Monday, January 07, 2008

New Year, Newly Organized Wardrobe: Five Steps To Perfection

There is something thoroughly...satisfying about a perfectly organized closet. Besides, having everything neatly in its place is really necessary if you want to take full advantage of everything in your wardrobe (an aside: I originally wrote "maximize your wardrobe's potential" like some freaky combination of self-help guru and fashion stylist. I need more coffee). And since it is the start of the new year, now is the perfect time to get down to business.

Here are the steps I follow when I organize and edit my wardrobe each season:

1. Set aside a couple hours for the project - you are more much more likely to cut corners if you are rushed.

2. Take everything out of your closet/dressers. Yes, your room will resemble a post-cyclone disaster area, but it is best to start with a clean slate. Don't forgot accessories like shoes, handbags, belts, and jewelry.

3. Divide everything into four categories - the stuff to keep, things that need to be altered, repaired, or cleaned, things to donate, and the stuff that is so far gone it just needs to be tossed out. Be ruthless - if you haven't worn it in a year, with a few exceptions: formalwear, activity-specific sportwear, and anything with sentimental value (try and keep this within reason though, you don't need to save everything with the slightest bit of significance). Also, be sure to try on pieces you are not sure about, especially if it has been awhile since you've worn them. You might be (pleasantly or un-) surprised!

4. Now is the fun part - while you've got everything out, you might as well mix and match the keeper pieces and see what fun new outfits you can make (and shopping in your wardrobe is cheaper than buying new stuff). This is a good time to make a list of things you do need to purchase as well - it is easy to spot the gaps in your wardrobe when everything is laid out.

5. Last but not least, put everything away according to a system. I like to organize by type (pants, jackets, etc.) and then by color (I follow the rainbow, kind of - black/charcoal/brown/red/pink/orange/yellow/green/blue/violet/light browns/light grays/beiges/creams/white). However, you might not be quite as strange as me and go by sleeve or hem length, or whatever works for you.

Yes, this is kind of a painstaking process, but I only do it once a season (and my apartment is pretty small, so if everything is not organized, it drives me insane, so I am probably a little stricter about this than most people). And hey, you'll be really happy once you are finished!

*The picture is of Studio Becker's Timeless Wardrobe - found via 3Luxe's Best of: Closet Organizers section.


Kassie said...

I wish I had that kind of dedication. I have to admit I am way to sloppy with my clothing. Its bad....

fat_chic said...

AMEN! I think getting organized is the single best money saver there is in the western world.