The battle of organizing my closet all started with an innocent promise of brunch. Within seconds, I was scrolling through provocative displays of Hollandaise sauce, eyes wide and mouth gaping open like an anime character. All I needed now was my partner in crime, my little black dress (LBD): a spandex-laden saint that could stealthily disguise up to four breakfast entrees thanks to its thoughtful ruching.
Unfortunately, the LBD and I had not been in contact for years and was sadly nowhere to be found. I realized it had been over a year since I last organized my closet. As I scoured my closet floor, my heart began to palpitate; without the powers of my LBD, the dream of Hollandaise rapture without consequence was slipping from my grasp.
Sensing a pending tantrum, my husband slowly approached with his fists balled.
Luke: “Kat, before I tell you this, I want you to know I love you…and my intentions were good.”
Me: “What do you have in your hands, Luke?”
Luke: “I was trying to wash my black dress pants and sometimes our stuff gets mixed together. I never meant for you to find out this way…”
(cue dramatic music)
As Luke unclenched his fists, there was my glorious LBD, now resembling a shrunken, disheveled dish towel.
Kat: (eyes wide, mouth gaping open in horror)
Luke: “At least now we know it’s…clean?”
It’s been months since that unfortunate shrinking event, and time has brought much-needed perspective. I can now finally acknowledge the demise of my LBD came from my unruly and disorganized ways. Luke was merely collateral damage in the war zone of my closet. As I prepared to organize my closet, I realized I needed a no-fail plan; what clothes to release and what to keep.
If your closet is a war zone of sorts, these three tips will help you navigate your way to an armistice.
Closet Organization Tip #1: Could You Gift it to a Friend?
No, I am not suggesting that you organize your closet by divvying away your beloved wardrobe to a band of mothers. However, after enduring a few years of being used as a human snot receptacle, your standard of “gross” may be understandably redefined. For the self-sacrificing mom, armpit stains and small crotch holes in your day-to-day wardrobe are often thought of as acceptable provided they are clean, but you would never think to gift these same items to a dear friend.
When cleansing your closet, the rule is simple: if it’s not good enough to re-gift to your friend, it is not good enough to keep for yourself. Fraying (as seen in the adjacent jacket), strange discolorations, and aggressive pilling would never make the cut for a gift, and they should not make the cut as a permanent resident in your closet.
Closet Organization Tip #2: Who is Your Partner in Crime?
Barring formal wear, if there is an item in your wardrobe that cannot play nice with at least two other pieces in your closet to form a cohesive outfit, it’s time to reconsider when organizing your closet. Often these rogue items that don’t have a partner in crime function as closet display pieces that are to be admired but serve no practical wearability. Think of that pair of brightly colored yellow pants you bought that seemed oh-so-cute at the time but you’ve likely never worn more than once. Or consider this colorful and crazy jumpsuit pictured on the left.
Your closet will forgive you once you’ve banished the outsiders and replaced them with more wearable neutral pants that can pair well with virtually anything in your wardrobe.
Closet Organization Tip #3: Do You Feel Beautiful in it?
Does the clothing item in question make you feel like the best version of yourself? Let’s face it, life is short and there is no room for “some day” logic. Perhaps you have uttered some version of this to yourself before: “Some day when I lose ten pounds…” or “Someday when I feel more comfortable with my arms…” The reality is that “some day” is a hopeful excuse that robs you of experiencing an intentional and organized closet in the present. If the clothing doesn’t make you feel like the best version of yourself now and you find yourself leaning on “some day” logic to keep it, it’s time to move on.
Win The Battle And The War
These three strategies will give you the upper hand in your war zone closet. If you want to have a peaceful and harmonious relationship with your style, clean out everything that is wreaking havoc on your closet before even setting foot in a clothing store. It will set you up to experience a whole new world of possibilities with your style!