Resolution Solution Series: Organizing Your Closet!

TGIF, Shopaholics! What do you have planned for this weekend? Since I'm still (ugh) fighting this sinus infection, we are staying home for some much needed rest! And I'm looking forward to it. Sleeping late and staying in my PJ's - that is my plan! :-)

Thanks so much for all your comments and questions Wednesday on the couponing/saving money post. Feel free to email me directly if you have any others (or comment, whatever you prefer). I plan to answer them all in an upcoming post and expand on my couponing plan and habits. Hopefully it will help you too!

Today I'd like to talk about another common New Years resolution, and that is getting organized! More specifically, we are talking about our closets! As several of my BFF's and family can attest, this is an area of constant struggle for me. We all know I like to shop, and frequently purchase new clothing, etc...yet my closet size is the same it's been for almost three years. Major adjustments are constantly required, so that I'm not sleeping on a pile of Lilly dresses and shoe boxes. :-)

When I still lived in Charlotte, my BFF and overall smarty pants friend Lis came over and helped me "clean out" my closet. (I really, really hope Lis is reading this, haha). Silly girl, she only planned to stay for a few hours - that few hours turned into all day long! Of course she went home with a huge pile of stuff that I sent to her daughter, and inherited a Coach handbag, but I digress. Lis was absolutely MILITANT with me about the contents of my closet. You know - I heard stuff like this "I have no emotional attachment to your stuff, so you're getting the truth from me" and "You have EIGHT pairs of black pants - you get to keep three. Pick your favorites and pitch the rest". Too bad she's so good at what she does for her "real job", because she would have made an excellent drill sergeant.

However, my day with Lis created some wonderful habits that I continue to follow, six years and two moves later. Some of these tips I have picked up since that time, and some I give Lis all the credit.

Here's my best advice for organizing your closet - and keeping it organized!

1) Remove everything from the closet. Trust me, this is painful to do. I know.
2) Create piles - dresses, pants, skirts, jeans, etc. Group like items together. Hang the first set of items (say the dresses) back into the closet.
3) Now the real work begins. Ask yourself, have I ever worn this? Will I wear this again? Do I have too many of the same style/same color/same print? (This is where having an honest friend will help you - they'll tell you things like "I've never seen you wear anything that looks like that!").
4) Create "discard" piles with the items that don't make the cut. In my opinion, you need three piles: one for donation/Goodwill, one for resale such as Shopaholic's Preppy Closet on Facebook (link HERE) or even Ebay, and one for alterations/decisions.
5) When loading the items back into your closet, color code them. All black pants together, all jeans together, etc. This makes it soooo much easier to get dressed - and your closet starts to look like a retail store. Nice!
6) If you struggle with a small closet, or lack of room due to sheer volume of items, consider investing in the Huggable Hangers by Joy Mangano. They are available in a wide variety of colors on HSN (link HERE). Of course, I have them and mine are pink and green. Trust me when I tell you, these hangers will allow you to literally double your closet space. Added benefit - items don't slip off the hangers for you to later find in the bottom of your closet.
7) In an attempt to avoid landing on an episode of "Hoarders" - you must practice one simple rule. And it's the most difficult one! Think to yourself - "one in, one out". When you purchase something new, take something else out. Add it to your sell or donation pile.
8) When you experience major life changes such as weight loss, weight gain, change of employment, conversion to SAHM status, etc - try on the contents of your closet. You won't believe how many items no longer work, and need to go into the sell or donation pile. I know this was the case for me when we moved to the beach, I no longer had a professional job, and didn't need all the "work clothes" that were in my closet. 
9) When you are finished, stand back and admire the finished product. Congratulations! Now everything in your closet fits, it's current and most of all - you know what you have. Chances are you found a few things you forgot you had, and can incorporate them into your wardrobe!

While I'm sure my method isn't perfect - I'm certainly no guru - maybe you've picked up a few tips you can use too! Are you planning to clean out your closet this new year? Talk to me!

Have a Fantastic Friday and a great weekend!


  1. nice ideas

  2. This is wonderful! One thing that works for me is asking: Do I love it? Do I use it? Can someone else use it?

    Also, another friend of mine turns her hanger backwards every time she wears in a small matter of time she has an easy visual of what is sitting untouched in her closet!

  3. I like that idea of turning the hangers backward. My closet is the one aspect of my life that has it all together...and thanks to SPC it is one dress and six skirts lighter this week :)

  4. Lori, didn't you KNOW I was organizing my closet last night AFTER I deleted my FB account (and drinking wine to hold back the tears, lol) and could have used this info?? haha

    I got it all together tough. My next step is to get those hangers. They are actually already on my shopping list!

    Have a great day girl & email me & let's make some plans!!


  5. I have a large closet. I have a large closet full of clothes. I don't wear half of them....I need help!!!!!!!!! I think I will print this and put it on the door to my closet for inspiration! Cleaning and purging my closet is on my 'to do' list, but it keeps being pushed to the bottom of the list. Going to be cold and windy this weekend...maybe a good time to organize and clean?

  6. I really need to do this!! Sadly, my weekends are booked! I think I need to schedule this in my calender because I believe this will take HOURS, nay, DAYS! :)

  7. Since my mom and I worked at Saks Fifth Avenue we each had lots of merchandise that we were our responsibility...and closets filled to the brim at home. I still remember my mom teaching her salespeople to put "like with like" and she gave them a pack of crayons to see the order of colors. Then I got married and had kids...and we had lots more stuff in our closets, playroom and bedrooms. That's when mom's words, "like with like" became my mantra. They laugh when I say it now...but it works. Especially when any one of us is overwhelmed by the project...closet, garage, junk drawer or cabinet..."Like with like"

  8. When I graduated from college before my first teaching job started, I worked in a boutique in the mall. The greatest thing I learned there was how to organize clothes! I do the "color" organization, too! I can find things in my closet in a NY second! I also organize my shirts/blouses by sleeve length. This post is great!! Happy New Year!! xoxo

  9. This has been on my to-do list forever! Thanks for the great tips--maybe 2011 will be the year of downsizing! ;)


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