Once the leaves start to fall, the itch kicks in to nest as we ready ourselves and our home for a new season. Autumn brings to mind cozy sweaters, tall boots and denim, hats and gloves. Autumn festivals, pumpkins, comfort food by the fire, and the joy of the Holiday Season.
When the itch to nest kicks in, that’s my cue to make some room for a new season of style!
Twice a year, I “gut” my closet, and give it a little facelift. I begin by removing EVERYTHING out of the closet. Every single piece. Once I vacuum the dust bunnies and toss the garbage that collected over the summer, I begin to inspect every item that goes back in. What does not make it back in is either packed up for next spring/summer or if it no longer suits my needs or fits, it’s placed in bags to donate or resell. The entire process can be overwhelming, so planning is key. I select a date on the calendar when I know I’ll have a few hours free. I need about 4 uninterrupted hours to accomplish what needs to get done in my closet. On the date of choice, I set aside the time, turn off my phone and focus. I grab a cup of coffee, and start working. Stuck inside from all the rain, wind or snow? Take advantage of the forced indoor time and jump into your closet – you’ll thank yourself later!
Make Some Room
Remove EVERYTHING from your closet, and I mean everything, even empty hangers in the back of the closet.
Sort Into 6 Piles
Keep, store, donate, resell, alter, and garbage.
Evaluate each and every piece you plan to keep. Only what you love goes back in the closet.
I hang first by type of garment; skirts, pants, dresses, etc. I then colorize within the category.
Accessories, Handbags and Shoes
Organized or hung where you can easily see them. Trust me, if you can’t see these final pieces, you won’t wear them!
Once your closet is nice and organized, try this tip throughout the season – to test what you really wear. Hang your clothes with the opening of the hanging part of the hanger toward you. Once you wear an item, put it back in normally. Later in the year, you can go through your closet and evaluate the hangers that are still backwards and decide then if you want to keep the items or donate/resell them.
Step One: Clear the Space
- Remove all of the clothes from your closet. Yes, EVERYTHING! I place handbags, shoes and accessories, in separate piles on the floor.
- Vacuum out the closet. Toss any garbage, shoeboxes, bags and clutter.
- If you’ve stored any off-season items, unpack, and add them to the pile.
- Using storage containers, pack up the off-season items by folding them into the totes. Indian Summer? Keep your favorite transitional pieces, then store the rest. Touch and inspect each item that is going into storage. Look for pilling, fading. Have you worn the piece at all this year?
Step Two: Sort the Piles
Keep, store, donate, resell, alter, and garbage.
- The most difficult, but important step. Decide which clothes to donate or resell. If you want to have an organized space, your goal should be to get rid of as many items of clothing as possible that no longer suit your needs.
Have I worn this in the last year? If it has no sentimental value, it’s time to donate/resell it.
Is this item so worn, pilled or faded that neither I nor anyone else will ever wear it again, toss it!
Does it still fit? Stop waiting for the day that it will fit, and donate or consign it.
- Keep all the clothes that you wear on a regular basis, and garments that you would miss if they weren’t in your closet. If you’ve worn a certain item in the last week, month, or even few months, you should hold on to it as long as it’s seasonally appropriate.
- Do you have a garment you love that no longer fits? Or a dress that is no longer a stylish length? Can it be altered?
Off Season items, nicely folded and ready to be stored until next Spring.
Step Three: Closet Re-Entry
- As you prepare your items for re-entry, evaluate each piece honestly. For each item you are unsure of, ask yourself the questions listed above. If you truly cannot make the call, set the item aside and ask a good friend to give you an honest opinion. It is possible that you are holding onto the item, for emotional reasons.
- Try to hang up as many clothes as you can. This will make it easier for you to find pieces and conserve space. I like to use thin felt type black hangers. You can get these at Costco, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Amazon and Target. These hangers allow for more storage, plus no slippage. Matching hangers make your closet look cleaner, and more orderly- I use all black.
- I like to organize my clothes by type. I separate my knits, blouses/shirts, pants, skirts, day and special occasion dresses. Once all the items are back in the closet I colorize them so I can really get a sense of what I own. Because I usually dress business casual for work, I separate “true business wear”, from my everyday clothing.
- The items I wear the most are in the best location for easy access and visibility, making it easy to get dressed in the morning.
- Since I wear denim and jacket almost daily they get front and center real estate.
Step Four: Accessories
Accessories can make an outfit…only if you can find them.
Just for fun
Paint your closet a soft pretty color.
Add mirrors or a tall mirror
Hang jewelry and scarves where you can see them (see photos)
Over-the-door shoe racks are a great way of saving space vs on-ground shoe racks.
If you have some space in your closet, perhaps put a dresser in the closet and store your folded items in it.
Do you have a trunk? Great for storing off season items!
Add a fun quote or work of art for daily inspiration.
Do you have a strategy that works for you? Let’s hear about it!
How do you purge items that not longer work for you?
Do you find the task overwhelming or do you enjoy organizing for a new season?
Drop your thought and comments down below, simply scroll down and share, I’d love to hear!
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