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This post plus my trip to Columbus inspired me to lock myself in my bedroom one Sunday afternoon with a cold beer and Spotify and clean up my closet. The floor was littered with accessories, shoes, and a mix of dirty laundry and items that had fallen off hangers. Speaking of hangers, there was a mix of metal ones from the dry cleaners, velvet hangers (my favorite, things don't fall off them and they save a ton of space), and plastic hangers (the ones I use for line drying clothing – things fall off them and they take up more room). I've learned that a chaotic closet equals a chaotic Allie so it was time to get my act, and my closet together.
I cleaned out an entire contractor bag's worth of stuff from my closet. I catch myself keeping things that look good in my closet but aren't necessarily items I wear or use. I'm over that – I have no time nor space for such a bad habit. Gone. I also removed everything which doesn't fit and everything that does fit but I don't enjoy wearing. I've kept accessories for a long time figuring they will come back in style or I may need in the future. With this clean-out I got rid of some belts and bags that haven't been worn in a few years, don't feel like my personality any more, or aren't in good enough condition to warrant keeping. I will be donating a lot to local charities but plan on selling some of what I removed; I'll keep you posted how I plan to sell these items and when they will go on sale.
After cleaning, I took some photos. I don't have an exciting or “pretty” wardrobe, but I find it helpful when I see how other people organize their everyday wardrobes and thought my pictures may help you. I felt ridiculous asking Karl to take pictures with his fancy camera so iPhone shots will have to do. And without further ado…
Karl and I share a closet; while it is a walk-in closet, the space isn't terribly large and not well designed. Some day when I win the lottery I'll have some pros come and reconfigure it to make better space. In the meantime I get creative and am grateful to have a partner who doesn't care much about fashion and can fit all his stuff in one third of the closet. There's one long bar along the back wall and two short bars on each side. One shelf around the whole closet. I keep my clothing on the back bar, and use my short bar on the left for accessories.
I organize my clothing by category. I find this is the best way to find items. The pieces in the front are the categories I wear the most, but also the ones with the most pieces, and the ones where pieces can get lost. Since it's summer, sweaters are in the back, but when the temps drop the sweaters will move to the center between dresses and shirts.
The far edges of the closet bar are near impossible to access, and where I keep the items that get little wear or need to be protected. The far left holds my unique or special event pieces – my vintage fur stole, two sequin jackets, a sequin sweater, and two tulle skirts. Next are jackets – jackets don't store well so I keep my jackets here year-round even if I don't plan on wearing a leather moto in the middle of August. I don't keep them in any color order; in fact I try to mix it up because a piece is less likely to get lost in the sauce or a sea of black blazers.
The center of the closet is dresses and jumpsuits. Again, there's no rhyme or reason as to why one dress is next to another, but I usually try to break up the black so they don't get hidden. Next is tops – first are any “going out tops” – tanks and shells that can easily get lost when further back in the closet. I then have my blouses (and yeah that blue striped silk one got line dried but not yet pressed, I promise I'll press it before I wear it!).
After work blouses are shirts – denim, white, plaid, the casual ones that don't get as much wear. Unlike the other categories, I like having all my white shirts, all my denim together. I often make decisions on which from a category to wear, so having them all together makes it easier to flip around and decide which is best for that day's look. After shirts are skirts, also mixed up so none get lost. After skirts are pants; I don't have a lot and they're all pretty much the same silhouette so I don't need to see them to create outfits. The final category is sweaters and out of season pieces; these either won't pack well or are pieces I may wear (cozy sweaters for an evening at the beach, etc.).
The short bar… though she be little she is fierce! This is where I store all my belts (yeah I have a lot), my small bags, and a shelving unit which holds my clutches (some on the shelf, some in a drawer), my scarves (pashminas and winter in one drawer, silk and bandanas in another), and various other accessories (usually my Panama hat is with the orange faux fur but right now it's downstairs). I bought the metal hook gadgets on Amazon and they are fantastic; the lesser-used belts are in the back and I can put heavy bags on more than one hook to distribute the weight, and it's easy to see everything.
This picture shows a bit more detail of all the bags and belts on these hooks. I have belts on there that have been in my collection since high school; some accessories just never go out of style.
These shelves are a new addition I got off Freecycle. I don't love this setup, but these are the big bags that have nowhere else to go. I want to do a better job with this but haven't had the time. This picture nicely shows the angled ceiling of the closet and how there's a lot of room for a new setup in here; I'd love to do double bars and have up high things out of season or less used… someday…
Here's a bit more detail of my shoes in the closet. The ones in the white shelving unit are the ones I wear the most often. The ones to the left are out of season shoes or special occasion shoes.
The closet door is hardly ever closed; I have the over the door shoe organizer which stores the shoes I am wearing the most right now as well as the more bum-around shoes that can handle being shoved together in a pocket. Having the bags hang in this manner on the over the door double hook isn't the best for them but gets the job done for now. These bags are primarily casual bags with the most used day-to-day crossbodies on top.
A few things are in the laundry and there's a couple pairs of shoes and a purse and tote or two downstairs, but 95% of my wardrobe is featured in these photos. And since I showed the closet contents, figured I might as well show the drawer contents too:
My nightstand is actually my bureau and only clothing drawers. The top drawer is underpinnings. The second drawer is knits that I wear on a daily basis – yes that is a whole pile of striped shirts! Stripes, solids, summer sweaters, then tanks. The middle drawers is my shorts, and two piles of jeans. The bottom drawer is my casual stuff – printed tees, solid tees, and then a mishmash of yoga pants, running shorts, and some workout and loungewear stuff.
Out of season clothing is stored in Rubbermaid bins in the attic. I usually do two transfers of clothing; one will happen around mid-September to pull out some autumnal feeling clothes that are still okay in warm weather (flannel plaids, leather, some cardigans, darker jeans) and pack up the shorts and sundresses, and then the next will happen near the end of October when I completely transition to my winter wardrobe. Outerwear is kept in the office closet (we don't have any closets on the main floor). And there you go, more than you likely ever wanted to know or see regarding my wardrobe!