I have had school-aged children for 19 years if you count pre-school. To me, the beginning of the school year feels like I imagine New Year's Day feels to other people. January 1st is my birthday, so I NEVER start on any new commitment or project that day.
As the first day of school approaches, I begin to make a mental list of the fall projects I want to get done. High on that list is usually giving my closet some attention. When we are in summer mode, things can get a little out of control. I get busy doing fun stuff and the closest gets neglected.
I’m not one of those people who packs up seasons and changes them out. I have what I have and it’s there for me to see and keep organized all year long.
When our house was built, stained trim was the thing. Over the years, I have been converting everything to white. It’s an extremely daunting task, so the closets have been some of the last places to get ‘the treatment’.
This is the treatment: a light sand, two coats of Zinsser primer, and two coats of Sherwin Williams Pro Classic. The job is no joke, but the result is a bright, crisp transformation that you wouldn’t expect from such a simple change.
A while back I finally did my master closet. Here are a few shots from that project.
Here are some simple steps to having and keeping an organized closet.
Number one for me is having identical hangers. It’s so worth the small investment to have decent hangers. The heavier ones are for jeans. Tons of hangers in every color of the rainbow hanging every which way is visual chaos. I know people who live with closets like these. They call me ‘Mom’.
I hang like things together. Short sleeve, long sleeve, dresses, jeans. And l arrange my clothes by color. I do this because I’m a little nuts that way. But my closet is very soothing, so… The jeans should all hang facing the same direction - pockets to the back. Otherwise, they hang wonky. This will kill your entire closet vibe, and we can’t have that.
There’s some statistic about us only wearing like 20% of what's in our closets. Or is it that we only use 20% of our brains? I can’t remember because there are certain items I refuse to get rid of and certain statistics I refuse to take up that 20% of my brain with.
At any rate, SURELY there are many things that would have better lives somewhere other than in our closets. We’ve all seen the organizing shows where they ask the questions… “How does this make you feel?” “Does it fit?” “When did you last wear it?” That kind of stuff. You can do that, and it works as long as you’re honest. The cheater's way is to turn your hangers around. Once you’ve worn something, hang it back up the correct way. After six months or so, anything left hanging the wrong way has to go.
The simple truth is that I only have space for a certain amount of stuff. If things are getting cramped, before adding something new, I have to get rid of something old to make space.
I don’t know what to say about shoes other than I LOVE THEM! I have too may. I know this. I’m okay with it. I keep them put away with one facing forward and the other facing backward. This creates a lot more space so that I can keep them all without too much judgment from my closet mate. My secret for boots is placing cut up pool noodles inside to keep them standing tall.
Sweaters have always been a challenge for me. If you stack them too tall, the pile starts to topple over. If you spread them out, they take up too much space. So I invested in sweater keepers from The Container Store. They work great and they look pretty.
The result is a space that feels good to walk in to and one less project on your to-do list.
If your closet needs more attention than you can handle, I’m for hire. If you’re cleaning out and have donations, PLEASE check with my friends at 99 for the 1 to see what they need. They are amazing and are working hard to help make life better for some special folks in our communities!
Until next time, keep it tidy my homies.