Do you have the perfect vision of what your dream closet is? I know I do. Cue soft playing music and a warm bright spot. My dream closet is ultra feminine, with a full window for natural light, and a vanity for doing makeup. My dream closet is obviously larger than my childhood bedroom. There’s room in there for a soft armchair where I can drink my tea, a freestanding full length mirror for trying on clothing, and perhaps a vintage mannequin. My wedding dress is displayed, and the whole thing is light and airy. Have I even mentioned the perfectly organized rows of clothing and shoes? My collection is expansive, yet impeccably organized just like a magazine. Can you tell I’ve thought about this? Just a little bit.
Raise your hand if you have something pictured in your head similar to what I just described. Yes, I’m talking to you. I know most of us have unrealistic dreams like this and that’s okay!
Cue reality though (we’ll use my closet for an example): my closet is a 2×3 foot box with one awkwardly placed pole (not even tall enough to hang a knee length dress from) and two measly shelves on the top (one of which I can barely reach). Like the rest of our house, it’s the color of a camel’s behind, and a carpet that hasn’t been touched since the 1960’s. Living the rental dream.
Here’s the deal. It would be so easy for me to be discouraged by the size of my closet, or frustrated that I don’t have things as nice as others. Today I want to share with you some tips I’ve found on how to love the closet you have (that don’t include getting a new closet).
This year, my mission has been to organize everything and purge the excess. The closet was the first place to start! I started off the new year by reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I am not kidding when I say thing book will change your life! It’s a pretty short book, but I had read the whole thing in a day. I finished feeling energized and ready to tackle my house! There are specific sections of the book designated specifically for clothing, and so I took some of the tips listed there and reorganized my closet. I can now tell you that when I walk over to my little closet, I feel refreshed and calm! And I don’t even have an armchair where I can drink my tea. Can you imagine?
Get rid of everything. I’m not joking. I took every. single. piece. of clothing out of my closet and laid them on my bed. From there I looked at each item one by one and asked myself when the last time I had worn the item was. I had to be harsh with my answers about what to keep and what to get rid of. The things I love but wear infrequently because I’m too lazy to iron – those things went to the donate pile. The things I’ve been meaning to mend but secretly know I won’t get around to – donate. The things that are near duplicates of other items – donate. Because of the awkward height of the bar in this closet, my dresses are hung in Ethan’s closet. So all I have here are my tops (both blouses and sweaters). I wanted to keep only the things I have in my closet are the things I will actually wear on any given day.
Organize by color. One of the things that makes my teeny-tiny-barely-even-there closet bearable now is that the order of things is aesthetically pleasing. I kept my shirts and sweaters separate, each category moving from the darkest on the left to the lightest on the right. There is a whole psychology behind this method that I don’t really understand, but I will say that it does make things look intentionally placed. Each piece has a perfect spot, and the color scheming actually helps me plan my outfits with ease. All my black tops are in the same place, and I know exactly where the hanger is when I’m putting something away.
It’s all about the hangers. This step is definitely not necessary, but I would recommend it. Until this point, I still had the multi-colored plastic hangers I acquired in bulk in college. They were cheap, and I was broke. I’ve wanted to buy coordinating black velvet hangers for a long time, but could never justify the expense. The only reason I bought these is because I had extra Christmas money. Ethan was not really thrilled with the thought of me spending my Christmas money on hangers, but I assured him it’s what I really wanted. He’s the one who married this organizational freak, so he can’t really complain too much. Anyway, I bought two of these packs, and used Bed Bath and Beyond’s 20% off coupon. I will eventually need to get another pack or two to finish Ethan’s closet and the coat closet, but my wallet says it’ll have to wait.
Tidy up all the non-hanging items. On the top shelf, I have a few pairs of shoes, a handbag filled with other handbags, pants stacked standing straight up, and a basket with scarves and important jewelry boxes. I also have a small hanging shelf unit with a few folded skirts hanging from the rod. Notice how I have extra room on these shelves? Before I purged and organized, I could barely cram anything else in this closet, and finding what I needed was never simple. Now everything has a location, everything has a purpose, and it all looks generally appealing.
I feel like I should mention a few disclaimers. The floor if this closet hosts the majority of my shoes, which aren’t perfectly organized yet. Additionally, this is not the entirety of my wardrobe. My dresses are stored in Ethan’s closet, and coats and special occasion outfits are stored in the coat closet. I also have casual wear that is stored in Ethan and my shared dresser.
My overall point is this: this is no way near the dream closet I described at the beginning of this post. However, it makes me feel refreshed and at ease when I open the door. I will likely never have this fantasy closet, but I’m willing to love the closet that I have now. I know that later in life, I’ll move up in closet. Right now though, I’m learning to love the closet I have. Right now, this is my dream closet. Purged, organized, and accessible. Do you have your dream closet or do you have something you have to learn to love like me? How do you organize? I’d love to hear all about it! That’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous day!