How to Conquer Your Closet, Your Wardrobe and Your Life
Every morning when I open my closet, I smile. Behind two white, bi-fold doors is a collection of items that make me look and feel my best, and I get to start each day by deciding which of my outfits is the most perfect for the moment. No, I don’t have a replica of Carrie Bradshaw’s wardrobe in my home. In fact, I probably own far less clothing than the average woman. However, I’ve managed to turn my small space into a happy place that is both organized and stocked with only great choices. Here’s how I did it.
Determine which colors look the best on you.
With a nod to the 1980s, I recently had a color analysis done to determine the best palette for my wardrobe. I then went through my closet and got rid of most of the items that weren’t in a favorable color. My goal was to eliminate unflattering choices and to give me an idea of any holes I needed to fill in my wardrobe. I was surprised to find I actually owned plenty of appropriately toned pieces; I just wasn’t wearing them very often.
Get rid of anything you don’t like or wear.
You know the drill: if you haven’t worn it in a year, toss it. I also got rid of items that I wore out of some strange sense of obligation but never felt comfortable in. So, too, did I ditch the worn out t-shirts, the too tight jeans and the sequined top that rubbed my armpits raw. Again, my focus was on culling the pile to a small selection of things that I love.
Get real about your lifestyle.
Most of us lead fairly predictable lives. We spend our days, nights and weekends doing the same handful of activities. And yet, we have a tendency to hang on to clothing that doesn’t fit into that lifestyle at all.
I once had an entire closet in my home dedicated to old ball gowns, prom dresses and bridesmaids frocks. I loved each piece, but I was also very unlikely to wear them again (when a special occasion did come up, I usually wanted to buy a new dress!) When we sold our house to travel, those evening gowns were the first thing to go. I have yet to acquire a new one and plan on investigating dress rentals should the need arrive.
Are you keeping cowboy boots, a Kentucky Derby hat or a mini-skirt just in case the need arises? If so, you could be adding clutter and confusion to your day-to-day life.
Consider creating a uniform (or two).
On a typical day between October and April, I wear one of two outfits: a pair of skinny jeans or leggings, and tank or t-shirt layered under a long sweater or blazer; or a pair of skinny jeans, a long shirt, and a scarf. Both outfits I pair with knee-high boots or ballet flats. Within these frameworks, I have dozens of possible combinations of colors, patterns and styles.
I always thought that creating a uniform sounded boring, but I’ve chosen a few silhouettes that are comfortable, flattering and appropriate for my lifestyle. With the basic decisions already made, it’s fun and hassle-free to simply decide what color my uniform for the day will be.
Organize by type.
Realizing that I tend to wear the same type of outfit most days helped me to organize my winter closet into categories: jeans, leggings & tights, layering tops, blazers, sweaters, scarves. In addition to these basics, I have a small section reserved for a couple of dresses and skirts. In the morning, I have the fun of choosing an item from each category, often creating a brand new outfit effortlessly. It reminds me of old-school meal planning when you picked a protein, a vegetable and a starch.
I love my closet now and I’ve found I’m much happier with the clothes I already own, which means I also spend less money acquiring new items.
Top Articles on Organizing Your Closet
How to Organize Your Closet
How the Ultimate Closet Clean Out Will Rejuvenate Your Wardrobe
Spring Clean Your Closet in 10 Easy Steps
- Michelle Tells All: Her First Date with Jim Bob
- The Few Things I Know for Sure about Parenting
- 5 Fall Pinterest Tips to Inspire You
- 5 Lessons of Success I Learned by Chasing My Dream
- Measles Mounts a Comeback -- Are Your Kids at Risk?