The days are finally getting a bit longer and brighter after the winter and you may be feeling like so many others – ready for a fresh new start to welcome the warmer weather of Spring. You’re also likely feeling that natural inclination we all have to give your home a good clean and to organize yourself in preparation. If your closet is fit to bursting and you can’t find your favourite blue sweater or your perfect flats that go with everything, it may be time to give your closet a bit of a clearout for Spring.
Today, I’m sharing a number of ways you could tackle organizing your closet. You may wish to allow a few hours spread out over a couple of weeks or you may want to dedicate a weekend but whatever you do, it is entirely possible to finally have a wardrobe and closet that works for you! Here’s how…
Start with an Edit
If you haven’t worn something in the last 12 months, it’s probably time to sell it, recycle it or give it to charity. Start with all the clothing that you wear regularly. The items that still fit you well and that are not worn out, missing buttons or have holes or stains. Once you sort through your whole closet, you’ll probably be surprised that this is normally only about 20% (or less) of your enitre wardrobe!
For the other 80%, you’ll want to create four piles: Keep, Sell, Charity and Recycle.
I would recommend leaving some time for yourself to actually try on everything in your closet and see if you could still see yourself wearing it. Do you have at least 3 other things that you can wear it with? Will you wear it in the next week or month? Do you have an event coming up to wear it? If you still love it and have just forgotten about it and can answer ‘yes’ to these questions, sort these into a ‘keep’ pile. This will likely only be about 10-20% of the pile.
Do you have name-brand or high-quality clothing that you no longer wear or no longer fits? If it’s still in good condition, consider making a bit of money selling it on an online auction site, Craigslist, a local Facebook group or a garage sale.
If it’s not worth much but is still in good condition with no visible wear or stains but you haven’t worn it in 6 months to a year, put it into a pile for charity (and remember to actually drop it off!).
For items that are too far gone to fix, are worn out or are no longer fit for wear, these will go in the recycle pile. Before throwing anything out, look for charitable organisations that could use these items regardless of their condition. Animal shelters may use old items for bedding or there may be organisations that will recycle old clothing.
Organize Clothing by Type and then by Color
Once you have your favorite items in one place and more room in your closet to boot, you’ll want to organize the items. The best method is “like with like”. So all your shirts or blouses, pants and trousers, dresses, party wear, jeans, jumpers, underwear, long coats, long dresses, skirts, etc should all be grouped accordingly.
Once they are grouped together, consider mimicking what you see in high-end boutiques by organizing each group by color, starting from lightest colors to darkest and group multi-colored prints together as well.
Use suitable hangers
While matching hangers are certainly not a prerequisite for an organized closet, you may find you’re more likely to put everything back in its place if aesthetically, everything works together. If you are short on space, then consider using slim felt hangers for shirts and blouses as they won’t slip off and don’t take up much room in your closet. For heavier coats, consider wood hangers. For trousers and skirts, consider hangers with clips.
What to hang: blouses, dress shirts, blazers, dress pants, skirts and dresses, anything silk, anything linen, anything leather
What to fold: sweaters and knitwear, tee-shirts and tank tops, jeans and leggings, underwear and pyjamas
Ideas for Shoe Organising
You may want to invest in shoe racks or a shelving system for those shoes you wear on a daily basis. For everything else, use clear shoe boxes to keep dust from settling on them. Knee-high and over the knee boots should have inserts or shapers in them to keep them upright so that the boot doesn’t get worn out at the ankle.
Divide and Conquer Your Drawers
In your dresser or storage drawers, store items you use the most often on the top drawers to make them easier to access. Items like underwear or jeans which are accessed weekly or daily should be at the top with things like bulky winter sweaters which aren’t used as often stored at the bottom.
For smaller items like jewellery, socks and underwear, consider drawer dividers that will keep everything tidy and in its own place so you aren’t digging around trying to find a matching pair of socks every morning!