Is it taking you longer than you want to get ready in the morning? Is it impossible to find what you’re looking for in your closet? Have an abundance of “stuff”? As a closet designer and professional organizer I’ve seen it all, but I can honestly tell you that cleaning out your closet and having less stuff in general will improve your everyday life. It is so important to create an inspiring space where you want to get dressed every morning and that makes you feel good. Let’s clean out your closet together!
Step 1: Create a vision board of your style. You can create a physical one and hang it in your closet or room or create one on Pinterest. It’s important to figure out what your style is before you start the process of cleaning out your closet to know what you should keep and what you should toss. Pin outfits that inspire you and that you would feel confortable wearing.
Step 2: Take everything out of your closet and try everything on. This is critical. You need to try everything on and ask yourself does this item fit with the style I am trying to achieve? At the same time make sure the items you are going to keep are clean and have no damage. Now is a good time to bring stuff to the tailor or dry cleaner. Make sure everything in your closet is in ready to wear condition.
Step 3: Everything that does not fit with the style you are trying to achieve needs to go into one of the following piles: Donate, Sell or Toss. Now what should you do with the items in the donate and sell piles?
Donate: You can take your clothes to the local goodwill, salvation army or whatever charity you choose. Another fantastic idea is to take it to your local chapter of Dress for Success.
Sell: Having a hard time getting rid of that designer dress you spent a fortune on and never wore? Sell it! Depending on what you are trying to sell, many options are available to you. Recently, I went through the whole process of cleaning out my closet and split my items between Thread Up and The Real Real. Thread up sends you a great cleanup bag that you fill up with all your clothes and accessories and mail back to them. The Real Real will mail you a consignment kit which includes prepaid postage to their office. I recently sent a Michael Kors collection bag in for consignment. I will post a review once my bag has sold. Thread Up works a little different. You send in the bag full of your stuff and then they go through it and decide what they want to keep and will pay you for it. Any items they don’t want you can decide to have them returned to you or simply have them donated. I will review Thread Up at a later date as well.
Step 4: Take the time to clean your closet, wipe down all the surfaces, drawers and vacuum/sweep the floor. Make sure you have a set of matching hangers ready and start putting your clothes away. Matching hangers will help streamline the look of your closet and make it look more like a boutique. Everyone organizes their clothes differently, but here’s how I organize mine. I have a section for dresses, for pants, for skirts, for shirts and for sweaters. Everything else goes in the drawers. In each section, I organize from lightest to darkest and within each colour from the shortest sleeve to the longest sleeve. Example: In my shirt section, my shirts are organized from white all the way to black. In the white section, it goes from tank tops all the way to long-sleeved blouses. This is a tip I learnt while merchandising for a luxury brand.
Step 5: Maintain, Maintain, Maintain! The number one tip I have is to always put things back where they belong. At the end of the day put your clothes in a hamper or hang them back up and put them in their spot if they’re still clean.
When you decide to clean out your closet, make sure you plan to have adequate time. I suggest taking some time on a weekend. Once you go through the process and really take the time to figure out your personal style, it will be easy to keep your closet organized.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any other tips for organizing your closet or if you tried my 5 step process!