The 5 Step Closet Organization Guide
1. The Cleanout
There are several ways on how to start.
I like to go by sections. When I have an hour to spare, I take out one section of my closet (for example dresses) and purge it. It is not as overwhelming.
You don’t need to tackle everything at once - take your time.
Clothing that doesn´t fit or look good on you, that you don´t need any longer and will most likely never wear again needs to go.
2. Changing your Mindset
Nobody really likes to point it out, but a distressed T-shirt was (maybe) cool when you were a student but now you have a job and deal with clients and attend meetings.
Your life changes and your closet needs to adapt to your lifestyle.
Shopping according to your lifestyle and resisting on buying things that you just will not use is a major game changer.
Invest your money in items of quality that will last and serve their purpose.
I know it is easier said than done. We are tempted all the time to buy things that we want but don´t need. We all have been through this, but it is time to change.
Take a look at the things that you purged in the first step. Are there clothes that you have worn only once or never? Why did you by them? Did they fit your lifestyle? I am sure they didn´t and you bought them with an event in mind that never happened.
Changing your mindset about shopping and clothes is a very important step to maintain a closet that works.
It is January and you are keeping a bikini on hand? Unless you are going to St. Barths next week (good for you) it has nothing to do there.
Why don´t you free this space up and use it for more important items or even better just leave it empty?
It really works for me to keep off-season items stored under my bed and in the upper part of my closet. Try to use vacuum storage bags, cute boxes or basket.
You can also take pictures of the clothes you are storing so you always know what is where.
It seems extra work, but it will pay out in the long run. You will be able to find things easier, plus you will never buy something that you already own.
Believe me, after some months you kind of forget what is in those bags and boxes and the photos will refresh your memory.
4. Hanging and Folding
The way you “style” your closet is as equally as important as the decluttering process.
After the first three steps, you should be ready to tackle your essential wardrobe. Everything that you love, need and that gets good use needs to be organized inside your closet.
If you can´t find the right piece of clothes at the right time you will most likely never wear it!
My preferred way to organize my clothes is by hanging them first by type and then by color. Thin metal hangers are the best because they don´t take up a lot of space! If you have limited hanging space only hang dresses, blouses, and jackets - plus things that grease easily. Depending on the fabric of each item you need to decide what is best for it.
For example, a delicate silk blouse needs to hang so it won´t grease. Yoga pants can be folded.
Please don´t hang knits, they will stretch out!
Folding clothes is a very personal thing. Some prefer to fold t-shirts in tiny bundles and put them vertically in drawers, which if you have not much space is a great solution. I tried it and for me, there is just too much greasing. I prefer to fold them in wider sections, stack them on top of each other and put them on shelves.
There is no rule of thumb that applies to everybody and every piece of clothes. You need to try different methods in order to know what works for you and your closet space.
5. Sell, Donate and Trash
Now that your closet is neatly organized, I am sure you are full of energy to tackle the purged items. For me, it makes sense to do the full circle until getting rid of the “purge pile”.
It closes the chapter on the closet detox and gives you time to reflect on your shopping habits.
Divide into recycled bags or boxes items that:
- you can sell online or in a local thrift store
- you can donate
- you can recycle (old t-shirts cut in squares make great cleaning cloth)
- you need to throw in the trash because they don´t fit in the other categories.