As most of you know, we recently bought a house, and it is time to start moving my things a little at a time. It is crazy how much “stuff” you accumulate during 34 years of marriage. Joe and I have been living mostly in the Abingdon house lately, and he asked me, “are you even missing the things we’ve left behind?” I don’t think that I’m missing most of the things until I go back to Grundy and look around. Then, I see so much that I still want, and I get overwhelmed with the decisions.
So, I decided to start with my clothing. I have a TON of clothing, but not a ton of clothing that I wear all the time. Because I try to take photos of clothing that is still available online, I don’t show very many pieces of my clothing that I’ve had for years and still wear quite often. I decided to be ruthless as I start to pack up my clothing, you can do this too, even if you’re not moving.
If you prefer visual over reading, you can check out my YouTube video on this subject.
How long has it been since you gave your closet a once over?
Here is how you start the clean and organize your closet process. To do this correctly, you need to start by taking it all out and starting over with only things that you truly love. I don’t mean just removing a few things you haven’t worn in a few seasons; I mean to really be ruthless.
If you’ve ever watched any Marie Kondo videos, then you probably will understand where this is going. I always thought I should move things out at the end of every season and keep my closet up to date. But, according to Marie Kondo, I was doing it all wrong.
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.”
Marie Kondo’s method is a game-changer. I did her methods a couple of years ago for my drawers, and they are still in great shape. She has you take everything out of your closet and drawers — every single thing. And then go through them one by one, and ask yourself if each piece sparks joy. 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.
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.
How to Clean And Organize Your Closets
Step 1: Empty out your closet
Marie Kondo recommends that you take everything out, down to the bare walls. But, if time is an issue, don’t let that keep you from going through your closet. Break it down into sections, and do each section a day at a time. But, Do NOT skip taking everything out, even if it is only a section. The goal is to go through ALL of your clothing, including coats, jackets, and whatever is hanging in the laundry room or bathroom.
Step 2: Try it all 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 a lot of 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.
Many of our lifestyles have changed since COVID, and you may now work from home rather than the office, you retired, or you watch the grandchildren for your children. If so, you may not need so much workwear, and instead need more casual clothing. Be sure to take that into account.
Items I’ve ordered 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.
My new house doesn’t have the same closet space, but it has shelves. So, I’m learning to fold sweaters, sweatshirts, etc., and put them on the shelves instead of hanging them in my closet. But, I’ve run across the issue of the shelves starting to look disheveled once the clothing is pulled in and out. I just ordered these clear shelf dividers to keep everything in its place, and I am also going to use these in my armoire.
The other issue that I have with my new house, is a space for my shoes. We had a built-in shoe rack that Joe built in our laundry room that held a LOT of shoes. I am really going to miss that rack, and I am trying to figure out how to get more shoes in my closet. I’ve ordered these shoe stacker space savers that are supposed to allow you to fit more shoes in a limited amount of space.
Let me know if you are going to clean and organize your closet this year.
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