When it comes to our clothes and our clothes closets, we often find ourselves at a crossroads. We love the clothes we have, if and when we can find them, but we despise the closet space we have or lack thereof.
Of course, the easy solution would be to just get a bigger or better-designed closet. Then all our problems would be solved. Or would they?
Based on recent data, it’s not that we have insufficient closet space, the problem seems to be with what we’re keeping in it. Look at this infographic to gain some insight as to what some of our issues are:
- The average American spends $1700 on clothes and related items each year
- On average a woman has 90 items in her closet, 51% of those items are note used anymore at all
- Average # of shoes for women is 27 pairs, but she only wears 4 pairs regularly
- 1 in 4 women keep 3 different sizes in her closet
- 10% of what’s in our closet has been worn once in the last year; 15% has never been worn; 20% has been worn in the last 3 years, and 55% hasn’t been worn in the last year.
Shocking, isn’t it? From the data, we can see that we are keeping things we probably shouldn’t be! Even the smallest of clothes closets can be organized and functional if the clothes we store in there are what we’re truly wearing.
So how can you organize your clothes closet clutter so that you can find what you need?
5 steps to organizing your clothes
Step 1: Sort
Pull out everything from your closet and sort into like groups ~ pants with pants, tops with tops, dresses with dresses. After that, sort even more specifically by color or style ~ all the black pants together, all the white shorts together, etc. By doing this you can see exactly how much you have and get a better idea of whether you really need 10 black pants or not.
Step 2: Purge
Next, go through each group pile and began to purge what you no longer need, use, or want. Use these questions to help you with the decision-making process:
- Do I love it or just like it?
- When was the last time I wore it?
- Is it the right size?
- Is it still in style?
- Is it comfortable and easy to wear?
- Does it flatter me?
- Is it in good condition?
- Do I have duplicates?
Depending on how you answer these questions, you will either need to keep, donate, toss, or sell. Make a pile for each as you make decisions on each item of clothing.
Once you’ve finished the purging process, then you need to….
Step 3: Assign & Assess
Assign a stated purpose for your closet and only let items that fall into that purpose be put back in the closet. For example, “My closet is only for my clothes” (so anything else that is not clothing has to find a home somewhere else), or “My closet is only for my clothes and linens” (so anything that isn’t clothes or linens has to find a new place to live).
Now that you know what’s going back in the closet, you need to assign “homes” to those items in your closet. Determine if you want to organize by garment type, color, season, or function (work, casual, evening), and whether you want to fold, hang, or store your particular clothing items.
Step 4: Containers & Labels
If you are going to store some of your clothes, then you must figure out what type and how many containers you will want or need:
- Clear containers usually work best as they allow you to see what you have in each box. You also need to decide if you want open bins or ones with lids.
- Open bins allow for easy reach in and access; lids help protect your items, as well as maximize space as you can stack them on top of each other.
Regardless of what type of container storage you choose, be sure to label the bins or baskets to easily identify where things belong.
Step 5: Maintenance
You’ve worked hard to organize and clear out your clothes closet clutter, now you have to keep it that way! How? Here are a few things you can do to keep your closet in shape: set up a schedule to purge regularly, follow the in/out principle (for every # of items that come in, that same # of items have to go out), and build in habits that will help maintain order (put things back where they belong, “do it now, not later”, etc)
As I mentioned before, it’s not so much the closet space itself as what’s in our closets that’s the problem. Following these 5 easy steps can help you cut the clutter and make your closet an organized oasis that you enjoy getting dressed in every morning ~ problem solved!
What’s your biggest closet challenge?
How can these 5 steps help you overcome your closet clutter?