You’re likely here because you're part of the messy, overstuffed closet club. Welcome. I’ve scoured the internet and pulled the best advice from people who are much more into organization than we are and put together the 5 steps (because who has patience or time for more than that) we can take to bring more order to our closets and make the most of our wardrobe.
The biggest challenge with a messy closet, aside from literally tripping over things or having things fall on your head, is that you end up wearing the same thing over and over because you can’t see all the items you have, or your closet is full of outdated, ill-fitting items. Take a moment to read through the 5 steps and then plan a day when you can complete them all. Trust me, you do not want to start and then abandon this project- that only makes it worse.
Once you’ve completed the clean out, you may need to refresh your wardrobe with some new pieces. Make sure to check out Black Pearl Swimwear and Everyday Pearl for ultimate comfort and chic style.
Prepare: These items will be used in the steps below
Trash bags (2 recommended)
Empty Laundry baskets (at least 2 recommended)
New hangers (optional)
Favorite adult beverage (optional but recommended)
Step 1: Let the wild rumpus begin
Pull everything out and put into one big pile. I know. This sounds like a horrible idea and a big pain, but I promise it is the most effective way to really clean out and organize your closet.
Step 2: Purge
This is the most important step. You will need to make judgements, quick judgements, for each piece of clothing you have piled up. Organize it so you have 2 trash bags and at least 2 empty laundry baskets lined up. These will be used to Trash, Donate, Keep and Store.
If something is damaged or degraded (e.g. moth eaten or has sweat stains), trash it.
If you didn’t remember you had something or if it does not fit the body you have right now- donate it. You have lived life without it with no consequence and when you can fit into it again, you deserve to treat yourself to a new piece anyways. A note on something “coming back into style.” That never happens. If it comes back around it is through a modern eye and you will want to buy a new version of it anyways.
Every piece that fits, is in good condition and makes you feel great when you put it on- should go in your keep pile. These are the pieces that are worthy of putting back in your closet.
So what is the Store basket for? This is where you will put seasonal items like bulky sweaters or coats and boots that do not need to be in your closet ou of season. You will need to create a storage space for these. I have a cedar chest I use for my sweaters and a storage bin for my winter coats and shoes that goes under my bed. It will create more space if you can take items out of your closet seasonally.
Step 3: Now that every single item you own is in it’s appropriate trash bag or laundry basket you will need to put everything back in your closet. This is the step where I would suggest you clean your closet (dust, vacuum, etc) and if you are able to, replace your old worn out or broken hangers with fresh, clean ones.
Step 4: Restore Order
Now is the time to store your items in the Store basket and put your Keep items back in the closet. Let’s be thoughtful about how we return the items we want to keep. I suggest organizing by categories like you would find in a retail store. You should hang all tops and dresses and organize by season and color. For jeans, pants and skirts you can get a hanging shelf unit or if your closet already has shelving you can organize by season and color. Shoes are best stored on a shoe rack or in shelves.
Step 5: Fill the Gaps
Now that everything is back in the closet it’s time to look for anything you are missing. In the purge did you find you are lacking in any category? Do you have a favorite pair of jeans that fit well? Do you have a fitted, modern style blazer? Do you have timeless, comfy cardigans? Make a list of any missing style that is a timeless, chic piece that you will wear year after year regardless of trends and plan to replace it accordingly to your budget.
Now celebrate your hard work and get ready to enjoy getting dressed without the stress.