Did you know?
Disorganized closets cost you:
- The Average American burns 55 minutes a day looking for things they know they own but they cannot find them. (Source: Newsweek)
- Running late for work or school every day because selecting an outfit and getting dressed takes too long. “Mom! Where is my uniform?”
- The “I have nothing to wear” dilemma wastes your time trying to put an outfit together (or shopping for new clothes because you can’t find what you need).
- Most people wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time resulting in wasted time and money, as well as wasted space in your closet! (Source: Paul Tabot)
- Buying things that will never be used: Many closets are full of clothes and accessories with the tags still on them…never to be worn but purchased “Just In Case.”
- Duplicate purchases- you know you have that rain jacket somewhere, but your camping trip is tomorrow so you go buy another one.
- The “I have nothing to wear” dilemma (again). You shop the stores instead of your own closet.
- Stressful daily routines of selecting clothes to wear each day in a cluttered closet. What if you could sleep 15 minutes longer because getting ready was faster? Now we have your attention.
- Relationship health issues- “her closet is out of control and taking over the room!”
- Tripping hazard to have clothes/shoes/jewelry on the floor
- You won’t notice a rodent problem if you can’t see the floor of your closet!
Ready to face the skeletons in your closets and close the door on those negative impacts of disorganization?
Here are some basic tips to get you started:
SORT - group the clothes/shoes/accessories (or sheets, towels, etc) into categories-
- Many different ways to sort clothes based on your personal preference and lifestyle: season/level of warmth, work, casual, etc. I think it’s helpful to separate by FUNCTION: workout clothes vs casual vs work, etc
- Within these categories then you would sort the pants with the pants, shirts with shirts, etc..
Detailed categories: casual tanks, dressy tanks (work), casual short sleeve, dressy short sleeve, etc... Within each of those categories I have the items color coordinated- rainbow order. This is more helpful than simply color coding all the clothes together- the separate categories/sections are key and will save you time!
Why color code? It makes it really obvious where the gaps in your wardrobe are, as well as where you are overbuying. Is 50% of your closet black clothing? If all of your cardigans are black, and all your shirts to wear under cardigans are black, no wonder you feel like you have nothing to wear! Also on the overbuying topic: if you have 7 white long sleeve tees and you only wear them once or twice a month, cut your loses and donate 5 or 6 of them. Don’t keep them around just in case your favorite one gets a stain! Buy one WHEN that happens, not beforehand. Color coding (and categorizing) helps you see those things and also helps you prevent duplicate purchases! If you know right where to look for a black blazer, you won’t need to go buy another!
If any of you have a specific dress code at work, like my days working at a boutique, categories are really helpful in selecting outfits. At this boutique, all staff has to wear 2 layers and 3 accessories at all times. And the clothes have to be the style of the store. So categories makes it really easy to layer. You know exactly where to look for something to go under that jacket- the dressy tank section or dressy short sleeve section. It saves you so much time instead of rifling through ALL your hangers! Especially if things are color coordinated within the category. Mustard jacket, navy dressy tank. So easy to find.
TREASURE - Once you have all your clothes (or linens or coats) sorted, you can see what you have, where you have excess, and you can accurately evaluate what you actually need to keep
Make room in your closet for who you are now. Your style now. Your life now. Consider these things as you look at each item in your closet:
Find your treasures- what do you LOVE? What do you wear all the time (every 2 weeks or more)? Those stay!
- If it doesn't fit -- let it go. Let your reward for losing weight be a new wardrobe.
- If you wore it high school or college and you are currently an empty-nester -- let it go or give it to your kids/grandkids.
- Is it age appropriate? How can you embrace your age through your wardrobe?
- Is it still in style? Does it still represent my style?
- If you have not worn it in two years -- let it go. Many people use the one year/season rule!
- If it’s damaged, will you really make the effort/spend the money to get it repaired? If it’s been damaged/needing mending for more than a month, just let it go!
- If I were shopping right now, would I buy this? If not, let it go.
- Do you feel confident in it? Do you feel attractive? If you don't feel good in it -- let it go.
- If the tags are still on it (and it’s more than a week old)-- let it go.
- If there are any bad memories associated with it, if it just makes you sad, wishing for another time... let it go so you can embrace where you are now
- If you have 10 black blazers, do you really NEED them all?
- If it “works” or you just sort of like it, let it go to someone who will LOVE it. You have plenty of stuff that is better than just “it works” or “it’s good for cold days.” Keep the stuff that’s good for cold days AND you actually like it!
Letting go of these clothes will not only free up space in your closet, but you’ll feel good knowing that someone else will get to enjoy something you used to love! Some things are too pretty to never get worn! What if someone else could love it?
START NEW HABITS - Now that you’ve sorted your closet and only kept your treasures, it’s time to consider how to prevent the Bermuda Triangle from taking over your closet again. Here are some tips.
- Stop the Incoming. Don’t buy it if you don’t need it! Give yourself a budget and adopt have the “one in, one out rule”. You buy a new shirt, an old one goes to Dress for Success.
- Do not buy things because they are on sale, buy them because they fit and you NEED them and LOVE them-try it before you buy it is a good rule.
- Release items to Goodwill at the end of each season to prevent clutter build up