Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Organizing Week: Clothes Storage

I always feel like I either don't have enough clothing, but when I go into my closet, I am astonished by how much I DO have. I think in comparison to most girls, I really don't have a whole lot, but that is because I actually wear everything in my closet and I work hard to keep it pared down. I have a very small armoire set up to work with. So today, I thought I would discuss how I manage to keep all of my clothing organized.

1. Hang as much as possible
It is so much easier to paw through your clothing if it is hanging and I find folded clothing piles ALWAYS get messy.

2. Sort your clothing by "type".

I know a lot of people like to colour coordinate their closets, but I honestly don't see the point. I can clearly see all the colours in this closet, so it won't be hard pressed to find a colour I want. I find it easier to organize by clothing type. For instance, in the above photo, the top shelf has a pile of skirts and a pile of work pants. Then hanging I have sleeveless dress tops, dress tops and nice t-shirts, button downs, long sleeved button downs, cardigans, work dresses, and dresses. And a Cleopatra costume. haha.  This way I can find the item I need in an instant because I know where it will be within a few shirts.

3. Organize your accessories for easy access
I am a lover of belts. It is a serious problem. I originally bought this over-the-door hanger for the inside of the armoire door, but it didn't fit with the shelf at the top (d'oh) so I screwed it into the bottom of the shelf and voila! belt storage! I used to keep all my belts in a box, but it got out of hand too often so I switched to hanging them. It is a lot easier to keep clean and it is easier to access now.

4. Fold, fold, fold
Of course there will be items that cannot be hung and you have to fold. I honestly I have to refold this part of the armoire once a month, but there are a few tricks to keeping it neat. I try to make two skinny piles of clothing by folding shirts in half lengthwise first. I also keep the items I like more at the top so I am less likely to disturb the pile when picking something out. These shelves are also organized by type- sweaters at top, casual shirt under that, then tank tops, jeans and short, work out clothing, sweat pants and white pants (I don't trust my white pants to stack with dark wash jeans), and hoodies. I keep my housecoat inside the door so that I can quickly grab it when I get out of bed, but it is still hidden from sight.

5. Organize your underroos.

I use drawer sorters from Ikea to keep socks, underwear, and bras separate. They live in the small dresser on the right of the above photo. That is also where I keep pajamas. I find that it is easy to find what I want if it isn't all jumbled together and everything fits way better now.


I cannot stress this one enough. Trust me when I say "YOU DO NOT NEED EVERYTHING IN YOUR CLOSET". Even I could probably toss half this stuff and barely miss it. Do not keep clothing that is too small because you plan on losing the weight. Honestly, if you DO manage to lose that 10 lbs, wouldn't you rather buy a NEW, celebratory shirt? I would say keep no more than one motivation outfit and be honest about the chances of you fitting into it again. The same goes for sentimental clothing. Getting rid of these clothes won't take away the memory so be selective about what gets to take up precious closet real estate.

7. Shop carefully

I only buy an item of clothing if I LOVE it. That is my rule. I don't buy things just because they are on sale or it is "ok" because it will honestly sit in my closet and never get worn. I love probably 90% of the things in my closet and I wear them often, because of this rule. You don't need 50 shirts if you only wear your 5 favourites over and over.

You probably have three categories of clothing: work, casual, fancy. Some people can dress more casual for their jobs, so perhaps they can combine those two. You have to be honest with yourself when shopping for clothing. For instance, I only wear jeans on weekends because I don't usually change if I am going out after work. So I only only 4 pairs of jeans. And I consider that a LOT! I also try to buy shirts that can go from work to casual easily.

Shopping carefully will save you money over time- trust me on this one. Yes, you may occasionally splurge on a staple item for your wardrobe, but you won't be spending hundreds of dollars at sales for items that just gather dust. Also, if you keep your closet clean you are more likely to start buying what you NEED and not wasting money on impulse purchases. Once I started making a list before a big shopping trip to the outlet mall, my overall spending plummeted. There are only 7 days in a week, so do I really need 20 t-shirts, no matter how awesome they are?

So that is how I manage to stay so stylish while having such a small closet :P

The only two things that I think revolutionized my life when it came to organizing my closet are the two Ps: Purge and Plan. Be selective about what STAYS in your closet and then be selective with what ENTERS your closet. If you keep that in mind, your closet will be more about quality than quantity.

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