Organizing clothes into the often small closets of Baltimore and DC can be a daunting task! I am all for the seasonal closet, which I use for myself as well as many of my clients. I don't like looking into my closet and seeing crammed hangers and a bunch of clothes that I can't wear. I always encourage my clients to consider switching out clothes seasonally for many reasons.
Benefits of the Seasonal Closet
1. You only see the clothes you can wear.
2. More space, less clutter, better organization. As you can see in the photo above- there is plenty of room and nothing is even being stored on the floor!
3. You will spend less time choosing your clothes for the day.
4. If categorized properly, you will be able to see everything you own for that season at one time which can often lead to less shopping, saving you time and money! Going through your clothing 2 times a year keeps you on top of what you have and forces you to stay on top of things.
5. As you switch out for the seasons you can donate or sell the items you didn't wear.
6. Looking into an organized closet each morning starts your day off with calm instead of stress.
It's also very simple to do!
1. Take everything out.
If you have the space to store clothing in another closet or on a hanging rack, you can keep the clothes right on the hangers and simply transfer! If not, I just take the clothing of the hangers and make a pile on the floor.
2. Take a look at each item.
If you didn't wear it this season, throw it in the donate or sell pile. If you did wear it, think about how you felt when wearing it, the frequency in which you wore it, and if you still own the other items you wear it with. Check for discoloration, stains, tears, holes, missing buttons, shrinkage, etc. Not all clothing is made to last forever and frequent washing and drying can be hard on your clothing. Also note if you have too many of the same thing and really think about each item. Decide if it is worthy to take up valuable real estate in your closet. Keep in mind that women only wear 20% of what is in their closet!
3. Store the clothing and shoes that you want to keep.
I store mine in a trunk that I refinished in high school and in a couple of under the bed boxes I got from IKEA.
4. Make piles of the new season's clothing.
Sort the new season's clothing into broad categories- shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, jeans, pants, skirts, dresses, workout clothes etc.
5. Go through each pile.
Do exactly what you did with the clothing you just put away! I will often try on some of the clothing to make sure it still fits. Get rid of anything you won't wear or don't love any more.
6. Make a "doesn't fit right now" pile.
We all fluctuate in size. I keep space available for clothing that doesn't quite fit- either too big or too small- and store in a drawer or bin.
7. Hang the keepers!
Now it's time for the fun part. To make your closet look beautiful, this is how I recommend hanging your clothes.
- hang everything in the same direction- front should be facing the left
- button at least the top button of shirts and make sure the collar is laying nicely
- Make categories within categories!
from left to right- sleeveless, short sleeved, long sleeved, then by collar type within each shirt type, then by color (ROYGBIV, then grey, white, black, brown)
Pants- by type, then by color
Skirts- by length, then by color
Dresses- by length, then use the same categories as shirts
Shoes- by type, then by color
And that is pretty much it!
Everyone has their personal preferences for what goes where, and of course storage spaces and options differ. There are certain articles of clothing I like to fold and keep on shelves including jeans, shorts, and sweaters. I prefer to hang my workout shirts and I keep my workout pants and shorts in a drawer. Generally, I do like seeing all of my clothing at the same time, though, so the only other things I keep in drawers are pajamas, socks, underwear, and bras. I also keep my really fancy dresses in a different closet.
One final piece of advice- invest in hangers! Having all clothing hanging on the same type of hanger makes a huge difference. There are pros and cons to all the different hanger types, which I will touch on in a later post, but even having all white plastic hangers from Target is a huge aesthetic upgrade from a mishmash of wire and plastic. The ones in my photos here are wooden and from IKEA!