Have you ever seen the “Connection Lost” episode of Modern Family, where the whole show takes place via Claire’s computer? First of all, that show is absolutely hilarious. Second, during the episode, while talking via Facetime, Claire simultaneously peruses her Pinterest board entitled “Organization Porn.” This title epitomizes how I feel about organization. It’s a sickness, really. My friends and family always poke fun at my constant need to have things organized and in proper order. Which brings me to the inspiration for this post…
I feel the urge to clean out my closet every couple of months and last weekend I had the itch. Any time I do a clean out, I follow the same general steps which I’ve found to be very effective, so today I’m sharing how you can organize your closet in 4 easy steps.
1.) Remove everything from the space you are organizing
Starting with a blank canvas forces you to thoughtfully consider each item you plan to put back. I’ve found that if I don’t remove all of the items from the space first, it is much easier to pass over them and keep them, even if I don’t actually want/need/use them.
2.) Discard unused, unworn or unwanted items
I try to be very honest with myself during this phase, not allowing myself to keep anything because “I might wear it” for this or for that. I ask the following questions if I’m unsure about an item: (1) does it still fit? (2) does it look too worn? (3) do I feel confident in it? (4) is it still in fashion?
- One way to easily determine how recently you’ve worn an article of clothing is to turn all of the hangers backwards and specify a time frame (say, for example, one year or one season). This way, you can easily identify whether you’ve worn the item in the allotted time frame and discard items that you have not.
- I recommend trying each piece on and, if you’re unsure, taking a picture of yourself wearing the item. Trying it on can tell you right away if it fits or not. If you’re still on the fence, taking a photo and seeing yourself wearing the item on camera is a great way to make the final call.
- As you evaluate each piece, make piles for consignment/donation, alterations, and trash.
3.) Sort items as you put them back
Keep like items together in a way that makes sense to you personally. I store my clothes using an “open closet” concept on two portable clothing racks. I’ve recently sorted them so that all “work clothes” are on one rack and all “casual” and “formal” clothes are on the opposite rack. This makes getting ready in the morning easier because I’m not sorting through items I would never wear to work like, say, my leather mini skirt.
Each rack is then sorted by type (dresses, skirts, pants, tanks, short-sleeved tops, long-sleeved tops, blazers) and then by color. This system is what works for me. It might work better for you to sort by color and then type within each color. It’s totally a matter of preference; the idea is for you to determine what is easiest for you.
4.) Handle the “leftovers”
The items that you’ve identified for tailoring, consignment, or trash should be handled immediately. Keeping the extra clutter around will detract from your sense of accomplishment. I recommend finding a consignment shop in your area for clothes that are good quality and lightly worn. I take all of my clothes to a shop near my hometown, and they pay cash on the spot for any items they take off my hands. I find selling the clothes outright easier than actually consigning, even though the payoff is slightly less. I just do not have the patience to follow up on whether or not items have sold. Besides, the idea is to be getting rid of clothes, and waiting on consignment still leaves you attached to the items.
5.) Admire your handiwork
Take the time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and be proud of yourself. It’s a lot of work to be so productive and efficient! 🙂
As a side note, I was recommended the book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which I’m currently on the waitlist for at our local library. In the meantime, I’ve read several reviews (because I’m impatient) in attempts to get the key points.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
- Start with clothing
- Keep only items that spark joy
- Discard items thoughtfully and respectfully
- Complete the process quickly
I did try to apply these concepts as I was cleaning out this weekend, but I’m looking forward to reading the book in its entirety. Next time…
Thanks for reading–now get organizing! 🙂