Last week, we talked about the dreaded cleaning out of our closets. :-)
If you missed the post, you can view it here.
Now that we've survived the initial closet clean out, we need to do something with the beautiful, flattering, amazing clothing that we have left over. Read on for some tips on how to organize your closet!
As of now, my husband and I live in a two bedroom apartment so it's important that every bit of space is utilized for optimum organization. When we buy a house one day, I hope to have a beautiful, large walk in closet but for now, the second bedroom will suffice. :-) More on my personal organization later on in this post. For now, let's get down to business.
In the last post, we determined which clothing would go into which pile: what we would keep, repair, giveaway, sell and throwaway. In this post, we are dealing with the clothing that you kept all those emotional decisions.
Optional Organization Equipment
The purpose of storage equipment is to have a more well-organized closet while also saving space. I have A LOT of storage elements because I live in an apartment, but not all of us will need these items. If you are not interested in storage, feel free to move ahead to Organizing Your Closet. These are just here for ideas :-)
To have a streamlined wardrobe, I think the simplest thing you can do is to have matching hangers. When everything looks uniform, you feel less stressed out when you open your closet. When you have hangers of varying colors and types (ie. store hangers they let you keep), it can look chaotic, even if you have the most well organized closet. For me personally, I have all black hangers for tops and dresses and dark wooden hangers for skirts. Whatever you do, don't use the wire hangers. They lose their shape, sag and can stretch out your clothing.
You can also use different color hangers to keep certain things together by occasion (work, weekend, dressy), season (spring, summer, fall, winter), or by style (dresses, tops, pants, skirts).
Hanging Storage Cubes
I LOVE these things! They fit perfectly in your closet and hold ALOT of clothing. They are perfect for those things that you don't want to or shouldn't hang, but are still easily accessible. I have heard of some people even using them for purses and shoes. I got mine from Target and use it for jeans, sweaters, cardigans and my flannel pajamas. :-)
A shoe rack is SO helpful if you have shoes strewn about with no real home. It will keep you organized AND save tons of space! I have two different ones. I have a stackable shoe rack from Target that I have against one wall that takes up hardly any space. I use this one for my heels, fancy flats, sandals and ankle boots. The other shoe rack I have is an over-the-door model that I got from Walmart over 10 years ago. I use it for flats. I do not know what I'd do with a shoe rack!
I, also, really love those standing wooded storage cubes that you can get from Walmart or Target. You use them virtually anywhere and for anything, but I use mine for my closet to hold all my handbags as well as bins for scarves, beanies, tights, swimsuits, swimsuit cover ups, and other pretties.
Most of us have some kind of jewelry storage. I actually have my jewelry stored in quite a few places. Aside from the obvious jewelry boxes, I have my favorite, most used jewels hanging next to a mirror over my dresser. I also have some hanging along the side of my vanity. Not only does it look beautiful and is it easily accessible, but it's cheap since I use clear thumbtacks to hang them! I have a small vintage bowl that I use a jewelry tray for bracelets and a three-tiered tray rom Target that I use for my rings and more dainty jewels. I also have a hanging jewelry organizer in my closet for less used jewelry. There are lots of options for jewelry storage out there and a lot of great DIY ones as well!
Sunglasses and other delicate items can be hard to store. My grandmother found this four foot high antique storage cabinet for our living room. We didn't have any room for it, so I put it in the second bedroom, painted it and ended up using it as a storage cabinet for those little things that I just had no idea where to put. It has four shelves for easy organization and a glass door that both looks pretty and makes it easier for me to find things. I use it to store my perfumes, nail polish, sunglasses, silk scarves, hair accessories, and small clutches. I love being able to use what I already have to create storage and customize it to my needs.
Organizing Your Closet
There are many ways to organize a closet. I'm pretty OCD so I use all of them, if not more ha! Here are a few of my favorites!
* By Color
There are a few ways to do this. You can have ALL of your clothes out all the time ad just move them around in your closet when the season changes. For example, if it's summer, move your winter clothes to the back so you can easily access your summer clothing. Be sure to group each by season to make it a lot easier to find things that you need.
Or you can switch out your wardrobe each season. I have a lot of clothes, so I do the latter. I usually switch my closet out in the Spring (usually May) and the Fall (usually October). If you do this method, be sure to keep in mind where you live. Summer in California usually begins in May and ends around Halloween so that's why I switch at that time. When I switch out my closet, I will then organize everything by type.
Grouping items by style is SO helpful! Separate your dresses, tops, bottoms, and outerwear. It makes it a lot easier to find something you are looking for. I, personally, have two closets which might be crazy to some, but it works for me. Our master bedroom has a walk in, half of which is my husbands (along with the dresser in our closet) and the other half is for my tops and skirts. The closet in the second bedroom houses my dresses, coats and my hanging storage cubes full of sweaters, jeans, cardigans and PJ's.
Separate your garments further
Tops: Camis, Tanks, short sleeve, long sleeve, button down, blouses, sweater
Bottoms: Shorts, Capris, Pants, Skirts
Dresses: Strapless, spaghetti strap, tank, short sleeve, Long sleeve
Outerwear: Cardigans (long and short), blazers, light jackets, light coats, heavy coats
Now that you have separated your clothing into specific categories, let separate even more! Separating by length is super helpful. For tops, I have camis, tanks, short sleeve and long sleeve. For skirts, I have short, midi and maxi. For dresses, I go by both the sleeve length and the skirt length.
I'm obsessed with color coordinating. I color coordinate EVERYTHING. My clothes, my shoes, my purses, my jewelry. You can do this many ways, but my personal way is going from right to left starting with white/cream, red, pink, orange, yellow, tan/gold, green, blue, purple, black.
This is something I just started doing. I organize my nicer pieces by fabric: sequins, tulle, chiffon, lace, etc.
Another great way to organize is grouping together workwear, casualwear and even some of our more special, fancy pieces. This will make it a lot easier to get dressed for wherever we need to go.
Other organizing tips:
Optimize Your Shoe Boxes
I usually save shoes boxes (the pretty ones) to use for storage. I put them in drawers in my dresser to separate undergarments and in my nightstand to separate things like slippers, eye masks, essential oils, small candles, mini lotions and bedside reading/journaling material.
Obviously, these are great for organizing scarves, but they are also great for leggings, chunky jewelry, tights, belts, and other small accessories.
Hand wash Only Items
I like to mark a dot on the tag of hand wash items so that I don't accidently throw them in the washer and dryer. I hand wash anything with lace, delicate embroidery and embellishments of any kind (jewels, beading, etc) to keep them in tip top shape.
Some things are better left unseen and that includes undergarments, socks and gym clothes. I like to store these items in a drawer so I don't have to seem but they are still easily accessible.
Hanging sweaters can make them stretch out and lose their shape. Sweaters are best stored folded so storage cubes and shelves are great for this.
Heavily Embellished Items
I have a few sweaters and clutches with heavy embellishment (ie. jewels that stick out). To store, I fold the items and wrap it in tissue paper. I have a special place for these items so they stay in perfect, undamaged condition and don't damage other items.
I hope these tips have helped you in your journey to have a more organized closet! I know that I am definitely feeling much better about my purging now that it's easier to find clothing in my well organized closet. :-)
Do you have any other tips to share? I'd love to hear them!
Have a great Wednesday!