Organize your closet á la Carrie Bradshaw
Raise your hand if you dream of a huge, airy, organized closet (a lá Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City film)... but in reality, you’ve got a cramped, messy, overstuffed disaster waiting for you?
Don’t despair! First of all, you’re not alone. So many of the women who call me feel overwhelmed every time they open their closet doors. That means there are hundreds of thousands of women across the country feeling your pain.
Ready for the good news? Your closet is really one of the easiest places to organize! You just need to follow a few key steps and you’ll be falling in love with your own perfectly tidy closet in no time.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to organize a space is feeling pressured to do it all in one go. Sure, the process looks instantaneous on those home organizing shows we all love to binge, but if you’re not working with a team of professionals – it’s going to take a while. And that’s okay!
Instead of tackling your entire closet, choose one small area to begin with. This might be your sock drawer, nightwear, or underwear – just choose a category that feels manageable. Make organizing that one space your first task.
Purge Your Collection
The more ruthless you can be in the “selling/donating/trashing” step of the process, the happier you’ll be with your final results. I know… clothes often carry sentimental value, but you probably don’t need to hang on to the 12-year-old shirt you wore on your third date with your partner that you haven’t worn in a decade.
Don’t hold onto things that no longer fit, have unrepairable tears or rips, or don’t fit with your lifestyle and aesthetic. It’s also important to part ways with items that are uncomfortable or painful. Donate or sell what you can, and know when something should be tossed in the bin. (Those greying socks with holes in the toes? You should bin those!)
Create a Home for Everything
Each item in your closet should have a designated home – and it should easily fit in its home. No, cramming 30 pairs of socks into a tiny drawer is not a long-term organization solution! Using drawer dividers, individual bins, and reusing items from around your house (like cardboard shoe boxes and even the lids of shoe boxes!) are all great storage solutions.
Make sure you can easily access your regularly used items and choose to store less-used items on higher shelves and harder-to-reach locations. These locations may change based on the season. For example, in the summer you may store your scarves and mittens in a bin on a high shelf, but move them to a more convenient location once the weather changes.
Once you’ve finished your first small area, give yourself a 10-minute break! Leave your closet and go lie down, scroll your phone, sip a cup of tea, or just relax because starting is the hardest part and once you’ve ripped the bandaid off the rest will be a breeze. Once your ten minutes are up, choose a new area and continue working in spurts. After each 20-minute work time, take a 10-minute break. Continue in this pattern until you’ve organized every area of your closet, from socks to shoes, sportswear, and hanging items.
When you’re done, take a moment to enjoy your accomplishment! Appreciate the beauty of your clothes – the colors, patterns, and textures – and take note of how calming it feels knowing every single item has a home. Enjoy this feeling, you’ve earned it.
Bonus Tip: Give Everything Space to Breathe
Just because your closet can accommodate a certain number of hanging items doesn’t necessarily mean it should. Space out your hangers so you can see each piece of clothing instead of squishing them all together in an effort to fit in more. The same goes for drawers and bins. Resist the urge to stock them as full as possible.
When you give your items room to breathe, your closet will automatically feel bigger! And if that’s not enough motivation, think of it as creating room to grow. If you include unused space in your closet now, you’ll have the perfect place to hang that new dress you’ve been eyeing.
If you follow these steps, I think you’ll be pleased with the neat and orderly closet you create. Remember, a good organizational system is one you can maintain – so keep things as simple as possible. And don’t be too hard on yourself! Being organized should be about finding what works for you and what makes life more simple and easy. There’s no one “right” way to organize a closet. Just promise me you won’t hang on to those mismatched socks!
Make sure to follow Nicola Masterson and find out more tips on how to stay organized. See below for all her info.
IG Handle: @spaceinthecity