Love is in the air this February and I have a new organizing blog series to go along. I work with clients everyday on the art of letting go but I also give them the push to dive in and add items that bring them joy. This series is called Live with what you LOVE. I encourage you to be inspired to identify what makes you happy, create goals of how you want to live, purge what you can live without and add what brings you joy.
There is so much more behind each pretty closet photo that I post on Instagram than matching velvet hangers and perfectly folded stacks. Organizing a closet for a client is an opportunity to help them break down those emotional connections to items they no longer love or use.
I bring in rolling racks for each closet project to help bring clothing out of context so my clients can get a fresh look at what they really have. I bring out sections of like items at a time. We purge, try on, purge, discuss, take a break, and purge some more. If you’ve ever worked with me you know I can be quite witty during these sessions. It’s a balance of being tough while being empathetic. The break down of most closets is 20% worn and 80% not worn (either doesn’t fit, it’s damaged or needs to be cleaned, not in style, sentimental).
Over the summer I had a closet session with a client named Paige. She hadn’t purged her closet since she moved into her home 8 years prior. Her closet was the closet we dream of. Floor to ceiling shelving, tons of hanging space, built in drawers, cubbies for shoes, even an island with a granite counter top for folding. DREAM CLOSET.
Paige over the past 8 years had raised toddlers into tweens, had more babies, and had transitioned into being a stay at home mom from a busy executive. You can only imagine how her wardrobe needs had changed. My job during the closet session was to help her realize that YES her needs have changed (sizes, lifestyle, fashion style) and that that wasn’t a bad thing. We spent 5 hours sorting, making decisions, laughing, and purging. She was excited to be done but I had to remind her that we weren’t done. We had only conquered the clothing that she NEVER wears. The clothing she wears was in the laundry hampers, in the laundry room, and on the chair in her bedroom. I purposely didn’t include these items in the original sort. I wanted to illustrate to her that her closet was being used as storage and not as functional space.
Paige had a major ah-ha moment at that session. All of her “maybe” items turned into donate items. She was also motivated to give everything a tough additional decision making pass and we filled up 3 more hefty bags with clothing for donation. Since this session she has emailed me several times to let me know that she no longer lives in her yoga pants. She actually wears outfits out of her closet. Win! Win!
Closet & Wardrobe Organization Tips
The less you have, the less you have to organize. If you struggle with putting away clean laundry it’s because you have too much stuff. Don’t think about adding storage, think about eliminating what you don’t LOVE.
Give yourself a few extra days to pack before your next trip. If you wouldn’t pack it to take on a vacation then why do you own it? Once the suitcases are zipped up, take a minute to evaluate what is still hanging in the closet.
Spend more, buy less. Give yourself permission to buy nicer high quality pieces. You’ll wear them more and have them longer.
Have a donation bin in your closet. If you catch yourself changing out of an item because you don’t love it or it doesn’t fit well let it go.
If you find yourself always wearing workout clothes chances are your wardrobe doesn’t contain staple go-to favorites that will help you look polished and make you feel confident.
The Diane Von Furstenburg quote at the start of this quote is one of my favorite organizing quotes of all times. It rings true for me each time I pack to go on a trip. I’m in Maui right now so when I was packing up my swim suits, cover ups, and sandals, I also packed up a bag of donations from those categories. If it wasn’t worth putting in a suitcase it wasn’t worth storing in my closet.
As always, I’d love to hear from you with your comments and questions. I’ll be back on Thursday with another installment from this series, until then Live with what you LOVE!