If you’re going to do this right and maintain an organized wardrobe over the long haul, start by pulling everything out of the closet. We recommend making your bed first, or even clearing a space on the floor; as you pull everything out, you’ll need a large work surface where you can group similar items together. Make sure to remove everything – clothes, shoes, accessories, hangers, organizing tools – and group like items together. While this may sound tedious, it gives you a chance to clean areas of your closet that you likely haven’t seen in years. Go ahead and wipe down shelves, dust corners for cobwebs, and vacuum.
For some, this next step will be difficult, and for others it will be an exciting and cathartic process. Looking at groups of similar items, begin to make your first major purge of trash. Any damaged, faded, torn, or snagged clothing, broken or tattered shoes, or severely cracked belts should be thrown out. Also, skim for broken hangers, damaged organizational tools, or anything that needs tossing.
Your next sweep is for any item that you can sell or donate. Look for duplicates, things that don’t fit, don’t work for your lifestyle, or haven’t been worn in the past year. If you’re willing to sell certain items, there are countless options: websites, consignment shops, community rummage sales, and garage sales. For donations, just make sure the clothes are clean and neatly folded, and select where you’d like to take them. Some charity organizations specialize in professional business attire, providing it to people who can’t afford a suit for a job interview, while others accept all types of clothing.
Now that your stock has been trimmed down and the closet is clean, assess the organizational accessories you’ve selected. Are the baskets large enough for your remaining purses? Does the new shoe rack hold all of your shoes? Make adjustments where necessary, then install these accessories.
Next, take a step back, and think about practical function flow. As you’re getting ready each day, what do you reach for first? How do you identify your clothing items? Decide which areas of the closet work best for your established categories.
Similar items have been grouped together, but now is the time to break the groups down further. To determine if you want to arrange by clothing type, color, season, or occasion, ask yourself some questions. Would you benefit from having your clothes gradated from black to white? Or would your morning routine be easier if you could reach for items that were seasonally appropriate?
Whatever your preferred method or combination, just keep in mind ease of accessibility – choosing a straightforward system that’s easy to maintain.