It’s no secret, I love clothes – my shopping addiction is something out of a Sophie Kinsella novel. But recently, my wardrobe had grown to such a size that it began to overwhelm my room and my life. I had put off organizing my closet for so long that I ran out of places to store new purchases (which I kept in a laundry basket on my floor), and I would forget that I evened owned some of the items because they’d get swallowed up by the mess! Recently I spent a weekend trying to take control of my closet, and it felt so great when I was finished.
Here are some of the simple closet organization tips that I picked up while tackling my clothing situation:
Purge! Throw out your old clothes
The first step when cleaning out your closet is to get rid of your old clothes. Go through each section and clear out anything you haven’t worn in years, the things you’ve worn to death, and those purchases you thought were awesome at the time, but never ended up wearing.
Tips on what to do with your old clothes:
- Take them to a consignment store: There’s an awesome chain of stores called Plato’s Closet that purchases younger, on-trend clothing from places like Forever 21, Zara, and Aritzia (perfect for someone like me). You bring them your old clothing, wait while they sort through it, and they’ll pay you cash on the spot for what they’re interested in. I brought four trash bags of clothing to their Scarborough location and received about $140 for the 20% of my clothes that they decided to purchase. This is a great way to make some money back on items you would otherwise be giving away!
- Give them to friends: This is a perfect example of one man’s trash is another man’s treasure – chances are your friends will want some of your old clothing to add to their own wardrobe.
- Donate! You can often find clothing donation drop offs in the parking lot of your local grocery store or community centre. Do a quick Google search in your area and donate your clothing to someone in need – you can even pick a charity that means something special to you.
Group by category
Grouping your clothing by category can really help you keep track of things and locate the items you’re looking for quicker. This is super important for me when I’m rushing to get ready in the morning to get out the door to go to work. You won’t have to think twice about where your favourite pair of skinnies are if you have a designated area for all of your denim!
Store off season clothing out of sight
If you live in city like I do where the seasons change and vary greatly, chances are you won’t be using part of your wardobe during a large chunk of the year. I keep these cute storage bins from IKEA above my wardrobe to store summer items (swimsuits, shorts, etc.) in the winter, and winter items (thick knits, scarves, etc.) in the summer. This keeps your most relevant pieces easy to access and gets rid of some of the extra bulk.
I use a variation of the PAX system from IKEA, which has served my wardrobe well over the past few years. I personally like to be able to see all my clothes so I can take stock of what I have, but adding doors would be another easy way to keep things looking neater.
Sort by colour
Another easy way to categorize your clothing is to sort your pieces by colour. This is an extra step to help you find what you’re looking for – a Dewey Decimal System for your clothing. For example if I’m looking for a specific pink skirt, I’ll know to go to my skirt section, and then can easily spot where it is based on colour.
Use skinny hangers
My number one space saving tip? Use skinny hangers! I had been using the cheap wooden hangers from IKEA for the longest time, but realized I could fit three skinny hangers (you can usually find these at any home ware store – Winners, Homesense, Solutions) for each wooden hanger I had. This tripled the capacity of my closet! The velvet kind are my absolute favourite, as they keep spaghetti straps and silky fabrics from slipping off the hanger.
These tips work best for someone trying to tackle a closet that’s gotten out of hand, or has hoarding tendencies like I do. I’ve always lusted after that perfect, minimalist blogger closet (with a few neutral staple pieces hanging gracefully on the rack) – but I know my reality is that I’ll always have drawers and shelves stuffed to the brim. At least I’m learning how to manage it a bit better!