backwards hangers Cottage sweet cottage
Image from Cottage Sweet Cottage

Having trouble getting dressed in the morning?  

Maybe your closet needs a makeover.

Have you ever left the house wearing two different colored shoes or mismatched blazer and skirt or pants?  I think everyone has been there at some point and the crux of the problem tends to be that your closet has become such a jumbled mess that it becomes a challenge to get in, get what you need, and get out without stressing.  There are many reasons a closet gets to that point but let’s not dwell on the why it got that way but instead turn our energy toward making it better.

First, I suggest a quick purge.  That is, simply grab all the obvious, items you know you no longer love, that no longer fit or have been waiting an eternity for repairs.  This is more of a knee jerk, gut response purge right here.   Be sure to bag these items up immediately for donation.  Goodwill takes donations of clothing in all states of disrepair and will sell damaged clothing to buyers that purchase fabric for a new life in industrial settings, ie. they are turned into rags.

Second, pull clothing off shelves and sort into categories of like items,  Once you see how many pieces of each category you have, do another round of purging.  Try things on if you have to in order to be sure they actually fit now, not later when you plan to lose 20 pounds.  Why keep reminders of your former body in your closet to taunt you every time you enter? When you lose the pounds, celebrate by buying new, more stylish clothes. If clothing is stained, damaged, no longer fits, is out of style, uncomfortable to wear or simply doesn’t make you feel awesome when you wear it, in the donate bag it should go.

Rinse and repeat with all of your hanging clothes. Once everything has been sorted, plan how to put items back in closet.  I like making it really simple, all pants hang together long next to dresses, then skirts.  I suggest adding a double hang bar, or second shelf for hanging, to your closet if you can so you can place all of your tops together and utilize more vertical space.  The simplest way to sort your tops is to keep all short sleeve tops together and all long sleeve tops together.  Don’t bother trying to split everything up into seasons because so many items can stretch into other seasons, you will simply make yourself crazy trying to remember which season you were keeping the top with, thus causing your system to fail.  Once your tops are sorted into short or long sleeves, put all the same colors together.  Now that  you can see how many black short sleeve tops you have, you may think twice about buying another one next time you are out shopping. If you want to take your closet to the rock star level, then sort your color groupings into the ROY G BIV order we all learned in school for the rainbow effect!

Tips to remember for maintaining your new closet:

  • Purge an item(or two) every time you buy something new.
  • Keep a donate box or bag in your closet so you can toss items that you realize you no longer love anymore.
  • Turn all of your hangers around and as you wear an item, turn the hanger back around the normal way.  By the end of the season, or year, you will know which items were never worn based on whether the hanger ever got turned around or not.  (see image above)


This article was originally written by me for The Loudoun Homeowner.