I have been reading and watching a lot on organization, and this is what I have picked up:
1) Create 4 piles of clothes
When you throw everything out onto your bed or your floor, divide them into categories of what you need to do to them.
My trick is: Touch it once, try it on, and then by instinct just as you touch it, decide whether or not to keep, sell, donate or repair.
2) Organize by categories
Source: The Ivory Lane
…and arrange by colour
3) Use any empty space at the top
All of that space on top of shelving and bookcases? DEAD SPACE. Put baskets up there, shoes you don’t wear or use often, special items that you only use once in a while, etc. That ‘dead’ space is valuable real estate!
..and don’t forget to use sides of bookcases or wardrobes, or doors for hanging items
You could hang up little hooks and hang necklaces, belts, even scarves. Any side of a bookcase is also free space for light things to hang. Or the backs / fronts of doors like for shoes, or scarves, or jewellery .
4) Fold or roll items
- Yoga wear
Do that Marie Kondo roll where you stack them upright so their bums are facing up and you can see the print or the colour and pick out exactly what you need.
Or fold them and set them sideways. Or you could fold the items and stack them on top of each other like with jeans (you know, normal folding), but use clear shelf dividers to keep them from falling over.
As for sweaters, always fold or roll them. Never hang them because those hanger marks won’t disappear. Alternatively, you could hang the sweaters on their sides by folding it this way:
Or fold them in half length-wise, and drape them around the hangers like so:
… but consider making little buns out of scarves
5) Understand your weaknesses
- White shirts and dresses
- Blue and white striped shirts and dresses
- Trench dresses
- Shirt dresses
You don’t need 15 of each item….says the woman who has 10 white shirts. Now that I know this, I am careful to not buy any more white shirts, striped items, or anything like that unless it is to replace items in my wardrobe, and so on.
6) Take it all out and try everything on
This has REALLY helped me.
In doing my What’s in my Wardrobe videos, I have realized that I don’t need certain items, they don’t fit as well.. it has helped me cull down and understand what I am actually missing (not much, but in the Jeans video I did, I was missing a tighter dark rinse jean and a distressed black jean).
7) Make notes as you go through your closet
I had my phone on the side, and each time I went through and thought: You know.. I don’t wear this because I don’t have ___X___… I made a note.
It turns out, I am not missing much, but I am definitely starting to see that I do not wear basic items as much as I wear fancier or more interesting items, and I like pairing different bold, bright colour combinations together, but am limited in that regard as I have been mostly buying white and navy blue.
8) Remove all wire hangers, drycleaner hangers and drycleaning covers
These are the worst things for your clothes. Drycleaning bags are not only a hazard (young kids have been known to suffocate by not being able to get that flimsy plastic off of them), but they are ruinous for your clothes to be kept in them. Your things need to breathe.
9) Get matching hangers and boxes or baskets
What looks messy, is when boxes are not the same size or style… and having all white boxes, or all woven baskets, can look very chic and stylish, rather than looking like a mish mash of mixed boxes, bags, all of which distract the eye and don’t look as great unless it’s a look you’re going for (e.g. antiques shop, or bohemian dressing room).
10) Get organizational items to help
I can’t believe I have gone this long (and this cheap) without getting small acrylic boxes that fit together perfectly and make things look GREAT. I have been trying to make do with Tupperware boxes but they never fit well as the shapes were always off and it wasn’t a hard acrylic which is what you need to have clear, clean organization.
Shelf dividers are also great to separate jeans and piles of sweaters so they don’t fall onto each other, and don’t fall over and out of the shelves.
In terms of designing a closet or thinking about how to get it done, this article has been the most helpful out of all the ones I’ve read… and not related to just closets, this organizing article is quite handy.
P.S. Did you see the Part One of my Closet?