Wednesday 29 May 2013

Closet Organization 101

This post needs a warning label: there were no people harmed during the organizing of this closet.  Or photographed.  That being said, I hope you will find it interesting and bonus points if you spot the moustache.

My pal Chantel flatters me in many ways.  First, she reads my blog.  Second, she implements the style advice therein.  Third, she is my friend and she's a baby.  (Well she's 24 and yet she still likes me and doesn't make feel old or crotchety.)  Fourth, she is a super awesome work colleague.  Fifth, she asked me to help her with her closet so I got to play bossy wise big sister for an evening.  We didn't change the whole world of her closet but I think we made serious headway and most importantly, we both learned.  And had fun.  And maybe we shared some wine.


Chantel is single which means she doesn't have to share any closet space with 20 near-identical dress shirts, 50 ratty t-shirts or any other items that aren't hers.  Closet space is of no concern, but organization is!  The closet has a single rod on one side, double rod on the other, ample shelving above and floorspace underneath, and built in shelving in the middle along the back.

Those cases are gone, Baby, gone.
I can barely remember being 24 let alone having a big beautiful closet when I was 24 so right there, all Chantel is going to get is my respect.  While she tried on some pieces she was iffy about, I set to work getting some semblance of organization on the rods.
By grouping pieces into colours and then from light-to-heavy wear, it makes it easy to see that you have 75 old white tee shirts and nothing yellow except a mustard cardi as if to spit in my eye.  Some people organize by style or season, but Chantel does not need to put away clothes seasonally, so why bother.  She's got better things to do, like go to work at 7:30am to help me.


Since she didn't have proper pants hangers, we ended up folding her pants...
and using both rods for her tops so that they were easily accessible and not back into the depths of her closet, though she could certainly put seldom-worn pieces back there.
We also folded her sweaters and weeded out a few.  And I threatened that if she ever wears a hoodie with runners, she's in style-jail.  Yes, Chantel, that counts even in 10-15 years when you're a haggard mother like me.
Chantel is in an in-between style season.  She is no longer a student but doesn't want to dress like an old lady older than her youthful personality.  She is a professional but still needs clothes for concerts, dates, lounging and helping out on the farm.  For which she kept her white hoodie.  I don't understand you young'uns.  
She ended up with a sizable pile to donate - and it is the perfect time to donate to VV considering the stamp card promotion is on now!  (Forgot to mention Chantel, bag this stuff up in grocery bags in order to get max stamps.)

We were able to identify a few holes in her wardrobe (chambray, decent shorts, crop pants for work, lightweight but warm long sleeve winter layering pieces, pink, yellow) and clarify some style direction (no more drab colours, try unexpected pieces together, wear those sweatshirts I covet with your cute dresses or skirts).  We used scarves and accessories to complete an outfit.  We made a bra bet.  We identified the need for some organizational aides:
 These are mine, but Chantel needs 3-4 in her front closet and maybe 2 more in her master closet.
You can also use these for scarves, small bags, hats, pencils, etc.

We agreed that, as a rule, you shouldn't keep clothes in your closet that are too big or too small in case you fit them one day; when you shop at VV or otherwise make smart purchases, it is far more valuable to know you can wear everything in your closet than have your clothes wrecking your day when it has just begun!  We also agreed that if you haven't worn something in the past year, if something just isn't your style even if it was a gift from a loved one unworn with tags on, if it's out of your style, you edit it out EVEN if it was expensive to begin with.  As I discovered during my closet edit, keep memento pieces and do save a small box for special pieces that you just can't part with.  And the last lesson learned: if there is even a remote chance it could be mistaken for a choir or convocation gown, it goes.    

Thanks Chantel for inviting me to your closet and letting me have my way.  Let me know when you decide to go redeem your stamp card and I'll help you find that chambray!


  1. I would like to state for the record that older sisters are ALWAYS wise and NEVER bossy.

    That being said...great advice! I am a believer in the hanging organizers...I use them for small handbags/clutches/wallets/belts/hats/winter scarves/shoes/gloves...and more. They are also very useful in the craft room, but that's another blog...

    When are we scheduling mine? I think I can afford your fee of wine...

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