When you live in an 1100 square foot townhome with no garage, storage can be a challenge. In actuality, this is a blessing and a curse. I find sometimes that the more room you have to store stuff, the more stuff you will accumulate. Clutter is something that I don’t care for. If it’s not sentimental, serving a purpose, or bringing me joy, I get rid of it. Since the weather this weekend was crummy, I decided to tackle my closet. We have two small closets in our master bedroom. Having a his and a hers is really nice when it comes to organization. Luckily, my husband is not a slob, but it’s still helpful for each of us to have our own designated space especially when it’s purge time. Here are some tips on how to clean out and organize your closet this season:

  • Find a time when you can take your time. This isn’t a task that you want to rush through. I have needed to do this since Lyla was born, but needed a few baby-free hours to tackle and do it right.
  • Make it fun. Your closet is personal and a representation of your individual style. It can be a fun chore if you choose for it to be. I usually don’t set the scene before cleaning, but this is different. I made the bed, opened the blinds, shut the bedroom door, lit a candle, and turned on Pandora. Time to play dress-up.
  • Create three piles: Donate (nothing with stains or holes), throw away, and sell.
  • Start with the top and the bottom. I have one top shelf, one hanging rack, and the floor. These three spaces are my zones for my entire wardrobe (all seasons including shoes and coats). The top shelf holds folded items, purses, and some shoes. The floor is for the rest of the shoes. Visually, it helps for these spaces to be neat before I can focus on the hanging items.
  • Keep seasonal shoes accessible. If shoes have a box when I purchase them, I keep them in the box. This way they are stackable. I keep winter boots on the bottom and sandals on the top. It reduces the digging and throwing factor when I’m getting dressed in a hurry.
  • Organize folded items by popularity. I wish I had the luxury of re-stacking and folding my jeans and camis everytime I did the laundry, but I’m usually on a time bomb until the baby decides she’s bored. I keep the items I wear the most on top so that they’re easy to grab and easy to put away without pulling down the whole pile.
  • Remember ROYGBIV. So, it may be the design school talking, but I think the best way to sort your hanging garments is by color. I use the acronym provided by my Color Theory professor to remember the colors in order of how they appear in a rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet). I start on the left side and go through each shade from long sleeve to sleeveless from darker tones to light. Honestly, most of my clothes come at the end of that group by way of black, grey, and ivory, but the mini rainbow is pretty.
  • Coats to the left, dresses to the right. If you’re dealing with a long single row of hanging space, keep the items that you don’t use as frequently to the far left and far right. For me, my tote bags and coats are in one far end and my dresses, skirts, and scarves are at the other.
  • Try things on. We all have our essential pieces that we wear over and over. Everything else should be tried on. You’d be surprised how many pieces hide in there that don’t fit, are out of fashion, or you never truly liked to begin with.
  • Make a list. As you try things on, think about what you need to create an outfit. Write these things down and keep that list with you the next time you go shopping.
  • Embrace your current self.  It can be easy to hang on to those jeans from college with the hopes that you will some day fit into them again. Let’s be clear, your body changes as you age. My hips have expanded post-childbirth and I know that even at my most fit, I will never squeeze them back into a size 2. I’d rather have clothes that make me feel good in my body and not remind me that my thighs have taken on a new life of their own.
  • Only keep it if you love it. When Lyla was an infant everything that I wore on a daily basis became splattered with milk. Stain removal was not high on my priority list at the time, so everything with a stain was tossed. Your clothes should make you feel good, even if you’re just lounging at home.

I’m not at a point where I want to splurge on a bunch of cute organizer baskets or bins, but there are some items that make small closet organizing a bit easier. These are my favorites:

  • Velvet Hangers because you know your clothes jump off the plastic ones just for spite.
  • Scarf Hanger because it frees up drawer space.
  • Multi-Tiered Hangers because horizontal space is valuable. Great for hats, skirts, pants, and shorts.

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