Archive for January 13th, 2011

January 13, 2011

Resolution Solution #3 – Freshen Up Your Closet…Here’s Where to Start!

Freshen up your closet – Now while it would be cool if we could all take this to mean “go buy some new clothes”, what I was really thinking was about organizing what I already have and freshening up the overall closet itself.  Apparently I am not the only one with sprucing up closets on my mind, as I recently got the following query:

I have been trying to organize my closet, but I don’t know the best way to do it. I have heard that people organize by color, but does that mean you mix winter long sleeves with summer clothes and casual with dressy?  What about sweaters?  And what about work out clothes (some are nice ones that are intended for lounging and others are meant to sweat in).  I would appreciate any tips that you have.  My closet is driving me crazy. 

OOOOOoooohhhhh what a GREAT question!!!!   Being ever-so-slightly OCD and someone who LOVES organizing all things, most especially clothes, I could write a complete book on this subject.  But let’s start with overall organization of your closet. 

My approach is to set up your closet for total ease of use.  When you go into your closet you need to be able to quickly get what you are looking for and also see everything you forget you have and should get out.  You want to let your clothes have maximum utilization and you want them to talk to you and inspire you – if you can see them, you can wear them!

Organize your closet the way you think about dressing – you are usually looking for a specific type of item such as a pair of shoes, or you are getting dressed and are assembling an outfit.  When you are getting dressed you will be thinking….  I am doing X, the weather is Y, so… I want to start with this piece…now a bottom with it (type, color) or a top to go with it (type, color), shoes – type, color, accessories.  With that thought process in mind I organize closets by type of clothing, and then sub-categorize as needed to make the whole getting dressed activity easier.

An easy place to start is with the obvious focused-use categories.  Suggested categories you may have in this area:

  • Evening wear – garments that are ONLY appropriate for going out, like formal gowns and cocktail dresses
  • Serious Working Out – this is the stuff you mean to sweat in
  • Fancy Lounging – this is where nice lounging stuff lives (more on why this should have its own section in later posts!)
  • Coats and other outerwear that isn’t fitness related
  • Beach – Bathing suits and cover ups
  • Other special categories: In my friends’ closets this may include ski wear, sailing clothes, golf togs, and I even have a friend who is a professional musician and her orchestra clothes have their own section.

Put the items you use least in the areas of your closet that you get to least or is least accessible. 

Once the broad categories are organized then focus on the “for everything” clothes.  Sort these by type and then color.  I use big categories such as Tops and then sort them by sub category – l/s tees s/s tees, blouses, etc and THEN by color.  For folks who live in climates with definite seasons it works best to segregate the definitely cold weather items from the definitely warm weather pieces and put the off-season items in the less accessible section of your closet or store them elsewhere. The items that are used year-round stay put through the seasons.  

There is a whole art and approach to a really great closet set up, but establishing a good working system is the key.  An organized closet makes getting dressed so much easier and it feels simply terrific to open those doors and see everything neatly where it needs to be.  

More on Closet Love in future posts.

%d bloggers like this: