Sunday, July 29, 2012

Simple Trick: Organizing Your Closet

I'm sure we all dream of a walk-in closet with closet after closet of wardrobe space. But if you're like me, with a small house here, you probably have very limited closet space. You probably also have too many clothes that your small closet is busting at the seams. Here are a few tips on closet-organizing that I learned from Kat of Space That Works

1 Using the same type of hanger for all your clothes instantly organizes your closet! Not only do you get rid of the eye sore caused by different hangers - hangers in various colors, materials (plastic, wood, wire), shapes & sizes, but the uniform hangers also bring your clothes' necklines & collars to the same level - which, I swear, makes a world of a difference. Oh, and make sure your hanger-hooks are all facing the back of your closet.

2 Choose the right type of hanger for your space. I've always been in love with wooden hangers. But unfortunately, these bulky hangers are only practical for big closets.

For small closets, it is best to choose thin hangers. Such flat (as opposed to the bow or curved structure of wooden) hangers allow you to cram more clothes into your tiny cabinet. I personally love the flocked hangers I got from True Value (P1,295 for a box of 30, though I checked recently and they're out-of-stock. Found flocked hangers in Howard's Storage World but they were more expensive). They are not only thin & flat, but their felt-like material keeps sleeves from sliding off the hanger. Their hook swivels too so it's easy to get all your hangers facing one direction.

3 Organize your clothes according to how you decide what to wear. If you pick clothes by color palette, then go ahead and organize your closet by color. If you choose your outfit for the day according to type - Do I wear pants or a dress today? - then put all your dresses together, all your bottoms together, all your tops together. Within a category (say, tops), you can opt to sort them by sleeve length: sleeveless together, short-sleeved together and long-sleeved together. For the dress category, you can sort them according to length (mini, knee-length and floor-length).

If you have very specific groupings like say, weekend clothes vs. office clothes, you can opt to divide your closet accordingly too. For seldom used groupings like beach and winter/travel, use underbed storage boxes (or store them inside luggage so you aren't wasting the space inside your Samsonite, Rimowa or LV trunk).

Also, not all clothes need to be on a hanger. Some clothes-categories like t-shirts, tank tops (sometimes, even pants) and especially underwear need to go on shelves or drawers versus hangers.

Oh, and remember to brief your helper on your organizing strategy so she can put the clothes back in their proper places after getting washed.

4 Purge. This is Kat's first requirement. Get rid of clothes that don't fit anymore, that "don't love you back". She says you should only keep clothes that you love AND love you. Meaning, clothes that make you look fabulous. Everything else must go. That they will come back in style, or that you will fit into it again when you lose those last few pounds, or that "this is expensive!" or a certain brand, are all excuses Kat does not allow (in her nice, sweet way).

This is the most painful part. So here's my last quick tip: instruct your helper to let the hanger-hook of newly-laundered clothes face the opposite direction. Then every morning, try not to pick the clothes on these hangers. If, after 3 months, majority of the hangers are still facing the back of your closet, then you know these are the clothes that need to go to the Donate bin. The fact that you chose other outfits over them for 3 whole months means that you either don't love them or they don't love you. So it's time to let go of them. And think of it this way... the closet space they will empty out is license to shop!!! But note that the rule from now on is in-and-out: when something new comes in, something new must go out.

These closet-organizing tricks certainly changed my life. An organized closet will put you back in control of your closet - and your life.

Follow these tips and email me before & after photos! :)

Photos from annnniegirl, heritage, polkadotshoppingbag, deliciouslyorganized and here.

Click here for previous posts from the Simple Trick series. Click here for the down-in-the-dots version of this post - a DIY trick that's not simple at all. 

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