Thursday, October 21, 2010

Attacking Closet Clutter

If I was to come unannounced and inspect your closet--what would I see? Is it organized and everything has a place, or is it where you stash stuff quickly to get it out of the way?

Do you sometimes feel like a squirrel storing things away 'just in case' you need them? If you find that you have stored everything in your bedroom closet (including maybe a kitchen sink-don’t laugh I’ve seen this!) you have created chaos- and now it’s time to attack the closet clutter and make some sense of what really should be in your closet.
When you organize your closet, it will give you more order in your life. Wouldn’t be nice to find what you are looking for right away? What if you could easily go into your closet and pull out something terrific to wear? How good is that? It can happen when you get the clutter OUT!

The best way to find out what you have is to get in your closet and follow the simple steps below. With an organized closet, you will enjoy a stress-free morning everyday!

Stop being a squirrel. Are you storing away "things" in your closet...just in case you might one day need them? Have you stored extra gifts, found things in your closet (years later) you didn’t know you still had, canned food, pantry items…bags of chips, and old household appliances in here? Stop! I know some of you do this! Remove the stored junk now! You need to remember this is your bedroom closet--a place to organize and store your clothes! You need to get the junk out of your closet!

Remember when? I am sure that you have a picture of you wearing that fabulous costume! It’s time to move on and purge it. Do you have clothes that are out-dated, haven’t been worn in years, clothes that no longer fit and ones that don’t make you feel good? You know the answer to that question! Yes! Purge them now! Forget the guilt of how much they once cost, or who gave them to you, or what occasion you wore them! Purge, purge, purge! This can be a very liberating experience to get rid of the OLD stuff & move on!

Sort and separate. Put together clothes in a bag or basket that need to be mended and altered as well as clothes that need to be dry cleaned. You need to get them out of the closet since they can’t be worn right away until something is done with them. (I always put this bag immediately in the car, so that next time I run errands-they can be taken in!)

For every thing there is a season… You need to separate your clothes into 2 main seasons. You should have spring/summer clothes together and clothes for the fall/winter seasons together. The off season clothes should be put at the back of the closet and out of the way of the current season. Or, if you have another closet (it’s rare to have an extra closet) available to use in another room-this is a great place to store out-of-season clothes. Plastic tubs can store out-of-season clothes safely for 6 months. You can hang up an expandable wood mug rack to display your necklaces and other jewelry on (this keeps your jewelry from tangling up and makes it easy to see what matches what).

What’s left? Now it is time to really organize and make a working wardrobe out of the clothes that are left in your closet! So let’s start by categorizing the same types of clothes together. Start with the shelves. Fold and put in piles like clothes together. I like to put the short-sleeved t-shirts folded together and the long-sleeved t-shirts together. Next, put cardigan sweaters together and so on. Group together same types of clothes on each shelf.

Hang in there! Almost done! Now it’s time to tackle the hanging clothes. First off, don’t use the “free” wire hangers-they are worthless! Instead, invest in wood or padded hangers that keep you clothes nice (it gives a nice uniform look too).Or, if you are like me, the white plastic tubular ones are not bad. Again, you are going to organize by category. Start with shirts and blouses. Put the long-sleeved blouses together, then the short-sleeved blouses. Do the same with your pants, denims, skirts, blazers, jackets, and then dresses.

In living color. Now colorize! Put the whites together; cream together, tans, pinks, reds, blues and so on. Go from light to dark with the blouses, pants, skirts, dresses, etc. When you colorize, you will see what colors you have a lot of, and what you are missing. Try it and see!

All together now. Now for the fun part! You will be able to shop in your closet and find new outfits! If you have organized by categories with like things together and then by short and long sleeves and then by colorizing--you will find you can mix and match and put together outfits you didn’t know you had! This system will also tell you what you need to help extend your wardrobe and have more outfits.

Just listed. As you begin to see new outfits in your closet, write a list of what goes with what so you can remember different possible combinations. It also helps to have a trusted friend or sister help you put together new outfit ideas! Make a note also if you need something new to help make more combinations.

Lay out your outfit and call me in the morning. Now that your closet is beautifully organized-set aside the clothes that you want to wear the next day. Include the accessories too. I know you will call me in the morning and thank me for making your life so much more stylish and stress-free! It's also now time to pamper yourself...enjoy a good soak in the tub, you've earned it!

Love, Leslie

BIO: Leslie Gonzales AKA MissusSmartyPants helps women dress their best! (check out my tips under "closet purge")


  1. Great article Leslie. I called Purple Heart to stop by because I wanted to do a closet purge. Sure enough, I didn't do anything till they called me to say they were arriving the next day! I then spent the night clearing out my closet. It was hard and I was sorry to see some things go but it feels good!

  2. I've lost 100 lbs in the past few years, and I had a hard time letting go of my "fat clothes." So, I've been tossing an item or two a week. At least my co-workers are no longer threatening me with a marathon shopping session.

  3. Ann, I'll bet in a couple of weeks you won't miss what is gone! You are moving forward w/ your closet and more importantly...your style! I wish you all the best and I'm sure you are going to be REALLY selective when adding in new things! Use your fit guidelines in the shopping guides for your body type to help you!

    Lena, You ROCK! Over 100 lbs is crazy good! Let go of the "fat clothes" you aren't going back (are you!?)...the answer is NO! You have obviously made some new lifestyle changes that I'm sure you are going to keep.

    You have a new shape and size to dress now. Dress for TODAY and enjoy all the fabulous compliments you rightly deserve!

  4. I am in the middle of a "life purge" that includes redoing my closet. I already group by color and item, but living in Texas means there is too little seasonal change to store warm weather things--anyday in February, you might need them. I do not store other things in the clothes closet, but have found that I am able to declutter enough from my two closets to create lovely, lovely space. I have eliminated all the easy stuff, and now am on the hard purge. Any advice about consignment, since I have some really, really nice things that could net me some extra money if I do it right.

  5. My closet is fairly organized, but it is only six feet long! I have two shelves, small and some drawer space in the closet. I finally have realized that I wear nothing in my closet except on church days. The rest of the time I wear the same jeans and tee-shirt. Just re-signed up after a many year lapse!

  6. Pearl, If you ain't wearing it, it's time for it to go! If you feel better about taking it to a consignment store, by all means do so. They usually give the items about a month to sell, after that time you are to show up and pick up the clothes or what is left gets sent off to a charity. You might make some money--you might not. THE most important thing is to get it out of your closet and move your style forward! It feels good to renew and refresh at any phase in your life.

    Ann, sounds like you need to stop "saving" your clothes for only dress up...a little more mixing and matching will bring your style up a notch. Even jeans and a tee can be dressed up a bit more w/ accessories and a cute jacket and sassy flats!

    Some days you don't feel like "dressing up" or you are at home cleaning all day--that makes sense. But on days you are in and out of the house why not make the best of your day and look fabulous?! (you can always wear an apron when you are cleaning or cooking).

    Glad you are back with MSP after a lapse. Hope you enjoy this week's style should help you get creative in your closet!

  7. I'm so glad I found your blog.I've been following you and all Flylady crew for years and actually my wardrobe is well organisedbecause of you. Any advice by you is appreciated you are welcome to check my blog.


Thanks for leaving your comment. I hope you enjoy my blog and stop by often!

Love, Leslie

4 Steps to Chic

1. Start with a feminine top 2. Pair with classy slacks 3. Ground with bold shoes 4. Finish with statement earrings ...