Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Closet Reboot {tips & tricks}

A year and half ago, I completed my first major closet clean-up. {Here's Phase I & Phase II if you missed it.} I rolled up my sleeves and emptied, sorted, and prettied it up. 

I also vowed to maintain a more streamlined, simplified clothing existence.

Last week, Theresa, Lisa, and I started 31 Days to Clean {The Reboot} and one of the first challenges involved cleaning out our closets. My closet definitely needed a reboot and I was able to rid myself of almost 25 items.

A few days later, I spent a morning with my dear friend/soul sister Theresa helping her with hers. She started and then got stuck partway through the process. I offered to come over and help because I can't resist a good cleaning/organizing project... plus I knew her life would feel that much more manageable with a clean closet to wake up to each day.

I channeled my inner Peter Walsh and we blasted through her closet. I loved every minute of our organizing time together and Theresa unwittingly became the first victim client of Katie's Krazy Kloset Kleaning + Kounseling {working title}.

I'm wondering if I missed my calling...or maybe there's still time for a new career! {Read what Theresa was thinking here}. 

I would gladly come help any one of you work through your closet hangers and hang-ups, but some of you live faraway so a blog post seems more practical.

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Interested in a closet overhaul? Here are my tips & tricks:

Do you love it? Does it serve a purpose? These are the biggest two questions on my mind during any organizational/purging project. Make it your goal to have every. single. thing. in your closet meet at least one of those two criteria.

Reframe how you think about clothes. They're clothes. Just clothes. Let them be just clothes. It's great to feel good and look pretty, but remember that your clothes don't define you and they can't save you either. It's just a shirt, not the thing that's going to make your life complete. Honest.

Be real about how many clothes you actually need. How many dresses can one person really wear? Can you make three pairs of jeans do the work of ten? Will anybody notice if you have a ten shirt rotation instead of a thirty shirt one? Do you have enough apparel in your closet to outfit a small nation? One person. Seven days a week. Factor in the number of days you usually wear yoga pants, and compute.

Let go of the past. High school was a long time ago. So was college. So was the-time-before-you-had-kids-and-you-were-ten-pounds-lighter. S-o-m-e-t-i-m-e-s fashion comes back around but that usually takes 30-40 years, and we are NOT going to wait that out. We have a life to live. Just. Let. Go.

Realize it's all connected. If you're waking up each morning to a crazy closet, chances are good that your life might feel a little crazy too. If you're seeking more order, more simplicty, more intention in your life, you're going to have to start small. Like with your closet. (Ouch.)

Use what you have. A closet overhaul does not have to be expensive. While we all want the beautiful, decked out closet from the pages of a magazine, it's not a reality for most of us to spend endless resources on storing our clothes. Look around the house for extra baskets. Pinterest yourself some DIY storage bins. Banish ugly hangers from your closet. Even if you're just using the white plastic hangers, they're better than a hodge podge of mismatched holders.

Button, zip, straighten, fold. Make like a Gap employee and do the simple things to tidy up your closet. Button a couple buttons on your shirts. Zip up your hoodies. Straighten your cardigans.  Refold your sweatshirts. It will take you a few extra seconds to do, but it'll add some calm and order to your space.

Place limits. Only allow yourself to keep a set amount of hangers in your closet. This way you'll know when you're starting to reach capacity. If you have trouble finding an extra hanger, it's time to do a refresher purge. Force yourself to contain your clothing collection within your closet (and dresser). Hint: the problem isn't that your closet is too small.

Shop smarter in the future. As you look at the pile of clothes you've removed, you might feel bad...all that money poured into clothes that you no longer wear. That shirt you bought and only wore once. The pants that still have the tags on them. File those feelings away (no guilt allowed!) and next time you're out shopping try to make smarter shopping decisions. Refer back to tip #1 and only buy new items that you either love or serve a purpose.

Make a wishlist. Now that you're intimately familiar with the contents of your closet, takes notes on wardrobe gaps (navy cardigan, pretty tanks) and organizational tools to keep an eye out for (a sturdy basket, a belt hanger). Having a plan in place will make you a smarter shopper too.

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My friend Jami posted this statement on Facebook this week:

Your house, your hips, your heart, and your head are all connected. 
Begin to work on one and the other will follow.

Freedom, friends. Less is more. Now, go forth and tackle that closet!

{Linking Up}
IHeart Organizing Weekend Bloggy Reading


  1. Love this! I just sent off guest post about closet organization! Great minds think alike! ;)

  2. Good advice! It's always nice to have another person to help you decide what you don't actually need to hang on to. And I think I need to be a smarter shopper. :)

  3. I'm in the process of re-doing my closet and hoping that I can finish it this weekend. I have my husband moving the shelf up to install a second level for clothes and adding a couple shelves. I'm definitely going to take these ideas into account when I'm sorting through the clothes to put back in.

  4. Your closet looks great! I'm inspired to tackle mine!

  5. I REALLY need to follow these tips! I AM THE WORST!!! My closest is the LAST place in my house that gets cleaned/organized.

  6. oh I love this! I'm going to totally use these tip[s to get my closet cleaned up and organized. Or even better, maybe you could come do it for me! I mean, your closet looks so great already! ;) I just found your blog and have loved looking around and getting to know you better. I'm excited to follow along!

    new follower :)

    1. Thank you! You are so sweet! Can't wait to have a look around your blog too!

  7. What a GREAT post, katie.

    In all my years of writing Organising Queen, I have never thought of your point 2 in that way :)

    You're right - they are JUST clothes. It might feel like we have to have X (for me, that would be a new handbag) to feel whole, but really, it's just a bag (or clothes) :)

    1. Thanks, Marcia...it's an honor to hear that especially coming from you :)

  8. Great tips! I need to do my own closet makeover!!!

  9. These are great tips! Revamping my closet is one of my summer goals.

    P.S. I'm your newest follower, and your family is so beautiful! I'd love to see you around at my blog too!




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