Order in the Closet is the second element in the Fab7: How to Love Getting Dressed, ebook coming in June!
I was named after a hurricane. It’s fitting because I am a messy person by nature. I can spend an hour in a room and it will look like a hurricane has gone through it. I tell people it’s like a handicap—I truly don’t see the mess. I have mess blindness! At home, I leave a Hansel and Gretel trail of clothes, books and other objects in every room I’ve been. By contrast, my boyfriend is an extremely neat person. He can smell a mess a mile away. I’m still not sure how this happened but it’s been a great domestic experiment to figure out how to up my game in the neatness department.
I help people organize their wardrobes for a living so my messy nature might seem incongruous with my job. But I have a unique perspective. Anyone can come in to your closet and make it an organizers wet dream but my specialty is devising wardrobe systems that you can maintain. If it’s difficult to keep it organized you won’t. Simple. I know because I have tried being the girl that puts everything at right angles with P-touch labels and everything folded perfectly in drawers and all the hangers evenly spaced. In 2 days it’s a wreck because it’s too far away from my nature. My brain isn’t wired that way. So I have systems in place that are more in line with my personality. It’s a bit like a crash diet or weeklong cleanse. You can hit the reset button but if you go back to the same old habits it can actually be worse than before.
Spring is always a great time to clean out your closet. The cold weather/warm weather switch is the perfect opportunity to figure out what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of (we’ll cover this in a later post) and then make it all look pretty in there. I find that my clients fall into 3 categories of mess tolerance.
Level 1: no tolerance for mess at all, everything is in its place at all times.
Level 2: some tolerance for mess, things are neat in general but can get out of hand.
Level 3: is messy all the time (this is me): things stay neat for about a second.
Every situation is unique but here are my favorite closet organizers broken down by level. I’ve used them all with great success. Everything is available through my shop. Click on the links to order!
Slim line hangers. Everyone must have these.
All the same color, black or beige is best.
Level 2 and 3
Buy them when you find colors that you like, or when your favorite discount store is having a sale. I am partial to bright rainbow colors because I like to see them when I open my closet.
Organize front to back by item then color (ROYGBIV) in the following way:
- Short sleeve blouses
- Long sleeve blouses
- Skirts short to long
- Jeans—hung over a multi pant hanger by shape (1 style per hanger): skinnies, straights, bootlegs
- Dresses by sleeve type then length.
Multi pocket hanging organizer. It keeps everything off your surfaces, you can hang it out of sight and you can still see everything.
I find shoes the most difficult items to organize and stay organized. There never seems to be enough space on a shoe rack or enough cubbies. The rights are always wandering away from the lefts.
Shoe rounder. As long as they are off the floor I’m happy.
Flip top bins and clear plastic bags. I put every pair in a drawstring or large zip top bag and throw them in a bin. The bins are organized by casual and dressy. If I want a pair I grab them out of the bin or take the bin. Putting them away is as simple as tossing the bag of shoes back in the bin. It’s my very own grown up toy box.
Fold or roll winter scarves and place in a basket near your winter coats
Level 2/ 3
Store everything upright on a shelf in its own carry bag if possible
These are all things that I’ve used with great success for myself and my clients. By the way–I hardly every come up against a Level 1. Usually people call me because their current system isn’t working for them. If you need some help with your wardrobe system go here to schedule a free 20 minute phoner to see how I can help!
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