My collection of store plastic hangers had finally gotten the better of me. I decided it was time to convert my closet to a more unified look and the result has been the gift of more space! This project also gave me the opportunity to sort and purge my winter wardrobe and really take a good look at whether or not an item of clothing deserved a space on a new hanger.
It had been about 6 months since my last go through of the closet and as a retail employee, I have amassed quite the collection of great bargains and amazing deals.
This leads me into my first tip, just because something is a great deal doesn't mean you need to buy it or keep it! I am guilty of falling into this trap on occasion. Have you heard the statistic that we wear 20% of our closet, 80% of the time? How true is that??? Try to really imagine where that piece fits into your wardrobe before you buy it. Are you really going to wear it? If it is too late to make that assessment, then think about the last time you wore an item. If it's been too long to remember or there is a thin layer of dust on it, time to purge it! Something else that helped make my purge decision easier was the purchase of brand new thin velvet hangers for my closet. While this may not be in everyone's master closet revamp plan, it certainly helped me decide what to keep and what to toss. I had a set amount of hangers purchased and did not want to have to buy any more! While this gave me the bonus of having more space, it also allowed me to showcase what I really wear on a regular basis.
Another great tip is to keep a bag for each of these categories: donate, recycle, and give to a friend. The donate is the obvious one since there are many local charities that collect gently used clothing. Just make sure to get a record of your donations for tax purposes. You can also recycle clothing which may be a new concept for you. The local township I live in has a recycling program that takes old clothing and household goods that may not be in great shape to donate. This makes me feel better about not throwing something away and being able to recycle and repurpose it. Check with your local city or township to see what recycling programs they may offer!
The last category is something that works well for me since I seem to find a lot of items in my closet with tags on them or items that I may have worn once. I keep a bag of these items and let my friends know so they can see if anything works for them. Once 2 weeks pass, if I still have items left they go with the donations!
I also suggest investing in some bins to store items. For my closet, I have a selection of handbags that I rotate throughout seasons and occasions. Since I don't have space to showcase them outside of boxes and totes, I keep them labeled in their boxes on my top shelf according to color. I used the bins for handbags that I switch out to on a regular basis so I don't have to keep opening boxes all the time. I also found myself using bins for out of season items like swimwear, shorts, and flip flops! Bins are also great for many other items, just remember to try and keep one category/style per bin and label, label, label!!
Lastly, let's talk about shoes. I had so many shoes that I had to use 2 closets to store them all! Over one hundred pairs! Even with purging them down I still found myself with over seventy pairs. So I categorized my shoes by what I wear them for: work, casual, athletic, special occasion. Once I put them into categories I was able to sort them down even more. I used the same technique that I used to purge my clothes. Determining what I wore on a regular basis and what I hadn't worn in a while. One of the best ways I found to showcase my shoes and make the best use of my space was an investment in adjustable shoe racks. I measured my shoe space and found that a 2-tier rack was the perfect fit and doubled the space where I could store my shoes. This allowed me to have all of my shoes in one space in my closet so again I could select the perfect pair for an outfit.
When all was said and done, I invested about $125 in the master closet makeover between hangers, bins, adjustable shoe racks, and a jewelry organizer. Some of the organizing supplies I used were also repurposed from other areas to save money. Here is an extra tip too: just because you're organizing an area doesn't mean you have to make an investment in organizing supplies! Look around your home to see what you can repurpose and be creative!
And last but least, my golden rule... if you bring something new into your closet, make sure to purge something else out! If you follow this simple rule, you can maintain your closet easily!
Overall the end result was completely worth the investment in my supplies and my time. Now I am able to easily find items, make quick decisions when getting dressed for the day, and most importantly not feel overwhelmed in my space.