Many of us have a love/hate relationship with our closets. Sometimes, it can feel all giddy and fresh and fun when you buy a few new things – you spend Saturday afternoon learning what goes with your latest purchases, trying things on in front of the mirror, and gently putting away your treasures so they don’t get crushed or wrinkled. Other times, it can feel like you’ve fallen into a rut – you wear the same top with the same pants over and over, clothes aren’t getting hung up, and you realize that even though you have choices, you have no desire (or energy) to come up with any new combos. And at the worst of times, you walk into your closet, trip over the shoes that you never put away, exclaim, “I have nothing to wear!” and crawl back into bed.
Closets are pretty much where we start the day (deciding what to wear/who we want to be) and where we end the day (putting our clothes away, when we’re good) – so it pays to make your closet an enjoyable experience. Luckily, there are a few things you can do that will make it easier to enjoy your wardrobe, and love your closet more.
ONE KIND OF HANGER
This is a case where something small has a huge impact. Updating your hangers to just one type and color can do a lot to calm down the visual frenzy that occurs in many closets. Among different colors, textures, classifications and seasons of clothing, your closet may be a lot to look at – but by removing one variable, you tame the frenzy into a much more zen experience. My favorite hangers? These slimline felt ones, that take up minimal space and eliminate clothes slipping onto the floor.
OUT OF SIZE/OUT OF SEASON = OUT OF CLOSET
One of the main goals of my closet audits with clients is to leave them with what’s working – what fits, flatters, and aligns with their lifestyle – so that they can go into their closets each morning and wear whatever they choose. Which means that we keep the clothes that fit, and we remove what doesn’t. Letting go of styles that are too small or too big is being kind to yourself – it’s removing the physical, mental and emotional clutter that’s in the way every morning. And if you think it will fit again – get it out of the closet and into some kind of storage.
The same goes for out of season clothes, especially if your closet space is limited. Yes, many pieces in your wardrobe span multiple seasons, but your chunkiest wool sweaters shouldn’t be in the way in the summer, and you shouldn’t have to wade through skimpy sundresses in the winter – so relegate these styles to under-bed boxes or wardrobe containers in the garage. And if you don’t have the extra room, shift them to unreachable shelves or that hidden closet corner that you only delve into twice a year.
Storage space is often at a premium (especially in the Bay Area), so non-clothing/non-accessory items often creep into the closet. I mean, who hasn’t thrown a thing or two into the bottom of the closet in a last-minute cleaning frenzy? Well, now is the time to get everything out of the closet that isn’t clothes or accessory related. Those rarely used dumbbells? Into the garage. Backup sets of sheets? Into the linen closet or guestroom. Essentially, only things you can wear should be part of your closet experience.
ARRANGE BY HOW YOU DRESS
I often get asked, “how should I arrange my closet?” And my response is, “what’s your thought process when you get dressed?” Of course, it’s logical to arrange by classification – pants with pants, skirts with skirts, etc. But for tops, it pays to analyze your thought process – do you first think of color, or do you decide on sleeve length (i.e. sleeveless vs. long sleeve)? Once you’ve realized this, arrange accordingly.
I am a sweater lover, so I arrange my sweaters by style (cardigans, v-necks, crewnecks) and then weight (heavy wool, thin wool, chunky cotton, thin cotton) within those categories. It may seem unnecessary to the outside observer, but it definitely speeds up my outfit selection.
GIVE SOME LOVE TO WHAT YOU LOVE
Do you have those fun, unique items in your closet that you’d love to wear more? We all do. But do you find yourself passing them over in favor of an ‘easy outfit’ on a rushed morning? Or do you sometimes even forget about them? Then it’s time to give some love to what you love. First, choose a very visible space within your closet or near where you get dressed as the new location for a few of these special pieces. (A valet hook in the closet or a coatrack just outside will do the trick). This will be an ongoing visual reminder to wear your favorites. Then, when you have some time, create a few outfits with them – either take a photo, or leave the coordinating items on the rack (as space permits). Now, on a hectic morning, you have an ‘easy outfit’ that uses one of your favorite styles!
Do you have any tricks that you use to make your closet a more enjoyable space? Let us know in the comments!