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Recently I did a series on creating a capsule wardrobe and you can read about how to do that here, but I also understand that a capsule wardrobe is not for everyone. I know that I gave you the ground rules for the organization challenge, but I want to stress the first rule, you have to pull EVERYTHING out. Seriously. Everything. You need to look at every piece of clothing, every pair of shoes, accessories, scarves, coats, anything that’s in your closet. Now the real fun begins….
- Trash the items that are stained or damaged.
Let’s be honest, if you haven’t repaired it by now, you probably won’t. If it’s stained, you deserve to treat yourself better. Only keep the stained stuff if you use it specifically to do things like painting or activities that you know will be really messy. Other than that, those items need to go.
- Goal clothing
It’s great to have goals if you’re aiming to get back to a certain weight. HOWEVER, most likely you will want to treat yourself for your accomplishments. Or like what happened to me, the goal clothing was really out of style. Keep your absolute favorites, but donate the rest.
- Set a timer for 15 minutes
The remaining items divide them up quickly into the categories: love, hate, and maybe. Look at each item and make a quick decision about how you feel. The love items, set them aside. The hate items, get them out of the space. Now it’s time to tackle the “maybe” pile.
- Maybe yes, maybe no
Have you worn the item in the past year? If not, it’s probably time to go. What about it makes it stay in this gray area? Put how much it cost or who gave it to you aside. If those are the only reason’s you’re keeping it, remember this is YOUR closet. Getting rid of the item doesn’t get rid of the person or the memory.Try it on, do you like how it fits? Does it coordinate with anything in your love pile? If not, it needs to go. This would be a great time to try on your love pile too. If it doesn’t fit properly, it may need to go as well. Even if you have gone through all of your maybe pile and you still have a good number of them, keep them.
After you have gone through every item that you own, let’s take a look at your space. Unless you customized your closet, you may have what was there when you moved in. Depending on the age of your home, will greatly depend on the size of your closet. Older homes typically don’t have large closets because during that time, people just didn’t have a lot of clothes. All that means is that you’re going to need to be creative with your space.
First things first, your hangers. Having the same kind of hanger will help your space look more uniformed. I highly recommend velvet hangers like these.
I switched to these hangers and instantly gave myself more space and my stuff actually stayed on the hangers!
The other suggestion I have, is when you hang everything back into your closet, turn the items the wrong way in your closet. When you wear the items after you’ve laundered them, you hang them back the right way. Instantly you can see what you haven’t worn at a glance. At the end of a season, anything left still facing the wrong way, you need to have a serious conversation about why they are still existing in your space.
If you have only one hanging bar, add a secondary bar to double up your space.
I know that we’re going to talk about kids closets next, but I wanted to show you how just adding the hanging bar, I instantly freed up space at the top of the closet, got items off the floor of the closet, and I doubled the hanging space.
There are closet systems out there that range in price and of course you can pick something dependent on your needs. You can go as simple as a system clips to your existing closet, or juice it up a little more with a pre-made closet system. Or even start completely over with a custom closet, but set aside some money because it’s not going to be cheap.
With shoes you can have standard shelving or you can splurge on clear shoe boxes if you want to protect your shoes.
Don’t forget about your accessories and this little number that can hang on the back of your closet door AND serves as a mirror! You know how I love multifunctional furnishings.
The good news is there are tons of products out there to help you really maximize your space. Don’t forget the back of your closet doors or to use the space going up. But remember, you have to reduce your items before you even think about buying anything new.
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