My Personal Closet Detox
I’m going to spill the beans. I’ve never had the most organized closet. I love clothing, accessories, and shoes so much that I tend to overcrowd the space that I have. Every season I purchase new pieces I end up forgetting about because they were hiding in between other pieces tightly compressed in my closet. This would lead to me standing in front of my very full closet, thinking “I have too much stuff and yet have nothing to wear.”
When I decided to become a stylist, I knew I had to get a grip on the mini department store that is my closet. So, I put on my big girl pants and started the process of Closet Detox. Armed with high hopes, snacks, and a giant glass of Chardonnay I started on my journey.
First, I gathered the materials for the job. I bought new velvet hangers in a neutral tan color (Zober Non Slip Hangers, $24 for 50, Amazon.com) two laundry baskets (one for donate, one for trash), trash bags, and music. I blocked out two hours of my day and got started.
The beginning of the closet detox is physically demanding. I broke a sweat while I took every item out of my closet and threw it on my bed or on a rolling rack. Then I ruthlessly went through every single item and chose its fate. If something had a stain or a hole or other damage it went straight in the trash section. Things that were in good condition but I didn’t love went in the donate pile. It was hard to part with the pair of jeans that I paid $200 for but really didn’t fit properly. Or the jacket my husband bought me years ago that has a rip at the seam. You want the things in your closet to look good, but equally as important, you want them to make you FEEL good. When I look at an item while I am wearing it does it bring me happiness? Then keep it.
After I decided on the winners for my closet, the real work began. You want your closet to be easy to “read” when you open it, so that you can get dressed easily during hectic mornings. The key is creating “categories” of clothing that fit your lifestyle. I work from home, attend some professional events, have date nights with my husband, and have two little kids. They are two and six, which means things are often wiped or ejected on me. I wear a lot of casual chic clothing that I can wash a million times with a few dress up days each week.
I created categories, or ‘closet chunks’, as I like to call them, starting with the least worn items first. These went in the back of my closet, with each chunk moving forward to the most accessible.
1. My first closet chunk is off season clothing. It’s May in San Francisco, so I hung my velvet blazers and other wintry things in the back of my closet.
2. The next chunk was dresses. I wear a dress maybe once a week, so they can also be further back in my closet.
3. Skirts were next. I wear those more often because the skirts I have are a bit more casual.
4. Dress pants.
5. Dressier dark denim and chinos
6. Casual denim. These are folded in a drawer to not waste hanging space.
7. Jackets. In SF, one needs about a million jackets because you will always be wearing one. Every day of the year. So, this section takes up a big chunk of my closet.
8. Long line cardigans. These are my new favorite go to layering item, so I’ve developed quite a collection.
9. Long sleeved tops and blouses
10. Short sleeved and sleeveless tops and blouses.
This organization left me with fifteen minutes left to clean up and put away everything. The two-hour time limit is important because it keeps the task reasonable in your mind. Gazing at my newly categorized and detoxed closet, I felt a sense of calm wash over me.
It’s been two weeks since my journey to a badass closet, and I am loving getting dressed even more than I used to. I can see new and creative combinations that will take me less time and energy to develop.
Will I change my clothing purchase decisions? Definitely. I will never be a minimalist with my wardrobe, but being able to see what I have in clear clothing chunks will make it easier to not overbuy.
Overhauling your closet is an overwhelming task and I love to help people tackle the task!