Organizing Your Master Closet Is Just Like Your Kitchen

If you can't see the floor in your master closet, it is beyond time to get some good ole organizing done in there. If there is dust on some of your clothes, then yes it's time for a re-do. If you constantly say you have nothing to wear... you see where I'm going with this. Don't start panicking though because organizing your master closet is actually one of the more fun rooms in your home to do. Just think of the end result as motivation: shopping for replacement clothes!

Head to your closet right now and take a look around. If you are overwhelmed about where to start, I want you to get out 2 cardboard boxes or big plastic tubs, a few Post-It notes, and a marker. Label your boxes "donation" and "sell." Now pick the least scary and overwhelming category for you (tops, bottoms, sweaters, hats, purses, jewelry, exercise clothes, etc.) and get your game face on.

Think of your closet like your kitchen. You don't take everything out of your kitchen all at once to clean it or organize it, but instead you systematically work your way through, category by category. If you get worn out or run out of time, then you stop, putting away your current category and come back later. That way you don't leave a huge mess and can still use your closet that night without major frustration.

Within each category you need to look at each item and decide if it stays or goes. The criteria is up to you, but I generally get rid of anything that has a rip/tear, a stain, I have too many duplicates of (white shirts anyone?), makes me look "not my best" or anything I haven't worn in a few months. The offenders go into the boxes and the great stuff is put back in color-coordinated order (light to dark or rainbow order) on your shelves or hung up. I cannot stress enough how important the color order is because it forces you to see just how many of the same item you actually own and pare down.

If it's summer time, think of your winter clothes as the big roasting pan you only use at Christmas (stick with the kitchen metaphor here). Put them up high or out of the way if you don't have room for everything out all at once. Then, when the next season rolls around, do the switch out again and you are ready to go. Other items that can be stored up high are memorabilia and luggage. The more you can get off the floor, to keep it visually and physically clean, the better.

Just like in the kitchen, you also want to set up zones so everything is not thrown together, spoons and forks all in a jumble. Put all like items with like items and arrange by color in each category. Make it easy on yourself as well - put tops on the top closet bar and bottoms on the bottom bar because duh. You can even use different colored hangers for each set of items or one color for you and one for your spouse. Huggable hangers are the ones I recommend but they can be pricey, so try to score a deal on them at discount places like Ross or TJ Maxx.

Also think about the things you wear most often and put them front and center so you can access them easily. If you love those really expensive high heels but keep them up high in an unlabeled box, you aren't likely to use them, so get 'em down and make it easy on yourself. If you've done your initial purge correctly, there shouldn't be much left in your closet that you want to keep but not access - that should all have gone into your boxes, soon to leave your home. If you've still got a bit left that you are wondering why you kept, then do another purge in a week or so (which will be much easier now that you've got your color-coordinated zones) and see if you can pare down even further.

The sneaky part about this kind of purging is that you have any regrets, you can retrieve your item from your donation box if say you decide a week from now that you really want it after all. Now a word of caution about this if you tend to be a backslider: you may want to donate/sell your items right away so you are not tempted to bring it all back into your closet. What's the point of undoing all of your hard work? Check out my blog on the Empty Box Habit to see my thoughts on why you should keep a donation box in your closet at all times, but if you are not ready for that yet, just take small steps for now.

One last bit of advice if you are having trouble letting go of things is to hire someone to help you weed through it all. As a professional organizer, my closet is borderline sick with order and cleanliness but great fashion sense is not something that I possess in droves. For my birthday I asked my husband to hire an image consultant to help me with my closet. I highly recommend Andrea from Wardrobe Interventions and wish I could hire her every season. It was the best present ever because although my closet is organized, she helped me to see what clothes of mine "highlighted my assets." After that it was easy to donate things that were still in great shape because she had shown me how the color or size or style (hello 1990s!) just wasn't right for me. Plus she took me shopping to pick out the stuff that looked great on me to refill those holes left in my closet and it was the best time shopping that I ever had. Who wouldn't love that?

#emptyboxhabit #closet #clothes #zones #gettingdressed #hangers #donate

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