Thursday, March 29, 2012

organizing your closet.

Over the past couple of months I've been busy helping a few of my besties organize their closets. That's right, California Closets doesn't have anything on this girl. After the third (and hands-down the largest) closet makeover that took place this past weekend, I've think I've grown knowledgeable enough to offer some tips for organizing and editing. Because admit it ladies, there's always room for improvement.

1. set a realistic goal
The keyword is realistic. Before diving into the chaos that is your closet, make sure you know exactly what you want to get out of the task. Are you looking to cut down your closet by half? Need to fit everything in one suitcase? Or are you just looking to remove things you haven't and will likely never wear again?

Whatever the goal, keep your eye on the prize and stick to it. No exceptions!

2. be brutally honest (or enlist a friend to help)
Cleaning out your closet shouldn't be used as an ego boost. Instead, use it as a tool to assess and edit. Have curves you've always planned to get rid of but haven't yet? Face the facts and remove all of the clothing you have to (or maybe can't) squeeze your booty into. Instead of hanging on to "old skinny clothes", create some space for potential "new skinny clothes" you can reward yourself with for future weight loss or toning successes. Don't look at editing as a way to deprive yourself. View it as a way to grow. It's cheesy I know, but true.

If you find yourself hanging on to everything and anything, think of your most honest friend and invite him/her over to help with the job. Prep yourself for the honesty and remember your friend is trying to help, not hurt.

my closet (half organized)

3. sort by style
It's important to assess what you have before making editing choices. Sort all clothing by style and review as a collection, not individually. For example, let's say you only have two short sleeved blouses. Instead of cutting either from your wardrobe, see what other clothing styles you have that can afford the editing.  Then, give yourself a number to hit based on your overall goal. Be sure to try on any questionable garments, paying attention to fit, versatility and frequency of use.

4. sort by color
For the larger collection of styles, sort by color. Assess the amount, using color as a motivator to make editing choices. For example, let's say you have one yellow sweater, 13 black ones and 4 patterned. If your goal for the closet cleansing is to reduce your wardrobe by 1/3 and your editing goal for this style of clothing is six, opt for removing 5 black and 1 patterned to maintain the original variety. Again, take a look at the group of same-colored pieces vs. looking at each individually.

5. organize by type
Once you've edited your entire closet, give yourself a pat on the back and a break for a cocktail. Then, get ready to organize. Try hanging like garments together, giving yourself the added benefit of scanning all options at once. For example, I organize my shirts by collar and sleeve length - sleeveless no collar first, sleeveless collared second, and so on. My BFF Jen organizes by type and then color for a better look of all the options. Think of how you pick out an outfit and arrange your wardrobe accordingly.

6. regularly update
After you've gotten everything organized, make it a personal goal to make sure things never get unorganized in there again. The more you pay attention to what goes in your closet, the less time you have to spend reorganizing it again and again. Depending on your overall goal for the cleanse in the first place, there are a few routes you can take to accomplish this:
  • enforce the one-in-one-out rule: If you have a tendency to over collect, force yourself to choose something to remove for every new garment you buy. This will help maintain the goal amount you gave yourself and put more focus on what you're buying vs. what you actually need.
  • review by the season: After the end of every season, review the season-specific items to see what you wore, wore out or didn't wear at all. Give yourself a mini goal and edit appropriately. Next, remind yourself of what you have for the upcoming season and figure out what you still might need. This will give you insight on what to purchase during any end of the season sales and focus your seasonal shopping just as much.
  • keep it clean: As soon as you eliminate a piece of clothing as an option, immediately put it back in its correct place. The sooner you act, the less chance you'll end up with a pile of clothes and having to put "organize my closet" back on your to-do list.
via tumblr

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