a column alongside my closet for shoes & handbags. I purchased these clear plastic shoe containers to fit my shoes. Just like my closet I used a vertical method, since I have high ceilings. I didn't want to add anymore width to my closet, so this was the best option. If I didn't use these containers, I could fit about three shoes on each shelf. But with these containers, I can fit four shoes on each shelf. Plus, the containers get the dust and the shoes don't.

After my closet clean-out, I ended up with two piles of clothes. I only had to throw away five items. I have about two bags to sell on eBay. Whatever doesn't sell, I donate. Its a far cry from years past when I would throw out bags of clothes or donate bags of clothes. I really think about things I'm going to purchase now. I visualize myself wearing them (I mainly shop online). I look for longevity. I believe in classic pieces. I only purchase things I love. My weight has settled since last year, so I'm not afraid to incorporate more into my wardrobe. I believe in buying only a couple of pieces each year now. I hope my tips give you some ideas and encourage you. Any questions, feel free to ask me on Twitter. Here are some more visuals of my bedroom (here and here). One day, I will do a full video tour. I also want to catalog me wearing my outfits on Pinterest with an Amazon Echo Look. Maybe next year. It would be a great goal.
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