As a Personal Stylist, I've walked into hundreds of closets. Men, women and teens alike, I've seen multiple walk-in closets larger than my bedroom as well as my share of tiny NYC apartment closets. One of the first things I do when I enter someone's closet for a wardrobe edit, is to determine how accessible everything is. Does this person have an easy time finding everything in their closet each morning as they are getting ready for the day, or are there pieces in their closet that are out of view and easily forgotten?
On average a woman spends 6 months of her life choosing what to wear. Most of us need more time, with busy family and work life who has extra time to be spending staring at their closet each day? Having an organized closet not only saves you time and stress, but also money. When everything is visible in your closet, you know what you have and also what you need. It can help you avoid those last minute trips to the mall to buy something that you don't necessarily love, for that event you have tomorrow.
Here are my Personal Stylist Tips for having and maintaining an organized closet:
1. Everything in your closet must be something you like (ideally love), that you know how to wear and that fits you now (not your ideal self 6 months from now).
2. Good hangers are a must. Not only do they protect your clothes, they also make things in your closet feel more luxe and special. My personal favorite are wooden ones like these here, here and here. If your closet is small, try these here instead to save space.
4. Group items together into sections in your closet, ie: tops, pants, skirts, dresses...
5. Organize each section by color from light to dark first, and then by style from casual to dressy and sleeveless to long sleeve.
6. If you have the space, hang your jeans and the t-shirts you wear for daytime. They will be more visible than folded on top of each other. If you do have shelving that you use for folded items like sweaters, fold no more than 3 in a pile so the ones on the bottom aren't forgotten.
8. Allow yourself one large storage box like this one here, for all of your sentimental wardrobe items that you don't want to part with, but that you don't wear.
9. If your size tends to fluctuate, keep a small area in the furthest part of your closet for items that are for your "ideal" weight that may not fit now, but that you are working on. (Give yourself up to 1 year)
12. For pieces that you'd like to protect but that are more for special occasions,
14. Never hang anything in your closet that needs to be steamed, thinking you'll get to it another time. Keep everything that needs to be steamed in a separate section of your closet and plan a weekly time to steam all of those items before hanging them up. I highly recommend a standing steamer like this one here or here.
15. If you have a lot of jewelry, the same rules apply. Keep only what you love and wear, and everything must be visible. Love this jewelry organizer here. Same goes for your belts and scarves. Love this organizer here.
16. Same rules apply to your shoes. Unless they are the shoes you throw on to walk the dog, they should ideally all be in your closet. If you don't have shelving for your shoes, this shoe organizer here is amazing.
17. To recap, when you walk into your closet the goal is that the only items there are ones that you love, that fit your body now and that you know how to wear, and that everything is visible and accessible.