Life is messy. Your closet doesn’t have to be. Trust me, I’ve been there. There was the time I couldn’t find a shoe (black, patent, open toe) for six months. Not a pair of shoes, just one shoe, the right side. Did I mention this shoe was brand new? Never worn. Yup. It eventually showed up; when I moved.
So, lets get organized. First things, first, put your credit card away. Before you buy any organization systems, shoe boxes, baskets or other closet paraphernalia, you must clean out your closet, get rid of the “baggage”. Set up several bags or boxes for sorting. My boxes are (1) donate (2) sell (3) alteration (4) gift (5) toss (6) return. Go thru every single item in your closet, piece by piece. If this overhaul is long overdue, I would take everything out, I like to use my bed as a staging area.
Try each item on. Look in the mirror, front, side and back view (think 360 degree mirror time from What Not To Wear). If you never wear it and it’s not flattering, put it in a box. If it doesn’t fit, toss it in a box, especially if it hasn’t fit for longer than one or two years. If you must, set up one more box to save. (confession: I have two boxes in storage right now, one is labeled size 4 and the other size 2, but that’s a whole other story). If it has huge shoulder pads, is a Casual Corner purple polyester suit circa 1988 and could’ve been worn by Joan Cusack in Working Girl, box it. If the tags are still on it and it’s been over a month, that’s right, return box. If you haven’t worn it by now, you aren’t that excited about it.
Traps of temptation….be strong:
-Multiples, we tend to buy the same thing again and again. If you have ten black pants but only wear four, consider letting the others go. It’s likely that the other pairs aren’t comfortable or don’t do your booty any favors.
-Designer or expensive pieces. Unless it’s truly a special collector’s piece, don’t hang on to something just because it was expensive.
-Inspiration pieces (aka skinny jeans). I held onto a bikini that I used to wear when I was 15 well into my 30s. True story.
-Pieces that were once your favorite, but have since become outdated, don’t fit or are worn out.
-Emotional attachments, that dress you wore on your first date with your significant other? Take a picture, it’ll last longer.
-Clothes from your past life. If you no longer wear business attire at your current job, do you really need to keep a closet full of pumps and suit jackets? Select a few items that you love for those random events that come up but pare the rest down.
Items you’re keeping go back in the closet. Now you’re in a much better position to determine what you need to organize your closet.
Stay tuned for part 2, next week.