I’m always looking for a great home project and being under quarantine gives me the perfect excuse to work on my never-ending to-do list. I’m sure you have one too. Have you organized the kitchen? Redecorated your shelves? Cleaned the house from top to bottom? We’ll now it’s time to get to work on the great abyss that is the closet.
Recently, I was searching my closet for my favorite sweater and you know what? I could not find it, even though I knew it was in there. Then I sheepishly realized that maybe the reason I couldn’t find it was because I had—gasp!—too much other stuff in there. You know what I mean. Too much stuff that I never even wore. I didn’t even LIKE some of it.
So I finally did what I had been putting off for months. I decided to organize my closet.
All About the Organizing
Can you relate? I’ll bet you can. Other than the most incredibly organized among us, I think we’ve probably all been there. I know I always have the best intentions of cleaning my wardrobe up, but it’s so overwhelming and I never know where to start.
So I’m really happy that I got to spend some time before the lockdown started with Conni Jespersen from Art in the Find. (Talk about great timing!) She and I worked together on editing out my closet and you won’t believe the progress I’ve seen already!
Conni and Art in the Find
If you haven’t heard of Conni yet, brace yourself, you’re going to want to take notes right now! Based out of San Diego, Conni is an image consultant, personal shopper, and (luckily for me) a closet organizer. She uses her expertise to help you figure out what clothing items you REALLY want to keep and wear.
Her website, Art In the Find, is full of amazing style and shopping tips, and guidelines on how to organize your closet. I was so grateful to have her pop over to help me tame my closet in person!
The first official Fashion Week started in 1943 in New York. Its main purpose was to distract the attention away from French fashion during World War II and kickstart the way for American designers.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed When Organizing Your Closet
I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but Conni basically swooped in like some kind of wardrobe-based Mary Poppins and took charge to help me figure out what the heck I was doing. She took away the feeling of being overwhelmed by getting me to create three separate piles.
By dividing things into Donate, Not Yet, and Keep, I wasn’t frozen by indecision and I didn’t find myself running out of energy and giving up while only halfway through. It is definitely the best way to sort through the mountain of clothes clogging up the closet!
The “Donate” Pile
The first pile was for donations. I’m sure that, like me, you have a lot of clothes that are still in good shape that you just never wear. Maybe it’s the wrong size, maybe it just doesn’t suit your tastes or lifestyle anymore. But it will probably make someone else really happy! That’s what I told myself with every article that I tossed into the Donate pile!
The average American throws out about 82 pounds of textile waste per year. Instead of tossing, donate your clothes to a charity, give them to a friend, recycle them, or sell them online!
The “Not Yet” Pile
The second pile was for “I’m not ready to choose yet” items. Those are the things where you can’t quite decide if you’re ready to say goodbye just yet, but you can’t commit to keeping them either. For example, I found an amazing shirt that I bought because I fell in love with it in the store but then I realized it doesn’t really go with anything else I own. But I still love it! So this pile was where I could keep it for just a little bit longer to see if I can find the perfect skirt or pants to pair it with. Meanwhile, the Not Yet status is a reminder that I do need to make a decision soon.
Ninety two percent of the women own at least one clothing item they have never worn.
This one isn’t technically a pile, but anything that I decided was a definite “heck YES” item got put right back on the rack. These were all the clothes that I either wear all the time or that I know I will wear for specific occasions. Either way, they’re things that I absolutely love and do not want to part with.
Coco Chanel invented the concept of “costume jewelry” by creating designs that mixed fake pearls and stones with real pearls and diamonds.
My Amazing Results After Organizing My Closet
Once we pulled out all my clothes and separated them into the three groups, I had a much more manageable closet. And unbelievably, I was able to let go of EIGHT bags full of clothes. It feels good to know someone else is benefiting from them now that they aren’t collecting dust in my closet. Plus it definitely feels good to be able to see what I actually have when I want to get dressed! I have way less wardrobe stress now. Even if most days I’m sitting around the house in loungewear.
And do you want to know a little secret? I also had a “hidden stash” of clothes UNDER my bed. Please tell me you do that too! Just clothes that I didn’t know what else to do with, so I’d stick them under the bed. Well, I was so excited with the progress that Conni and I were making that I dragged those out as well and we went right to work on them too.
On average, people in Manhattan spend the most on apparel per month — $362. For comparison, shoppers in Tucson, Ariz., spend the least — $131.
The Next Steps to Take to Organize Your Closet
The whole job took a lot of time. This is not something to start when you know you have to have dinner on the table in an hour. But if it’s a weekend and there’s no homeschooling or your kids are busy with another activity, then get started! Put on some good music, pour a glass of wine, and get settled in for several hours of hard work. But—it is so worth it. I am incredibly happy with my closet so far, even though it’s still a work in progress. Conni and I decided I should order some more hangers, some dividers, and a few baskets to really keep everything organized.
Plus, I’m still working on my Not Yet pile to decide if they’re really worth keeping or if it’s better to just let them go. You can take your time with it. I cannot recommend doing this strongly enough. Stop getting stressed out by your out-of-control closet and take these tips to help you tame the chaos. I know you’ll be just as happy with the results as I am!
The first stilettos were designed by Italian shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo in 1950’s for Marilyn Monroe.
Take Your Time to Do It Right
While my closet is still a work in progress, I know that I’ll get there some day! (A girl can dream, right?) And in the meantime I have space to move around, I can see everything that I own, and I feel good about getting rid of the things that were just cluttering up my life. Oh! And I found my favorite sweater—I knew it was in there!