4 Steps to an Organized Closet

This week Project Simplify became more like Project Complicate, from where I’m standing. It’s close to impossible to get anything done when you’ve got a baby with a severe cold and cough on your hands. Sleep was scant this week for everybody. Plus Alex wants to be held during the day, and I couldn’t blame her.

So here we are a few days late, but I persevered and got the closet done. Luckily, I worked hard to declutter and organize my closet when I was pregnant, so I didn’t have much to get rid of. I’m still in a limbo state, as I’m nursing and a tad chub-ified, so a lot of what I own doesn’t fit yet.

Without further ado:

4 Steps to an Organized Closet

After you’ve envisioned your perfect closet, and after you’ve decluttered the clothes you don’t want, follow these steps to organize your closet:

  1. Try on all the rest of your clothes — no cheating. I really mean all of them.
  2. Choose clothes to donate or toss. Set aside anything that doesn’t fit well, that isn’t the right color on you, or that’s seen better days. Even if you’ve already decluttered, trying on all your remaining clothes will alert you to the need for some further closet editing. Reread this post for tips on how to let go of your mediocre clothes: Make Closet Organization Easy: Declutter Your Closet First.
  3. Hang, fold, and put away the clothes you know you’re keeping. Order them the way you choose your outfits, whether that’s by color, item or season. In my after photos, you might notice that I have fall / winter clothes on the right, spring / summer clothes on the left.  Then I organize by type: tops, dresses, jackets, etc.
  4. Tackle your shoes, jewelry, and other accessories.

I got quite a few things out of this exercise, especially by adhering to the “try everything on” rule:

  • Organizing my closet at the start of the spring & summer season alerted me to all the cute outfits I already have, which will curb unnecessary shopping. I’m actually super excited to wear my warm weather clothing, when before I simply assumed I was too fat for everything. That brings me to my next point…
  • There were a number of items that surprised me in that they fit and flattered me. I had figured that because I am slightly porky that “nothing fits” but I was very wrong about that.
  • There were other items that I assumed did fit, but actually looked tight and ill-fitting. So the rule to try everything on was a useful task. It was also an emotional roller coaster ride. In the spirit of the rule, I gleefully pulled a size 0 dress over my head, only to have my heart leap at the resulting vision of getting stuck in the dress with my arms over my head. The panic caused me to reverse operation and yank the dress off in a hurry. Good times.
  • I found that only taking a few items out of the closet at a time was a great way to work. That way when the baby needed me, I could abandon ship and not stress that I was leaving a massive mess behind.

And now for the before and after photos! Click on each image for an enlarged view.

The left hand side is before:                                                      The right hand side is after:

(That’s my husband’s jersey on my side of the closet.)


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