My friend called me the other day in a panic.
“Listen, Ada, I need your help. I have this entire closet full of clothes yet I’m wearing my yoga pants every day. I feel overwhelmed and end up wearing the same thing. I just feel like I’ve lost my style.”
I totally understood her pain.
I’ve been there myself. I had to commit to a strategy to keep my closet organized so getting ready in the morning would only take a few minutes before my sleepy and whinny children would come in and need my full attention. I was determined to clean out my closet in the beginning of each season (4 times a year). And with this strategy it takes me no more than two hours to love my wardrobe again.
Here are a few tips before you get started:
- My advice is to pull things out in sections. I’ve heard gurus suggest to pull everything out of your closet at once. However, I prefer to organize in segments to make small progress and not feel overwhelmed. And in case you have to switch gears, because your kid needs your attention, you haven’t left a huge mess behind.
- I’ve said this before but focus on the process and not perfection. I don’t wait to have these free 2 hours of magical time in my week to clean my closet (that might never happen with two small kids). Instead, I tell myself I’ll be happy with any progress I make. Even it’s clearing out one drawer or 3 outfits I piece together. It’s the progress that counts! Not perfection!
- Keep in mind the end goal. You want to minimize what you have in your closet so you love your wardrobe again! Think about when you pack for a trip and pre-plan your outfits. It takes you less than 2 minutes to get dressed, right? So, that’s the idea here.
- And last but not least… put on your favorite Pandora station and have at it!
Okay…so now let’s pull up our sleeves (no pun intended) and get to it!
1. Get rid of stuff!
I dump out all the clothes from a drawer on my bed and start trying things on quickly. I’m not talking about a runway show, “Sex in the City” style…I’m talking quick.
Questions I ask myself:
– Does it fit? Yes or no
…but really, does it fit your current body shape and size? – Yes or no
– Is it still in fashion? – Yes or no
– If I were shopping right now – would I buy this again? – Yes or no
Answered no? Put it in a separate pile. And I know some people (me included) are attached to their clothes and think – maybe I’ll wear it one day. Or maybe the fashion trend will come back around. Well…if that’s the case, put it in a pile and you can store it away in a bin under your bed or garage but NOT back in your closet.
Ever since I started organizing my clothing by color it’s saved me hours. I use clothing as a self-expression and to reflect my mood at the time. Sometimes I feel like wearing black, other days blue, maybe white. So I like to have everything organized by color for a quick pick and outfit matching separates.
3. Pre-plan outfits.
I have a section in my closet that I reserve for pre-planned outfits and I don’t organize them Monday thru Friday because again, I dress for my mood and of course weather. But I like to have these as backups when I’m on auto-piolet.
I also take this time to reflect and figure out if there are any other separates I need for my closet that will complete my outfits and what accessories I can add to make more wardrobe more versatile. I personally opt for less apparel and more accessories. They take up less room and allow for more personalization and creativity in my outfits (and I feel they tell a better story). I make a list and the next time I’m shopping, I fill in my wardrobe. Only this time…I have a smaller more refined closet that reflects my personal style and body type.
There you have it! This process is simple but very effective and it doesn’t have to take you all day. If you’re focused it will take you no more than 2 hours.
If you’re curious what to wear for your body type – sign up for our exclusive video on how to dress for your body type.
And leave comment if you enjoyed this article or share with us your closet organization tips.