Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Guess what I did yesterday?


Here's another hint...

Cleaned out my closet. Yep. It's that time of year to make way for spring and summer clothes.

And umm no, my closet doesn't even compare to the beauties pictured above:) And it was no where near as fun as SJP and friends had cleaning out her closet while popping champagne! (note to self -- next time).

So, before I began this "painful-to-me" task I contacted my good friend Kristin Van Dusen of design + conquer to get some tips to make this brutal task more efficient and dare I say more enjoyable and ... Guess what?

She delivered! So, of course I had to share her tips with you and I'm thrilled to have her guest post today. Take it away, Kristin...

Kristin Van Dusen, Certified Professional Organizer.

Hi! Kristin Van Dusen from design + conquer here!

Closet giving you trouble?

No problem just follow these tips and you'll have this task conquered in no time!

Look at the current set up of your closet and begin removing everything by section.  Use your bed and bedroom floor space as a staging area to divide everything into 5 categories:

1. Keep
2. Donate
3. Consign (if you want – otherwise combine with donate)
4. Action (take to dry cleaners, needs to be fixed, etc.)
5. Come back to later

Don’t spend longer than 30 seconds trying to decide which category to put something into.  If you get locked up just put it in the “come back to later” pile and re-visit it after you have gone through everything else.

Beware of keeping items for emotional reasons.  When you keep an item for emotional reasons, every time you see this item you have a sub-conscious mental dialogue with yourself that stirs up various negative feelings. From guilt (“I can’t get rid of this – my mom gave it to me”) to foolishness (“I can’t believe I wasted so much money on this”) to just plain feeling bad about yourself (“I used to be able to fit into this”).  That’s a whole lot of negative mental chatter every time you enter your closet. 

Once you have narrowed down your keep pile (remember only those things that make you feel good when you wear them!) sort them by category- shirts, pants, dresses, jeans, suits, etc.

Hangers are everything!  Be sure you have wooden hangers for coats/suits, satin padded for delicate items, and slimline hangers for everything else

slimline hangers here

Once everything is out of the closet and sorted, it’s time to clean the closet.  At a minimum use a damp cloth and a vacuum.  If you’re really motivated you can even slap on a fresh coat of paint.

Before you start putting things back into your closet, take the time to really think about how you use the space.  Stand in the empty (and clean!) closet and think about how you would like it to function for you. Don’t put items back in the same place just because you’re used to seeing them there.  Think about flow and efficiency – things you wear frequently should be towards the front of  your closet - off season or infrequently worn items go towards the back. If you have double hung rods, consider if you are more comfortable looking up or down and hang your go-to items accordingly.

As you begin to put your sorted clothes back in, it’s worth it to take the extra few minutes to refine each category a bit more by how you wear them .  For example, break your shirts down into those for work, those you wear casually, and those for a night out on the town.  If you’re feeling particularly inspired you can even sort these new groups by color.

For items such as sweaters that are better folded, you can put them on a shelf with dividers, you can place them in a hanging canvas bag or use an acrylic sweater drawer from The ContainerStore.   I use these multi-purpose drawers ALL THE TIME as they come in a variety of sizes (shoe, shirt, sweater, etc.).

 For extra shoes that don’t fit on a shelf, a cubby or an over the door shoe organizer – or for those shoes that you don’t wear often, the shoe drawers are easy to use.  You can even pop a picture of the shoe right on the face of the drawer so that if it is on a high shelf it’s easy to see what you have.  The large sweater drawers are also great used in conjunction with dividers to break the space up … think of storing accessories like belts, clutches, etc. in here.

A lot of people like to display their jewelry – and let’s face it, some of the pieces are so beautiful they really are art!  Use a collection of hooks, frames, a pegboard … whatever works best to display what you have.

Organizing your closet can be a daunting task … use these tips to keep yourself motivated and moving along.  Before you know it, your closet will be one of your favorite spaces to spend time in!

Thanks Kristin! xoxo - you really are a life-saver! If you want more information on Kristin and design + conquer you can contact her here!

 Random Thoughts


Also impressed again  by this ... I mean really ... how does she do it?

What a difference. Go here to learn more. This chick Cara needs to come to my house and transform me. Like Tonight.

Before I go here. You're coming tonight right?

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  1. What a great post! My closet is more like a shoe box. Hard to organize a shoe box....but you've motivated me to try :)
    Have fun at your event tonight!


    1. Thanks Susan! So glad you like it! Mine isn't as big as I'd like either but we have to work with what we've got, right? Thanks again for reading -- so appreciate it!


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