Styling and organizing are two of my favorite things. Going into a person's closet, giving advice on what pieces are worthy of keeping, helping shop for new ones, and then rearranging it all...this is just my idea of a really fun time. <----nerd alert
I don’t have a history of having any dream closets, that’s for sure. In Berkeley, our closet was nicknamed the “cloffice” because Jeff literally had his desk, computer, and workspace IN our closet. We joked about it constantly, but it was the reality of bay-area-small-living and trying to make-do. He’d say, do you mind not throwing your panties on my computer please? And then we’d just die laughing.
Thankfully for Jeff, we moved into our new house in Portland a few months ago, and finally have a more spacious closet (and he has his own office, lol). The master bedroom closet is still a challenge for us to keep organized, but having more space definitely helps it look less crammed. I know that all closets are shaped and sized differently, so you have to do what works best for you…but here’s what I’ve learned through living with closets of all different sizes.
1. Go through your closet quarterly to remove items you don't wear often, and that you don't love anymore.
One of my favorite place to buy clothes is Poshmark. But most people sell their clothes here, because it's so quick and easy! You don't have to worry about me spending too much time scrolling on IG...my guilty habit is scrolling through people's closets on Poshmark. It's like ebay, for clothes. Most of the time I've bought items brand new, they come within two days, and I get an amazing deal. So if you're into making some money for your clothes to lessen the blow of the big purge, take a quick pic and list it on the app. It's super quick and easy. (Confession: I haven't sold on here, only bought :).
You can also donate to Goodwill, St. Vincent's, your local school, Salvation Army, etc. They will give you a receipt, which you can take home and itemize on a program online called Its Deductible. My accountant can then add it as a deduction on our yearly taxes. Honestly I sometimes think you get more $$ this way, rather than selling clothes and it's less time spent.
2. Hang your clothes according to color, from light to dark.
It seems silly but after you do it, you'll see why it's so awesome. From left to right you can sort by tank tops, t-shirts, and then long-sleeved shirts. Within each of these three categories, I sort by color.
3. Keep the hangers consistent, whenever possible.
At Costco, you can get 70 no-slip black velvet hangers for $19.99. Wood hangers always look great IMO, but are more expensive and take up more room too. At Ikea, they sell an 8-pack of wood hangers for $4.99. These also come in black and white - oh my I swear someone made these just for me.
4. If you’re someone who has the tendency to collect clothes....then follow this: One thing comes in, one thing comes out.
Pretty self-explanatory, and this won't apply to those of you who do capsule wardrobes and/or are already very good at getting rid of clothes regularly. But for most of us, who buy random shit just because it's on sale and don't even really like it, have like 26 v-neck t-shirts (most of which are unfolded on the floor or crammed in a drawer), some pilly sweaters from college, a dozen mismatched socks with holes....when we finallllllllllly clean out our closet and make it perfect, we need a motto to live by so it stays that way.
Also, if you're really into this idea of purging your closet and or simplifying your belongings, read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I know this book has been truly transforming for several people I know. The author promises that if you properly declutter your home once by determining which of your belongings actually "spark joy", you shouldn't have to declutter it again. It's such a good read!
5. Only bring in items you truly love!
Think about how much you like that new sweater before you buy it just because it's on sale, because it'll mean tossing one out thats currently in your closet. This technique greatly reduces the build-up of clothes-we-don't-wear in the closet.
In my 20s I bought way too many clothes I didn't love. Now I don't have much time to just meander and shop for clothes, so I feel like I'm better at only buying the pieces I really love and that fit me well. I'm also more particular...which I suppose comes with age, as most of us know.
Group like-items together.
In these baskets on our closet shelf, I keep swimsuits, bras and undies, and socks.
We hang extra shoes on the back of the closet door, on one of these space-saving racks. I bet most people don't even see it if they come into our closet.
Dresses are together, shirts are together, and then pants are folded on a shelf, right above sweaters that are also folded. Another shelf is work-out pants, and there is also one for shorts.
I won't blame you if this just seems crazy overwhelming to you. I decided to blog about this because one of the questions I get asked about most is getting/keeping a closet organized. I think the answer is simplifying it from the beginning, and I just want to scream it from the rooftops because it truly can be possible for anyone.
And lastly, if you are someone who just needs a jump start and a kick to get yourself going, send me an email. I love organization pep-talks, and/or reorganizing homes of all shapes and sizes!