When you reach in your closet, do you feel confident in how it is organized and what garments you have?
Probably not, right? It is the most used and crazy part of your wardrobe that you usually forget about cleaning. Because you “know where everything is.” That pile of old hats in the bin… ya those are fine where they are. Those old jeans that have two large holes in the butt… you probably keep telling yourself you will sew them soon. But soon came and went, right? Two years later, they are still hanging in your closet.. wishing you would wear them again and fix their holes!
I know, life is crazy and things get forgotten. But guess what time it is? Springtime! And that means getting your shit together. Your closet needs you girl! You use it EVERY SINGLE DAY.
For about 4 years now, I have developed a few habits for my wardrobe that have kept my closet clean and organized. I know exactly what items I wear the most are located, how to switch out the seasonally appropriate things and what I can get rid of.
Can you confidently say the same thing about your wardrobe? Do you know where that old sweater is that you used to love and wear all the time?
If no, now is the time to get your act together, for the sake of your clothing and sanity- and CLEAN YOUR CLOSET.
I know, letting things go is hard. Something special to you that has sentiment… something you don’t want to toss out is still living in your closet, yet you haven’t worn it in a year. But I am here to tell you: Let it go. Just, let it go. (Frozen reference, sorry).
This is where I come in.
I am here to not only help you organize your closet, but also make sure you leave it with a few new habits and routines that will leave you feeling confident and tidy.
I ask myself the same questions when I am going through my closet- and I am going to share all my tips and tricks to make sure you feel good about your wardrobe this season. ‘Tis the season for purging, cleaning and donating!
Now is the time for me to show you how to effortlessly clean out your closet and feel confident in your style!
First things first, you will need:
1. a notebook or phone to keep a list of things you are replacing and a pen
2. A label maker (if you don’t have one, you need one. They will change your life!)
3. Three boxes or bags for separating items
1. Take everything out and put in bins
I do this first step EVERY SEASON. So 4 times a year. I ask myself these questions for every item in there, and if I can give it away/sell it.
Seperate your three bags/boxes into these categories:
1. Recycle: these are items that are missing buttons or are damaged/worn that can go towards a program that makes new clothing.
2. Donate: items that you can give to Goodwill that are wearable.
3. Sell: items you want to get money for that are in good condition.
Go through each item in your closet and lay it on your bed. This is the decision making portion that is super important to getting your closet under control.
Hold each piece up and ask yourself:
– Have I worn this in the last 6 months?
Some questions to ask yourself when sorting through your clothes and shoes:
- Does this fit?
- Will I wear this over and over again?
- Have I worn it within the last year?
- Is it currently in style or season?
- Is it damaged- and if so, will I ever go fix it?
- And most importantly- DO I FEEL CONFIDENT WHEN I WEAR THIS?
If yes- KEEP. Set it aside.
If no- put it in one of the boxes! If it is damaged, missing buttons etc, recycle it.
There are so many places to recycle clothing which gives them a new life!
Garment Recycling Programs
accepts anything types of clothing for donations (except shoes) – and remakes them into new garments!
They take in-store donations and give a 15% off coupon for every bag you donate.
H&M donation info and site HERE
2. North Face
Their Clothes the Loop program allows you to drop off any clothing in any condition and you receive a $10 off coupon for every $100 purchase.
Whatever items you drop off are sent to their non-profit partner, Soles4Shoes. They create sustainable jobs through the distribution of shoes and clothing.
More info on their program HERE
Their Blue Jeans Go Green initiative lets you donate any denim for a 20% off coupon at any store or Levi’s outlet.
Your denim will be used specifically as materials for building insulation, a portion of which will go towards community-oriented projects, such as libraries, hospitals and schools.
More information HERE
Be honest with yourself here- if you know you don’t have the time or energy for selling and just want to get rid of it, donate it to Goodwill. Give it a new life and someone else can enjoy it.
Now that you have your items in three bins and set aside your KEEP items- next is organizing!
2. Get Organized
After you have decided what you are going to keep and donate- you have to get yourself organized. I love a well organized closet. Knowing exactly where something lives and where to find it is super satisfying! I have a lot of shoes and belts, and even more dresses and coats. (I have a serious addiction to jackets!) Those typically live in the end or back of my closet based on how thick they are. I live in Portland, so the weather is typically unpredictable. So my lighter/more versatile jackets live closer to where I can see them. But in order for you to feel organized, you have to get the right tools.
Items you need for an organized closet
1: Good Hangers
And not the metal ones. Those leave weird shoulder bumps in your clothes that are a pain to get out. Plus they aren’t really that cute. I am talking velvet/plastic or wood. I like all my hangers to match or be two colors for aesthetic reasons, but thats just me.
I recommend velvet over anything else. Velvet is better on your clothes and just does a better job of keeping the silhouettes intact.
For bottoms/skirts/pants I use bottom clip hangers. Now these leave a little bump on your waist if you get the metal ones, but the plastic ones are great. I found a ton of great hangers on Amazon. So no need to search the web, just shop below!
2. Storage bins and Drawer Organizers
These are life saver when it comes to keeping my closet organized. I use them for summer shorts, fancy dresses that I don’t wear as often and dressy shoes. Storage bins are great for items that you don’t regularly wear or rotate through but don’t want them taking up hanging space.
Did I mention you can label some of them? ( I love labeling. Don’t judge).
Use them for:
- Seasonally rotated items (sweaters, sweats)
- Dressy shoes
Your closet is your space. Make it your own. If I had a walk-in closet, I would make it a second home… seriously. There are a TON of cute products out there for keeping your wardrobe super organized and personalized. I found a lot of them and gathered them for you below!
Cute Additions for your Closet
Now that you have an idea of what your organization looks like, next is creating a system for your closet.
3. Create a system
How do you want to organize and sort your clothes now that you have all your tools?
Some options for how to sort your closet:
- By season
- By color
- By garment type (shirts/pants)
- Garment length
I typically sort my closet in this order, left to right:
—– > Pants- Tank tops – T-shirts –> Blouses – Dresses – Blazers
Light Coats – Heavy Coats <—– (By Color and Length)
And this order changes depending on the season. So if it were spring/summer you would probably put tanks and dresses first. Fall/Winter would be sweaters/blouses/jackets first. You can sort yours however you want to- whatever makes it easiest for you to know where things are.
For my top shelf of my closet I put less used items in storage bins.
4. Know what your wardrobe needs
Knowing how to effortlessly clean out your closet and feel confident in your style means you know your style. You not only know what your closet has in it, but also what you need. Are you out of basic white tanks? Are you missing those levis you used to have? Write down every item you got rid of that you want to replace. These are things that you KNOW you are going to wear. Don’t just buy things because they are in style and you are feeling impulsive ( i know its hard). Trends rotate and change so often these days that it is impossible to keep up with all of them. If you are unsure of what you style is, go read my post about finding your definitive style. It goes through the 7 types of styles and how to wear them.
Once you know that, you can determine what you need to replace in your closet. Basic white tanks, a good pair of jeans… maybe some fun heels? If you need help on where to shop for staple items, I found some great ones below for you to shop. For a guide on essentials for your closet, read my post here.
A breakdown of what you need for wardrobe staples:
- A leather jacket
- Cami’s/A white Tee
- Denim jeans
- Black heels/boots
- Trench/Fur coat
- Strappy heels for warm seasons
- Denim jacket
- Sherpa/Down Coat
- Knit Sweaters/Turtlenecks
- Little black Dress
5. Maintain Maintain Maintain!
I hope your closet feels tidy and inspiring now that you have gone through all these steps to make it yours. From here you need to maintain, maintain, maintain!
If you need a little more push in the right direction, I recommend reading these books that help keep your closet maintained. A little Marie Kondo-ing if you will!