Give Your Closet (And Image) A Fresh Start

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Quick & Easy Spring Organizing Tips to Help You Declutter and Get the Most Out of Your Wardrobe

Yes, it’s that time of year again -- the time where we bring our warm weather clothes out of hibernation. But, have you ever looked at your spring and summer wardrobe only to realize there were a few pieces you haven’t been missing or weren’t excited to wear? If so, it could mean it’s time for a closet overhaul. Organizing your closet can be a daunting task. Where do you even begin? Never fear -- we’ve rounded up some tips to help get you started, and to keep things neat and organized in the future.

 Take Inventory and Assign Categories

Even the most organized amongst us often forget what’s in our closets. Set time aside to go through every individual piece of clothing, shoes, and accessories. Start with the bulky stuff first, since that takes up the most space. Ask yourself: Have I worn this in the past year or two? Does this fit me, or do I like the way this looks on my body? Think about the pieces you tend to gravitate toward and work around those. Toss anything that was an impulse buy, hasn’t been worn, or even stuff you’re just sick of looking at. You don’t owe these items any favors -- if they’re not serving you, it’s time to eliminate them. Remember: If you clear out the old, you make room for new! It actually can be a breath of fresh air to have less clutter in your closet, as more choices can sometimes be overwhelming. You will be amazed at how good you feel when it’s all done.

If you know someone less fortunate who could use your clothes, or a great organization to donate to, such as your local women’s shelter or Dress for Success, set items aside that could be reused. If there are more expensive items that might have resale value, make a category for items to take to a consignment shop. It may seem like a chore, but it’s surprising how things add up! Your earnings can be put towards buying new and better pieces.

                    clear shoe box   fold-shirts-1slimline hanger

Implement Proper Tools and Organizational Techniques

The key to keeping things neat is having the right equipment. Avoid items that are overly bulky (ie. wooden hangers), and aim to keep things as uniform as possible. The less visual clutter you have, the easier it will be to see -- and use -- every item you own.

  • Buy uniform hangers. The slimline hangers work great for both shirts and pants. They are non-slip and space saving.

  • Fold knits to avoid stretching. Folding your knit items will ensure that they keep their shape.

  • Categorize by type and style. For example, separate sweaters by category: cardigans, pullovers, cashmere, lightweight. The same can be done with pants: jeans, printed pants, dress pants, and so forth. When clothing is in piles (let’s take a pile of white t-shirts for example) keep the tags visible and facing out towards you. This way, the tag will be a visual reminder of what shirt or pant it is, so you won’t have to unfold each one.

  • If you’re dealing with limited space, hang multiple items on one hanger. Categorize items by type when doing this. This works especially well for dresses or button down shirts. Need a sleeveless dress with a floral print? They’re already all together. In addition, if your closet space is limited but you have extra shelf storage, see what can be folded. Jeans and heavier pants can be taken off hangers and put in piles, but dress pants should always be hung up.

  • When you buy shoes, keep the boxes. This makes shoes a lot easier to stack and to find. Most shoe boxes have a picture of the shoe on the outside, so you already know what’s in the box! Thrown out most of your boxes already? Clear shoe boxes, which can be bought at any organizational store (like The Container Store) work just as well and stack easily.

  • Keep your most accessed pieces accessible. With the change of seasons, bring the spring items to the forefront so that they are easily visible. Half the time, if something isn’t in your line of vision, you’ll probably forget to wear it.

Happy spring cleaning! If you have any organizational questions or tips, feel free to post on the Sociology of Style forum.

Carrie-Bradshaw-closet

One of the most famous closets in pop culture. Don't try to compete with it.