It is officially spring! That means that this is the last of my “Spring Refresh” installment. The snow here in Denver is starting to melt off and the sun has come back out to play. I, on the other hand, have been spending the last few days seriously editing my closet in preparation for spring. I love being organized. Unfortunately my INJF personality causes me to be simultaneously organized and messy in various ways. Given this unusual and often frustrating dichotomy, I have to really stay on top of my closet staying organized or it gets bad fast. I’m an all or nothing kind of gal. Something that really helps is simply keeping the sheer number of clothes, shoes, and accessories under control…
Pro tip: keep your pretty shoeboxes and shopping bags and use them in your closet to store miscellaneous items in (gloves, belts, hose, etc.)
I enjoy clothes (obviously) but I have found that when I have too many, I actually end up enjoying them less. This is usually because so many of them become “lost” in my closet and I end up just wearing a few pieces over and over again. I have found that keeping my clothing to a manageable amount makes a world of difference in how much wear I actually get out of each piece. With spring upon us, this is the perfect opportunity to really refine and curate your closet!
Pro tip: only use one style of hanger for all of your clothing. Choose wood, or plastic, or wire, etc. but don’t mix them.
The first step? Toss any clothes that are too worn. Anything ripped, stained, or covered in pilling need to go. I keep one or two outfits reserved for painting and messy garden work and toss/donate/cut the rest up for rags. Find a piece you love that is stained or damaged? Write it down or take a picture of it so you can replace it.
Pro tip: choose your prettiest pieces and put them on display. Designer shoes look great on a shelf and a faux fur stole is beautiful draped over the corner of a mirror.
Second, go through your ENTIRE closet and only keep what you truly love and what actually inspires you. (Marie Kondo talks a lot about this in her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up which I highly recommend if you are serious about getting organized.)
Obviously there will be things you need to keep out of necessity and not love (think that white tank top you use under sheer blouses and your black panties you wear when you’re on your period. Work uniforms and such also fall under this category). Other than that, only keep the things you really enjoy. It is so much better to have a smaller closet full of things you really love to wear than to have an overabundance of clothing you only kind of like…especially when all of that clothing could benefit someone less fortunate!
Another idea…sell everything you don’t absolutely love and use the money to splurge on a few new pieces that you adore and that will fill “gaps” in your wardrobe (read, different from things you already have/pieces you are lacking and really need).
Once you have really edited down your wardrobe, it’s time to organize and curate.
Start with deciding where everything will go. Some people have more hanging space and some more shelving/drawer space…decide what you have available and what will allow you to see your clothes whenever you go to pick out an outfit. I prefer to hang my lightweight items and fold heavy, bulky sweaters so that they don’t become stretched out by hanging on a hanger.
Hang/organize by category first: all tops together, all skirts together, all dresses together, all jackets together, etc.
Then, hang/organize according to color: all white and cream tops together, all black skirts together, all red dresses together, and so on.
Next, hang/organize in a color progression/gradient: start with your lightest color and then work your way to the darkest. I like to think of the rainbow when I’m organizing my clothes and section my colors like the rainbow goes from one color to the next. I think this is the best way to find the exact piece that you are looking for quickly.
Lastly, hang items at an angle: meaning, shortest pieces on the left graduating to longest pieces so that the “line” along the bottom of your hanging clothes is angled going from shortest to longest. This just helps everything to look as cohesive as possible.
The pictures in this post of the clothing rack is an example of all of these principles.
I follow this same general guideline for shoes as well, putting similar styles and colors together.
Once this is done, it’s time to curate!
By that I mean shop.
Once you have condensed your closet, it is much easier to analyze what you actually NEED in order to have a complete wardrobe. Write a list of what you need. Missing a basic white button up? A lightweight patterned blouse? Quality black pants or leggings? Put ’em on the list and work toward getting what will serve you the best.
By organizing your closet this way you will spend less money and enjoy your clothing more, I promise!
One last tip:
If your clothes rack/drawer/shelf is crowded and overflowing…you need to do something. That WILL NOT serve you or your clothes well. Your clothing actually need time to breathe and keeping them from being rumpled and smashed up against each other will extend their life. If things are too cramped, full, and overflowing then you either,
a. have too many clothes
b. need more visible storage space
Either really crack down and giveaway/sell even more or realize that you truly need another clothing rack and spend the money to keep your closet organized and well taken care of.
Good luck and enjoy the freedom (and fabulous outfits) that doing this will provide!
Shop some of my top spring picks and some great closet organization items below: