How to get your wardrobe organized once and for all.

Reading time – 10 minutes

If you want to try and get your wardrobe organized once and for all, then you have come to the right place. Here you can find out the mistakes you could be making with your wardrobe, while also finding ways to actively try and fix the issue. If you want to find out more, then simply take a look below.

A build in closet with white shelves and hard wood floor

Start with a Big Clear-out

It is suggested that you have a big clear-out as this is the best way for you to try and get things nice and organized. You need to decide what you want to sell, what you want to keep,  what you want to donate and what you need to throw away. Try things on as you go.  If you leave a big pile of clothes to try on until the end, the task may seem overwhelming. Some clothes may have fit once upon a time and may not fit anymore, an item may need to be repaired, your tastes may have changed, or you never know, there could be a gem that was lost at the back of the closet that does fit you. If you can be mindful of how your body and style change with time,  it will help you to keep only the clothing that suits you and prevent you from having a lot of items that do not fit anymore or items that are dated.

Adopt a System for your Wardrobe

Try to adopt the policy of one item in, and one item out. For every new item you buy, you need to make sure that you give one away. If you want to test yourself, then make it two items that you give away.  If you have a good clear-out, when you bring something new home, it will fit nicely in your closet, match other clothing, be the correct size and make it easier for you to get dressed in the morning.

Make Some Money

You might not like something anymore, that doesn’t mean that someone else will feel the same way. To reduce your shopping buy something new only when you have made money from selling something old. Make sure that you use sites such as eBay when you’re researching what your items might sell for. There are also consignment shops that focus on high-end pieces as well.  If you are trying to sell clothes to a store, they should be no older than 6 months.  Stores, like Plato’s Closet,  want to have current fashions and items that will sell quickly.  You may find that you are able to make more than you think, and it is a fantastic way to remove frustrating clutter.

Organize Everything

If you can take the time to organize everything then your wardrobe will look neater and you will save a lot of time choosing your outfit. When you need to get changed in a hurry, having your clothes organized can work wonders. There are many systems for organizing a closet. 

You can group clothing by type, pants, shorts, shirts, ties, sweaters, blouses, dresses, suits etc.  Next, you can group each category by colour.  This is a great way to see how many you have of each colour.  In my closet, I have enough black items (pants, tops, dresses).  So when I go shopping I don’t even look at anything black.

You might prefer to put your clothes into outfits.  Placing a top, bottom and third piece together makes it easy to pick your outfit for the day.  This system allows you to see how many single piece items you own.  Those items are the ones that don’t get worn often because they don’t go with anything.  That is a good category of items to donate. 

Thirdly, you might organize by purpose.  Group together all your work clothes, workout clothes, party/fancy clothes, casual clothes and lounging clothes.  This system lets you see how much you have in each category compared to how much time you spend doing these activities.  For example, if you work 40 hours/week, workout 5 hours/week, spend 15 hours/week doing things and 1 evening/week getting dressed up you can see that your wardrobe needs mostly work clothes, a few casual clothes, less fancy clothes and some workout clothes.  Check and see if you have a balanced wardrobe for your lifestyle. 

 If you find it hard to stay then organize your wardrobe 3 or 4 times a year to see if it is balanced by lifestyle and colour as well as how many unused single items are hiding. 

Don’t Forget about Shoes

As you get older your feet change.  You lose the strength in your arch and your foot flattens making your foot wider.  Try on every pair of shoes to see if they fit, if they are in good repair and a style you like. Group your shoes to make it easier to find what you need.  They might be grouped by season, colour or style. If you have a lot of shoes in boxes then tape a picture to the outside of the box.  It will make it easier for you to find what you need without having to go through endless boxes. You might want to purchase clear shoe boxes for storage.  There are many shoe organizing systems, over the door, under the bed, wall units, cupboards, racks etc. Look for an option that suits your needs and space. If you purchase expensive shoes get them repaired.  Zippers can be replaced, heels can be reheeled, soles can be replaced and once they are polished professionally they will look like new.    You may find shoes that have never been worn and can be sold  like these shoes. Shoes can be donated too. 

Invest in the Right Equipment

Many people like matching hangers, purely because it means that you do not end up getting distracted by a messy looking wardrobe. There are many styles of hangers and sometimes you need specialized hangers for certain garments, pants, skirts, ties, belts, scarves etc.  If you have a small closet you will need to use less bulky hangers.  Wooden hangers take up a lot of space.  Felt covered hangers prevent items from slipping off but it takes patience to get a garment hanging smoothly.  If you’re not a patient person only purchase a few felt covered hangers.  Whatever style of hanger you like (plastic, metal, wooden, felt), purchase a good quality one so they don’t break, crack or bend. Try using boxes in the drawers or on the shelves to keep clothing organized. They prevent items from “moving” all over and making it difficult to find what you need. They work well for belts, bags, scarves, socks, smaller items etc.  If you invest in the right systems, that match your closet and personality,  you will find it is easier for you to stick to your system. 

Separate Clothing by Seasons

You may find it helpful to divide your clothes into summer and winter options if you have a smaller closet. Having only half your clothing displayed at one time makes it easier to find what you need.  When you change the clothing displayed for the next season, it is a good time for you to go through everything, donating items you didn’t wear, don’t like or don’t fit.  In some places, people have more items they wear year round and with climate change, there is becoming less of a need for 2 seasons of clothing.  This means you will need fewer clothes and it will be easier to keep everything organized. 

When you are deciding what clothes to keep and what to donate ask yourself:

  • Do I get compliments when I wear it?
  • Does it fit and do I feel good when I wear it?
  • Does it send the right message about the type of person I am? (confident, fun, honest, knowledgeable, healthy, etc)
  • How much is enough?

Reducing the amount of clothing you own, having a great closet space, and using good organizing devices will help you to have an organized wardrobe.  I think I have addressed many concerns about organizing your wardrobe.  Have I left anything out? Let me know in the comments.

A blue and white striped tunnel in the background with Julie Stobbe in the foreground wearing a white blouse.Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

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