I was girl in college who took 25 shoe boxes up 8 flights of stairs and crammed them high up in her 4×4 dorm room closet.. I had enough clothes to get me through
an apocalypse freshman year and far far beyond! Since the day I moved out of that dorm, carrying each one those shoe boxes to the car, I told myself–no. more. And I’ve stuck to that promise. Here’s what I did to condense my closet, and how you can too!
STEP 1: Remove everything from your closet
I mean EVERYTHING! There are two reasons for this.. (1) so you can see how much closet space you’re actually working with & (2) you only put back what you’re keeping.
STEP 2: Sort your things into categories
Think very narrow so that you can have a pretty good grasp of what all you own and for what purpose. When I do my closet, I have: tanks/short sleeve tops/ long sleeve tops/ cardigans or button ups/ jackets/ denim/ leggings/ shorts/ dresses/shoes/ scarves
STEP 3: Go through each category and determine the things you’ll keep vs. toss (or donate!)
Only keep the things you can actually see yourself wearing! Forget how much you paid for it or how trendy it is.. think back to the last time you wore that shirt or how many times you have. If you can’t remember either, it’s likely not something to keep. If you’re on the fence about keeping a piece, here’s a trick.. put that hanger on the rod backwards; if it’s still backwards by the next season, then get rid of it!
STEP 4: Hang and fold everything and assess
As you put each category back into the closet, sort them by color. I usually put mine in order like this: Tan|White|Gray|Black|ROYGBIV. The reason for sorting by color and category is so that when you make a shopping list in step 5, you can visually see colors/styles you may or may not need to add to your closet.
STEP 5: Determine the “holes” in your wardrobe & make a list
Look through your closet and start making a list of things you think you need–I keep a running list in the notes on my phone that I use when I go shopping.. it has everything from a tan trench coat, to a LBD, to a striped long sleeve tee on it! Also, think about the direction you want to take your style. Being a new mom, I have shifted my focus on purchasing things that I know I’ll wear over and over, are easy to clean, and comfortable to wear. Don’t forget basics and accessories! Throwing on a scarf with a plain white tee and denim creates intention and adds style to an otherwise plain outfit.
STEP 6: Shop! (Cautiously)
Be diligent and stick to what is on the list! Make good decisions based on the information you gathered when you cleaned out. Say, if you threw out every Forever 21 shirt, but kept all the ones you have from The Loft, then maybe don’t even tempt yourself by looking through Forever 21. Here’s also where quality vs. quantity comes to mind. FORGET THE SALE RACK (for now)… I don’t say this because I don’t want you to find good pieces on sale, but that you want to purchase things you actually need over something that is “a good deal”. If it so happens that the one thing you’ve been eyeing goes on sale or happens to pop up unexpectedly in the sale rack, then by all means, have at it!
STEP 7: Reassess for each season
This one is important for maintaining an organized and useful closet. If you determine your needs by the seasons by using your already established categories, you can streamline the process of shopping and getting dressed. That being said, be creative when it comes to remixing; that tank you usually only wear in the summer can easily be used as a layering piece for fall!
There ya have it! Standing by the “less is more” concept elevated my personal style (I mean I’m no style blogger) because now I only buy what I like to wear, so I use what I have to put together outfits that I feel good wearing & it shows.
I promise, you can do the same!