October 20th 2017
They should really change the phrase from “Bull in a china shop” to “Jessica in a clothing store”
My closet is a black hole. Things go in and they never come out and when I look into the deep swirling vortex of patterns, materials, cuts, styles, etc, I found myself at a loss of what to wear and simply gravitating to whatever is the most simple. This is how the closet problem started.
I would buy a new item, shove it to the front of my closet, wear it to death, and lose sight of anything else beside the new item and essentially wear the same outfit every day for a month. This cycle would repeat itself until one day I had a closet full of clothes all shoved to the back, never seeing the light of day.
I know I can’t be the only person with this problem, so I figured I would write about it as a way to help fellow members of Closet Stuffers Anonymous break bad habits and empty out their overflowing closets…and drawers…and any other places you could think to shove clothes.
- So my first step to a clean and organized closet is to empty you closet entirely. I know this is the step where laziness kicks in and all you want to do is lay in the pile of clothes and cry because it can be overwhelming, but seeing the closet as a clean slate is super important so you can work towards returning it to a neat and tidy state.
- Next remove any floating hangers. If a hanger doesn’t have a garment on it, take it out. It is just taking up space and it doesn’t need to be there. When I cleaned my closet out, I found more hangers than there were clothes. Another bonus tip with hangers is that I recommend the thin fuzzy ones because not only are they no slip, they are also super slim!
- Once all of the extra hangers are out of the way, see what you’re working with. Go through each item one by one and take a good look at it. Are there stains? Holes? Does it fit? When was the last time you wore it? How many outfits does it go with? If you haven’t worn it recently, what is stopping you from doing so? Answer these questions to figure out what is worth keeping. The last question is actually one of the more important ones because you could not even realize you haven’t worn something or it may be for special occasions or a good theme party piece or costume piece, in which case it is okay to keep as long as you know an occasion will come up to warrant keeping it.
- Now that you’ve figured out what pieces are worth keeping, it is time to organize everything and put it all back. There are many different ways to organize a closet, but I am going to tell you my personal best way. I organize my closet first by garment and then by season. So the way my closet is built, parts of the rod are behind a wall and a bit harder to get to, so that is where I keep out of season garments. So for example, my entire right side of the closet is dresses and rompers. I put the Spring and Summer dresses and rompers in the back because, unless I plan to go away, I won’t be getting any use out of them in the LI Fall and Winter. I do this will all my garments and occasionally organize by color if a section warrants it.
- After you’ve successfully cleaned your closet, there are a few things you need to know about maintaining it. First, you have to do closet check ups at least twice a year. Essentially repeat the process that you just did again twice a year to make sure you aren’t hoarding things that you can’t seem to convince yourself to let go of. Next, I suggest you keep all the hangers from garments you have worn in a week in the center of the closet. This will keep you from stock piling too many empty hangers. Lastly, shop smarter. If you find that you got rid of 10 striped t-shirts and kept 4, maybe getting another striped t-shirt would be a bad idea. Shop for things you know you don’t have already, will wear, and have things to pair with it. This will keep you from making good-intentioned purchases with poor execution.
So now onto drawers, I am going to keep this one brief because I feel like a lot of the same steps apply but here are some tips for drawers:
- Fold, don’t throw- When you’re feeling lazy, it happens far too often that you find yourself crumpling up your t-shirts and shoving them into an overstuffed drawer. By taking time out to fold properly, shirts become easier to find, less wrinkled, and take up less space.
- Cycle from top to bottom- If you find that you keep grabbing the same garments over and over just because they are on top, cycle them around. Give some different clothes a chance to shine.
I really hope this helped someone, because this stuff definitely helped me overcome my black hole and made my closet a more inviting and happy place.