After spending 15 years organizing closets, I’ve learned that no matter the square footage of a client’s closet or the size of his or her wardrobe, my top 10 tips for wardrobe bliss remain the same.
• Twice a year review everything inside your closet. I use rolling racks with my clients to pull sections out of their wardrobe to be reviewed. This helps take the items “out of context” so that they can have a fresh frame of mind when reviewing each piece. By reviewing “like” sections at a time (i.e., sweaters, dresses, handbags, etc.), you can quantify what you really own and wear.
• Not sure where to start? I always move clockwise throughout a closet to make sure I haven’t missed anything. This also helps to keep track of where to start again after taking a break.
• Just because you haven’t worn it in 12 months doesn’t mean you need to let it go. Specialty items like gowns, cashmere and classics have permission to stick around if they still fit and you still love them.
• Be realistic about your lifestyle and dress for the current moment. Those suits from your past life as a stockbroker in New York City don’t need to take up valuable space if you find yourself wearing a more casual look to your Silicon Valley office. This also applies to all of you busy moms out there. If you think another baby might be in the mix but you aren’t quite ready, pack up those maternity clothes and store them until you need them.
• Clean as you go. Take advantage of empty shelves and racks; dust and vacuum for a fresh start.
• Create a uniform look and maximize your space with matching hangers. My personal favorite are huggable hangers because they are nonslip, allowing even the most delicate items to stay put. The uniform look transforms your closet into your favorite boutique.
• Visibility is key. Ditch the shoe boxes, invest in pretty bins to store your scarves, and drawer dividers will be your new best friend when it comes to ties, belts and undergarments.
• Make sure that all of the items in your closet are ready-to-wear. Items that need to be dry-cleaned, mended or repaired should be bagged up and stored in a to-do area. If the idea of completing the action or spending money on the repairs doesn’t sound appealing, then it might be time to let the items go.
• Pare down to a single laundry basket per person. This will encourage a prompt laundry schedule and encourage you to put items away in a timely fashion.
• When the idea of organizing a closet comes to mind, most of my clients only think about letting go, but I always remind them that it is also a time to add new items. Have a shopping list on hand of items that need to be replaced and staples that need to be added.
Now that your closet is organized, maintain the space by keeping a donation area nearby, follow up on your to-do items and schedule your next closet organizing session six months from now.
Amanda Kuzak is a Los Altos-based professional organizer and estate liquidator. For more information, visit kuzakscloset.com.