Updated: May 29
This year brought me lots of closet projects and I couldn't have been more excited to glam up everyone's spaces. But my clients are not the only people faced with challenges when it comes to their closet. I know you do too. The biggest issue is that closets have doors and when the door is closed it's easy to ignore. Out of sight, out of mind.
As a closet becomes overstuffed, it becomes harder and harder to reclaim the space. As with any organization project, the best first step is to empty it out. Completely. Odds are you have a lot more in your closet than clothes, shoes and accessories. I have seen sports equipment, tools, forgotten holiday gifts (that were stashed but never delivered), sooo much luggage, kids toys, etc. Those items need to find a new home where it makes sense (garage, playroom, basement) or donate them. Until you empty out the closet, it will not look like there is much space to work with. Only when it is empty will you see the potential and boundaries.
The next step is to sort through all the clothes to get rid of what you don't wear and figure out what stays. It is important not to rush this step. You have been harboring clothes from the '80s and '90s. If you didn't look good in the then you definitely will not now. Pitch them. My husband was hanging on to work shirts with collars that were so starched they made his neck bleed. It took some major coddling and cajoling, but I finally got him to donate those shirts that he abandoned for years. (Bless the poor human whose neck is now bleeding because of my husband's donation efforts.)
When you are down to the clothes that fit and flatter, it is time to pick a standardized slim hanger (if you are going to do all this work, it may as well look amazing and better fit the space). Hang them in categories that make it easier for you to find clothes and create outfits.
Usually I group by major category:
Then by subcategory:
shirts are subdivided by sleeve length
dresses by sleeve length, season or occasion (casual, formal)
The goal is to:
easily find and replace items (read: put away laundry more quickly)
reduce decision fatigue
stop buying duplicates because you forgot what you owned
shop your own closet
Organizing spaces is emotionally and physically exhausting but it is so worth the effort. You deserve a space that is reflective of where you are going, not where you have been. Reclaim your closet and you will be surprised how much lighter and energetic you feel when you start your day.