I live in New York. I have a small closet. I love to shop. I have over 300 pairs of shoes. I need help.
Over the last few months (possibly year) I have been undergoing a HUGE spring cleaning. The goal is to create a closet that contains lots of amazing pieces but is also nice to look at. Previously I wrote about my new shopping rules and as a result I thought it would be time to work on some closet organization rules.
(1) Spring Cleaning should happen at least 4 times a year
Every year I tell myself I am going to clean out my closet each season and every year I am extremely overwhelmed by the task because I put it off month after month. DH is always saying that if you clean a little bit everyday it will not be so over whelming and I am sad to admit that he is absolutely right. If you clean out your closet at least 4 times a year it will become more manageable. You wont end up with piles of crap that you forgot you had and you will be excited to get dressed in the morning.
(2) Start with a clean slate
The best way to clean out your closet is to just take everything out and start from scratch. The pile of clothes on your bed may seem like a natural disaster came through your house but it is so much easier to organize everything when you are working with a clean slate. Once you empty out your closet think about what you like and do not like about your closet. You may want to consider getting extra closet rods , hooks, bins or other items that will assist you with staying organized.
(3) Keep, Donate, Purge
This is the hard part. Trying to decide what will go back into the closet can be a difficult task. Especially if you are one of those people that has a hard time getting rid of stuff. As I go through my closet I try to be as realistic as possible. If I have not worn an item in over 2 years it is time to donate it. If an item has been sitting in the "repair me" bin for over a year then it is time to purge it. If an item doesn't fit then it MUST be donated. If you do not want to donate it because you paid a ton of money for it then consider consigning it or selling it on ebay. You will most likely get some cash that you can use to buy something that you will wear because it fits. Finally if you come to find out that you have 11 pairs of black skinny jeans decide which two are your favorite and donate the rest. Also think about all the room you will have for your future purchases.
(4) Make your closet inviting
Clothing stores are designed to make people want to buy. This is done by strategically placing items in certain locations in the store as well as organizing items by color and purpose. If you apply the same kind of reasoning to your closet you would be more likely to shop your closet and less likely to spend money on things you already own. First think about the items that you use most often. If you wear business attire 5 days of a week it will make the most sense to place your business attire in the most accessible area of your closet. Sorting by color and type is also very helpful. Having all your dress shirts together will make them easier to find. Sorting by color is also great because it will help you recreate some of the outfits that you see in fashion magazines or on your favorite fashion blogs. This will also prevent you from ending up with 10 pairs of black skinny jeans.
This is always the hardest part. You spend countless hours creating a wonderfully organized closet. Only to have the disaster reappear. First thing you want to do is follow the 1 in 1 out rule. This means if you buy 1 shirt then you should donate 1 shirt. If you buy a pair of shoes then you should donate a pair of shoes. You are basically just replacing a new item for an old item and this will prevent you from over crowding your closet. Second, keep empty hangers in one place. When you take an item off an hanger move that hanger to a designated spot with all the empty hangers. This will make it easier to find the empty hangers when putting your clothes away and will prevent you from just tossing things onto the floor and shutting the door. Finally always keep in mind that everything has a home. You spent time and money installing fancy hooks for your belts and organizing your shoes in clear plastic boxes complete with pictures. Put stuff back where you found it. Otherwise you will have a pile of shoes next to a pile of empty boxes taking up a lot of space.
What are your goals for 2013? Do you have any tips or go tos for keeping your closet organized?