Even though we’ll do more weeding out in future lessons, this is the ideal time to define a system for keeping your clothes organized and accessible. Here’s the process I use when I work with a private client:
Step 1 – Get everything that isn’t clothing out of your closet. No more luggage, gift wrap, tennis rackets … nothing but clothes and accessories.
Step 2 – Hang everything you possibly can – one item per hanger in most cases. The only exception is when 2 items will always be worn together. A 2-piece dress might be an example, but even that could probably be worn as a skirt with other top and a top with other bottoms — more likely to happen if you hang them separately.
Most sweaters can safely be hung, and are much easier to access that way than folded in a drawer or on a shelf. Keep them from stretching at the shoulder by using the flat, flocked hangers that grip the fabric. (I’m not a big fan of those hangers for most garments because they grip TOO much and make it harder to get the clothes off. But for stretchy shoulders you can’t beat ’em.)
For sweaters that are too heavy for that – long sleeved ones especially – try this great trick: fold the garment in half along the center front/center back so one sleeve lays on top of the other. Place a hanger across the upper body area, with the hook extending from the underarm area. Fold the sleeves down over the top edge of the hanger, then fold the body down in the same way. The fabric layers cling, keeping the garment solidly in place.
For my duster-length sweaters I use this cheater hanging technique – slipping the tag at the back neckline over the hook so the garment’s weight is not pulling on the shoulder line. I wouldn’t do that with an extremely delicate garment but for my evveryday long sweaters it works just great:
Step 3 – Organize your garments by category (jackets together, pants together, skirts together…) Plan categories that fit your lifestyle. You might group all pants together, or segregate career trousers from casual jeans and cords. You might group all your tops together or make separate groupings for short sleeves and long, or for woven tops and knit ones – it’s your call. Just pick a system and stick with it.
Step 4 – Within each category, arrange garments in color order: neutrals first, light to dark. Group colored pieces go in rainbow order – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet – and light to dark within each color family. This arrangement makes your closet feel utterly Zen, and makes it a lot easier to find the item you want on a busy morning.
Find tips on making your closet interior more efficient HERE.