Fall is officially here and I couldn’t be happier! The weather around these parts is finally cooling a bit (we even got a little rain this week, yippee!) and I am ready to hunker down and prepare for the upcoming season. Fall is a time to reset, recharge and gear up for the months that lie ahead. It is time to swap out sundresses, sandals and warm weather clothing for sweaters, boots and all things cozy. It’s time for a closet renewal!
Twice a year I “gut” my closet and give it a little facelift. I do this by removing EVERYTHING out of my closet, bring my seasonal clothing out of storage and resetting it all. I inspect every item that goes back in, pack up off-season clothing and donate or resell what is no longer working for me.
I understand that this whole process may seem overwhelming. Planning is the key. I pick a date on the calendar when I have a few hours free. I know I need about 4 uninterrupted hours to accomplish what needs to get done in my closet. On my date of choice I set aside the time, turn off my phone and focus. I let my close friends know what I am up to so they know why I am off the grid for a few hours. I grab a cup of coffee and start working. The date I had set on my calendar was September 24th and I am happy to say that I am done! What I am going to share with you was accomplished from 11-2:45 this past Wednesday and I am done till March 2015. We can all do this ladies, let’s go!
Step One: Clear the space
- Remove all of the clothes from your closet and lay your clothing on the bed. I place handbags, shoes and accessories in separate piles on the floor.
- Vacuum out the closet and toss any garbage, shoeboxes, bags and clutter. Create a beautiful clean space.
- Unpack any previously stored in-season items and add them to the pile.
- Now you have some empty totes/storage containers, start packing up the off-season items by folding them into the totes. Touch and inspect each item that is going into storage. If it has had a full life, put it in the donate pile. If you won’t be wearing something for a while because it isn’t seasonally appropriate, in the tote it goes! Repeat the process with your off-season handbags accessories and shoes. Your true spring/summer items should all be nicely packed up, ready for spring 2015.
Step Two: Sort the piles
- You are left now with a pile on your bed of clothes that need to be sorted.
- Keep all the clothes that you wear on a regular basis and clothes 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.
- Now the hard part, deciding which clothes you will donate or resell. This is the hardest step, and the most important. If you want to have a truly organized closet, then your goal should be to get rid of as many items of clothing as possible. Below are a few questions I ask myself with each garment:
- 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 it.
Step Two: Closet re-entry
- Now it is time to put your clothes back in the closet. 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.
- Hang up your clothes and organize them. Try to hang up as many of your clothes as you can. This will make it easier for you to find your clothes and to conserve space. I like to use thin felt type black hangers. You can get these at Costco, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Target. These hangers allow for more storage and the items don’t slip off.
- 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.
- 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.
Step Three: Accessories
- I like to store my less used handbags on a higher shelf. I keep my go-to bags hung in the closet for daily use.
Scarves and Belts:
- I hang my more delicate scarves and fold the heavier ones. I like to roll my belts and store them in a belt box, see photos. You could use a belt hook, but I use my belt hook to store my long necklaces to keep them from getting tangled.
- I like to store my thick sweaters in a hanging sweater shelf.
- Organize shoes by type. Separate your dress shoes, sandals, and boots.
- Invest in a shoe rack to place on the floor of your closet. This will make it much easier to find the pair of shoes you want.
- I like to store off-season and special occasion shoes in clear plastic shoe bins on an upper shelf in my closet. They are out of the way, but accessible. This allows more room for stuff I wear all the time.
Extras: 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 compared to 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.
- One of my girlfriends gave me this fantastic tip: Hang your clothes with the opening of the hanging part of the hanger toward you. When 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.
- I like to keep one basket in my closet for extra hangers. I have a second basket for slippers and flip flops to giving me easy access to items I wear daily.
- Add a fun quote or work of art for daily inspiration:
Scroll down for the final results:
Once I am done, my closet has gone through a beautiful face lift and feels renewed and refreshed. I can see what I have and what pieces I may need to replace. I can now fully enjoy this upcoming season with a closet full of items I love and look forward to wearing. I am ready to shop my own closet!
Here is one more glance at the before and after:
Do you have thoughts on organizing? Tips and tricks that work for you? Feel free to share, we can all learn and be inspired by each other! Thanks for stopping by and enjoy this beautiful weekend!
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Mimi salkola says
Loved your closet clean out Suzanne! I try to do the same thing in my closet too but, definitely not as well as you!
I do have a tip:
I recycle the clear plastic containers that vendors use for fruits and vegetables ( organic spinach containers at Costco ) and use them to store my shoes. The strawberry containers at Costco are perfect for storing sandals and flats!
Great website! Fun to visit!
Hi Mimi, thanks for checking in! I love that you found a way to store your shoes in recycled containers, brilliant! Thank you so much for sharing this idea, I am sure others can make use of this great tip! XOXO
Elise gustafson says
Suzanne this is genius! Overhauling one’s closet is a DAUNTING task, and you’ve simplified it into several smaller ‘do-able’ tasks! Can’t wait to get going on mine — If I can ever get the door open or find the floor 🙂
Hi Elise! Great to see you found me! Yes, I too dread the closet overhaul with changing seasons, but am always so happy when I am done. I find I save time and money by knowing what is where. You can do it, the floor is not that far away! 🙂