Stylish and Neat


An organized closet is a blessing from God… or something like that! Sure, we would all love to have giant Oprah closets , with different shoes for every day, but I don’t think I know a soul who can do that. For us mere mortals, I have a little bit of advice on how to sort clothing and make your closet a place where you’re inspired to create something new. Even fashion fiends need some inspiration from time to time.
I just moved and I’m kicking myself for letting my closet get out of control!
A lot of closet organization starts before the actual organizing begins. First and foremost, you have to get rid of things to make room for everything you REALLY love. Sometimes doing this first step is enough for you to be inspired for the whole project. This might take some time, so find a block of time somewhere and keep up! You’re going to be happy you did! Let’s do this one together…
Purging first!
1) Get four bins, garbage bags, whatever… something that you won’t throw away. Label these bins, Yes, No and Never. The fourth bin can be labeled Maybe… but hold off on putting anything in there just yet.
2) The Yes bin has one purpose and one purpose only: hold the clothing from your closet and dresser that you are 100%, truly, surely, amazingly happy with. The clothing in this bin fits, is current (current meaning not painted sweatshirts. It doesn’t have to be out of the pages of Vogue), you love, you wear all the time and is your very favorite.
3) The No bin is anything that you normally would say, “Well, it would be great if…” or “I like it, but…” These outfits and items will never be perfect. Also, if you haven’t worn something in more than a year, reconsider owning it. The No bin will eventually find its way to the Salvation Army or another charity, so don’t worry that you are saving it from a fate worse than death.
4) Aaaah… the Never bin. This is for items that can never be resurrected. Torn, faded (irreparably), stained, whatever you wouldn’t give to a dog you liked. These go in the garbage. In fact, why don’t you make this bin a garbage bag to start with?? Some things should go in here for style reasons… but then I’ve always been a bit of a snob… ; )
5) The Maybe bin. This has a very special purpose. For everything in the Yes bin, you must be ruthless and put in the No or Never bins if it’s not your favorite. In normal circumstances, items shouldn’t go in the Maybe bin. Like, “Maybe if I lose weight…” or “Maybe someday…” Nope! Maybe is for things that are your very favorite, but might need some loving care. Dry cleaning can go in the Maybe pile. Stain sticking your favorite t-shirt is good for the Maybe/laundry pile. Things that you can easily repair, like a small dropped hem or a button missing… Maybe bin. But these MUST be items that will quickly be returned to the Yes bin.
Let’s be ruthless about this ladies! This will make the next steps more fun and easier.
This comes straight from Real Simple and I couldn’t agree more:
  • Organize hanging garments by type and color. Blouses, for example, can be sorted first by sleeve length and then by shade. By keeping like with like, options for a given outfit are clear at a glance.
  • Choose the right hanger. Your closet will look neater if you use just one type of hanger—wood, wire, or plastic.
  • Set up zones. A low rod holds tops and skirts; an eye-level pole, dresses; and a high bar, shirts and suits. A high shelf works fine for out-of-season shoes and sweaters.
  • Arrange folded items. Any clothing that will stretch out of shape should be folded over hangers. When organizing the folded clothing you’ll store on shelves, place heavier items at the bottom of the pile, and lighter ones at the top. After folding, arrange garments by function (workout tops together, business tops together, etc.) and color (white to nude to bright colors to black). If your closet doesn’t have shelves, consider using part of your clothing rod for hanging canvas ones.
  • Get a garment bag. A sturdy canvas garment bag protects fine suits, dresses, and jackets better than plastic. (Leather, in particular, is susceptible to drying and even cracking if kept in plastic.)
  • Deal with dry cleaning. Remove clothes from dry-cleaning bags as soon as you get home, and hang your clothes on proper hangers. Return the wire hangers to the dry cleaner for reuse.
  • Manage odds and ends. Store bags, belts, ties, scarves, and other accessories in plain sight on hooks or racks, which can be attached to the inside of your closet door.
  • Contain what doesn’t hang. Use containers—consider a matching set of baskets—to hold accessories and clothing that can’t be hung, such as socks and undergarments. Smaller baskets or boxes can store a single type of accessory, such as scarves or hats.
  • Pick a system for storing shoes. Choose between a shoe rack on the floor, a hanging shoe organizer, see-through plastic boxes, or original shoe boxes with photographs stapled to them to identify the boxes’ contents. Stow shoes you don’t wear frequently in labeled plastic boxes on a high shelf, in another closet, or under your bed.
Let’s call this a good start. And a great little checklist to work your way through.
The next step is my very favorite: find one or two inexpensive new items, ones that you absolutely love, maybe from a new store, and add them to your spanking new closet. This will inspire you to mix and match new things out of your old.
I was just at Forever 21 this weekend and found a cute silky white blouse for $12 and a long, stylish sweater for $20. They’re in my closet now and I’m just dying to find things to mix and match them with. Places like Target have all sorts of cute things too. If money is a little tighter, take your “No pile” to Plato’s Closet, Buffalo Exchange or another consignment shop and use the money they give you to buy one or two little new things to cheer up your closet. After all, it’s been working hard too! ; )
One last idea that is fun for deciding new outfits out of your new closet. Take five hangers and hang index cards off of them labeled Monday through Friday. Put five totally different outfits on them. If you don’t have enough outfits for five totally different days, put a note on the index card “jeans from Monday,” but don’t wear the exact same outfit two days in a row. You would be AMAZED at the cute outfits you can put together from this. And it will make you think of your wardrobe in all new ways.
Hope this post has at least inspired you a little to make changes in your wardrobe just like you make changes in your house and kitchen. Stay cute!

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