Life & Beauty Weekly: Life & Love

By Catherine Ryan for Life & Beauty Weekly


With a mile-long to-do list, closet organization probably isn’t your top priority. After all, you can just close the door and forget it’s even there! But avoidance won’t work forever and closet chaos can take a toll worse than any wardrobe malfunction.

“The biggest effect of not being organized — whether it is in your closet or other areas — is the stress that it creates,” says Kristie Demke, president of Professional Organizers in Canada. “You may feel that you always have a to-do hanging over your head every time you open your closet door and things are bursting out.”

Fortunately, creating and maintaining an organized closet is easier than you might think. These tips will help you find peace — both in the closet and out.

1. Ditch the deadweight.
Why waste time rummaging through never-worn items to find a favourite? The key to closet organization is purging the shabby, outdated and unused. Here’s how:

  • Use the wear test. If you haven’t worn an item for a year, put it aside. You should only keep pieces you either love or wear frequently.
  • Nix nostalgia. It’s common to feel sentimental attachment to clothes — the dress you wore to your engagement party, for example. But instead of letting it clutter your closet when you never wear it, frame a photo of you in it. “Giving your ‘keepsake’ clothing too much prominence may mean you are spending more time looking to the past than living in the present,” says Demke. “So take that photo of you looking fabulous in your engagement party dress and pass the actual garment on to someone else!”
  • Follow the one-size-away rule. Yes, you may fit into your pre-pregnancy jeans at some point, but keeping ill-fitting clothes eats up space and can be a depressing reminder that you haven’t met your goal. “Whatever your current size and shape, embrace it, dress your body well and live in the present,” says Demke. “That means also getting rid of excess items that don’t fit!”
  • Phone a friend. If you have trouble parting with things, ask an honest friend to help. Hearing from her that something isn’t flattering might be all you need to toss it.

2. Arrange like with like.
When you arrange your clothes, group them by category. Put all your work blouses together, line up jeans one after the other and so on. “It makes it easier for you to find the appropriate item and keeps you from buying too many of any one category,” says Demke.

3. Keep shoes visible.
Shoes take up a lot of space and get messy quickly. Invest in some multi-tier racks that fit under short items, such as shirts. They’ll be easier to see and keep organized. Store rarely worn shoes (like dressy high heels) in clear boxes on a shelf or under the bed.

4. Give accessories their own place.
For scarves and belts, try using a clear, pocketed shoe organizer that hangs over the door. The pockets keep items separate and let you locate them quickly.

5. Heed the seasons.
If you switch over your closet to match the weather, assess last season’s staples before putting them in storage. If you didn’t wear something all season, it’s probably safe to donate.

6. Maintain the newfound order.
Whenever you buy something new, think of it as a replacement for a less-fabulous piece. A one-in, one-out approach helps you keep up the space you’ve allotted for each category, says Demke.

Once your closet’s in order, it’ll be one less thing bugging you in the morning. And the more stress-free your a.m. routine, the more you can focus on what really matters.

Catherine Ryan
is a freelance writer and editor who writes on health, nutrition, beauty and green living for such magazines as
Self, Ode and
Parents. She is a frequent contributor to
Life & Beauty Weekly.

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