Around this time last year, we were moving into our new house. In preparation for the move, I decided to deep clean and thoroughly organize my closet. As a pro (and a con) of my job, I have a TON of clothes, and sometimes, it’s easy to let them get out of control. During last year’s purge, I learned a few tips and tricks for cleaning and organizing my closet. I thought I would share that advice with you, as well as a few items that make the process easier.
How to Organize Your Closets
Have you heard of Marie Kondo? Her method is a game-changer. She has you take everything out of your closet and drawers and then go through them one by one. Ask yourself if each piece sparks joy, and if not, it goes in the giveaway, donate, or sell pile. Once you go through all your clothes and get rid of all the stuff you don’t wear, and that doesn’t spark joy, you can start to rebuild your wardrobe into one you will love to wear.
I took her method and then tweaked it to fit my lifestyle and closet. Since this can be a loooong process, depending on the amount of clothing that you own, I recommend doing this when you have a good bit of time to spend. You don’t want to be rushed. The doldrums of winter is a great time to start this project, and once spring weather hits, you’ll be glad that you did.
Step 1: Empty Out Your Closet
You need to begin the process by taking everything out of your closet and starting over with only things that you truly love. Removing anything that is damaged, out of style, or didn’t fit well, is a good start, but I found that I was overlooking or saving things for “just in case.” This is why I recommend removing everything and evaluating every single piece.
Step 2: Try Everything On
Try on anything you haven’t worn recently. I have lots of jeans that I haven’t worn in a while, clothing that are for events, and items that I love and am keeping just in case I lose weight. Try everything on, and if it doesn’t fit, then it doesn’t need to go back in the closet. That is a huge waste of closet space!
Step 3: Sort Each Item into Four Piles
It can be hard to decide what to do with all of the clothes, so I suggest putting them in 4 piles.
- LOVE IT: If it fits and you love it and could see yourself wearing it right now, then hang it back in your closet.
- MAYBE: These are all the items that might be off for many reasons. Maybe it is the fit, the color washes you out, or someone gave it to you, and you hate to get rid of it. Put it in a box and store it. If you don’t find yourself wanting it before the end of the season, it’s time to donate it and let someone else enjoy it.
- HATE IT: These are the donate or sell items. If it makes you feel better, you can use the proceeds to fund a new wardrobe.
- SEASONAL: If it’s not in season, but you LOVE IT, and it fits, then put it in a box and store it so you can add it to your wardrobe when the proper season rolls around.
I realize not everyone has seasonal wardrobes, and that is fine. If you prefer to keep all of your clothes in your closet all year round, go for it. I do like to keep my summer tanks and some summer tops in my closet all year round since I can wear them under sweaters and cardigans. However, I recommend putting away things that are not in season and that you won’t be wearing for several months. It’s so much easier to get dressed when you’ve reduced your closet to only truly viable options.
It may seem wasteful to give away perfectly good clothing, and some people have a hard time with the purging process, but I look at it this way. It’s not a waste if it blesses someone who needs it.
Step 4: Assess what’s left in your closet
After the initial purge, you may want to live with your clothes for a little while before shopping for new pieces. You will want to see what works and what items you are missing before you start to rebuild your new wardrobe.
Shop for any items you need to complete your wardrobe. Make a list and shop intentionally.
Look at your lifestyle and take it into account. Maybe you work from home now, or are retired and so you need less workwear. Maybe you go to a lot of functions for a charity or your church and therefore need some dressier items.
Step 5: Organize!
After your purge, you need to organize what’s left so you can find everything with ease when you go to put an outfit together. I’m including some of the organizational tools I picked up to help keep my closet straight and tidy.
Items I Use to Organize My Closet:
While I was going through my clothing, I also took the time to access my hangers. Some were broken, some were plastic, and some were the ones that came from the store when I purchased the item. I decided to buy new hangers, so everything looked neater, and I love the velvet kind since they don’t make pucker marks on your clothing. I bought hangers for tops and dresses, and hangers with clips for pants, shorts, and skirts.
2. Clear Shelf Dividers
I ran across the issue of the shelves starting to look disheveled once the clothing is pulled in and out, so I ordered these clear shelf dividers to keep everything in its place. I love these since they are sturdy and I use them to organize my handbags since some don’t stand upright on their own.
I have a lot of shoes, and our new house didn’t have any built-in shoe storage, so I ordered these. They are alright, and they do work. But, I’m still looking for a better solution since they didn’t provide the amount of storage I need.
This hanging organizer that you place onto a clothes hanger is the perfect way to keep your collection of ball caps neat and organized. Joe doesn’t wear a lot of baseball caps, but he does have a lot of golf hats, so this is perfect.
5. Storage Containers, 6 Pack
If you live in a place with four seasons and have a lot of seasonal clothing, these bins are wonderful for storing your sweaters in the summer and your sundresses and swimsuits throughout the winter. I like how you can see what is inside each bin, and how your clothing, etc., doesn’t get dusty.
If you’ve ever had an underwear drawer, you know how quickly it can turn into a giant mess! Keep your undergarment drawer organized using these fabric storage bins.
The best way to keep your closet tidy and organized is to make sure everything has a place, and that includes your belts. I love this belt organizer, and it’s under $6!
If you have limited shoe storage like I do, you need to grab a pack of these under-the-bed shoe organizers for your seasonal shoes. I keep all of my sandals out of my closet in the winter, and I store all of my boots during the hot summer weather.
I love displaying my favorite purses on a shelf, but if you have a handbag addiction and change out your bag often as I do, this hanging purse organizer is great!
Shop More Closet Organization:
Let me know if you are going to clean and organize your closet this year.
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