Obviously we all wish we had a gigantic, beautifully color coded closet like Bethenny Frankel’s in the image above and here. But the rest of the universe isn’t quite so lucky. For example, I live in Manhattan which means that I have to share one closet in the bedroom with my husband. I have one half and he has the other. I’ve improvised by also adding a huge dresser with 12 drawers so that all of my clothes can fit.
With such little space, it’s really important for me to keep it clean and organized so here are the rules that I follow at least once per quarter and that I go through with all of my clients when they hire me for a “closet clean out”.
1. Take it out
Take every piece of clothing out of your closet/dresser. This includes socks, belts, bags, and everything you can think of.
2. Pile it up
Put all of your clothes in one of three piles: Keep pile, get rid of pile, can’t decide pile. It’s going to look messy. Beware.
3. Organize the keeps
Put everything in the keep pile back into your closet so it’s out of the way. Organize it by category (all silk blouses hang together, all jeans are in one pile, all slacks in another pile, dresses go together too!). If you want to get really crazy, you can color code this as well so that when you’re looking for a blue dress or a red shirt, it’s really easy to find.
4. Think hard
Next we’ll tackle the “can’t decide” pile which is the hardest one to deal with. Go through the pile and think really hard about whether or not you need to keep each item. If you haven’t worn something in over a year, you probably aren’t going to wear it again. If it has sentimental value, keep it but otherwise ditch it. If something fits badly or has a hole in it, it’s time to move on and update! Get it out of there to make room for new pieces that make you feel beautiful. Seriously, do you need that dirty sock with a hole in it? I don’t think so! Divide this pile up into “keep” and “get rid of”. Add the “keeps” back into the closet.
5. Get rid of it
Take all of the clothes in the “get rid of” pile to Goodwill, sell it, or throw it out if it’s really messed up. I just discovered Fashion Project, which makes donating easy and rewards you with a Nordstrom gift card!
A few more tips
– Get slim velvet hangers so that you can fit more into small spaces. Match all of your hangers for a more pleasing aesthetic.
– Make a list of everything that you are missing in your wardrobe during this process. For example you might notice that you need something as simple as a brown belt or black blazer. Staples are key for your wardrobe so beef them up.
– Set a budget for the list above and buy everything on it when you can.
– Treating yourself is important, but these don’t have to be expensive. Stores like H&M, Zara, and Forever 21 have super cute and affordable lines right now!
So go ahead and try that this week and let me know how it goes by posting on Lemon Stripes’ Facebook wall.
I recently did this and brought 10 bags to the salvation army! I was so ready to clear things out and I feel so much better now! 🙂
Isn’t it the best feeling ever?
I love this, Julia! I seriously need some organization. You’re inspiring me to maybe tackle my closet/dresser problem this week!
As always, love your blog. 🙂
Good luck. Let me know how it goes, girl!
This post is perfect timing! I am starting a new job and taking a week off in between to get some things done that I have been wanting to do, and to try and relax. Cleaning out my closet and dresser is #1 on my list. I will be applying your steps next week! I will let you know how it goes! 🙂
Yipee! You will feel so good I promise.
Love these ideas! I recently did my spring cleaning, but my wardrobe still needs a bit more cleaning!
Excellent ideas! I share a regular closet with a roommate, so dreams of the closet above is obviously on my mind! But these tips are so helpful for downsizing, thanks!
That’s tough to share with a roomie. I’ve been there though, I feel you!
why wouldn’t it be easier to put outfits together in closet?? just thinking outside the box