A Well-Managed Wardrobe

“I have nothing to wear!” This sentence is probably uttered under the breath of thousands of women around the world every minute. Sometimes looking in my closet for something to wear is frustrating. I can’t remember what fits, what shirt goes with my gray skirt, or which accessories look best with that one red dress. Often, it is even hard find a specific item. (Where DID I put that great yellow scarf??) Is a shopping spree the solution? Unless I declutter my closet I will only be adding to the clothing chaos. The solution is a well-managed wardrobe.

Even if you have a small space (or especially if you have a small space!) you can create a wardrobe that not only saves you time but is also FUN!

Let’s get started!

1) Make sure you have an adequate supply of bags or bins for sorting clothes.

2) Take EVERYTHING out of your closet, drawers, shelves, boxes, anyplace you have clothing and accessories stashed.

3) Put everything in a pile. If you already have things like pants, t-shirts and scarves already sorted you can make piles of each type of item.

4) Assess each item. TRY IT ON! Decide if you want to keep it, donate or sell it, or toss it. If it takes you more than a minute to decide you can probably donate, sell or trash it. Asking these questions can help:

• Does it fit? (Be honest: if it is 2 sizes too big or too small, toss it.)

• Do you love it? (And feel good in it!)

• Is it damaged? (You probably won’t get it repaired… ever.)

• Is it comfortable? (Comfort is KEY!)

• Do you have several of the same item? (You probably don’t need 5 pink t-shirts. Pick your 2 favorite.)

• Have you worn it in the last year? (If you are unsure use the Reversed Hanger test. Turn all your hangers backward. When you wear a piece of clothing, turn it around to the normal position. At the end of 12 months, any clothes still turned backwards in the closet haven’t been worn and should be donated.)

• Can someone else use it? (Helping others by donating just makes you feel good!)

• Would you buy it again? (Shop in your own closet!)

5) Set up Zones, organizing clothing by type: tops, bottoms, suits and dresses. Then organize each Zone. For example, organize tops by sleeve length or color. Group bottoms by type: shorts, pants, skirts. You could also organize according to function: workout, casual, business, formal. Garment organizer tags keep Zones separated.

6) For accessories like scarves, ties, bags and belts, use an over-the-door pocket organizer or attach baskets or hooks to the inside of the closet door.

7) Other items, such as socks and undergarments, can be placed in baskets or bins.

Tips & Tricks to remember:

• Use the same type of hanger: flocked. They are slim and clothes don’t slip off.

• For folded items on shelves or in drawers, place heavier items on the bottom, lighter items on top. If you don’t have enough shelf space, hang a canvas sweater shelf in the closet.

• Take photos of your favorite outfits, including accessories, and make a fashion board of your favorites for easy reference during rushed mornings.

• Have an area designated for preassembled outfits. You can do this on Sunday for the week to come (save time and really enjoy that morning coffee) or for special occasions that are coming up (less stress getting ready = a more enjoyable evening).

• If you have limited space, rotate seasonal clothes. Store off-season items in vacuum storage bags to save LOTS of space!

• Remember: if you don’t SEE it – you won’t WEAR it.

• Keep things you wear most often within reach. Don’t put your favorite sweater on the top shelf.

• Shallow built-in drawers are perfect for jewelry and smaller items.

• Use canvas garment bags – not plastic.

• Make sure your closet has enough light. Install one if necessary. Battery operated lights can be a quick and convenient solution.

• Look into building a customized closet. Visit www.closetmaid.com and www.easyclosets.com for custom Closet Systems, or www.easytrack.com and www.homedepot.com for do-it-yourself customized options.

• Keep a “Donation” bin in the back of your closet. Anything you find that doesn’t fit, or you no longer wear, can be tossed into the bin. When it gets full – donate the contents!

• Do a quick reorganization of your closet once a month. Do a complete closet make-over every season or twice a year.

This initial process takes time and discipline – but the rewards are AMAZING! Find out for yourself and share your favorite closet organizing tips with us!

For over 100 specific closet organization ideas and products, visit our Closet Organizing Board on Pinterest.http://www.pinterest.com/silverliningorg/organizing-the-closet/.

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