It’s a new year again! Our minds tend to review the year behind us and set into motion good changes for the coming year.  One of the best ways you can get off to the right start is by taking a look at how your storage spaces function for you.  Just like goals for eating better, getting in shape, and being more mindful, your closet organization can help you get to the next level of living with ease.  (BTW: this is something you can assess any time of year.) Don’t overwhelm yourself with so many New Year’s resolutions that you end up dropping all of them! It’s okay to put closets in their place!  Be realistic about your goals, and hang on to the ideas below to implement as you are able. An Instagrammable closet is within your reach if you take the right steps to get there!

Let’s be clear, everyone wants some organization. Storage spaces often fail because we are using them for things other than what they were intended.  Sometimes the vacuum cleaner falls over when your reaching for a rarely worn dress. Or you only open the pantry door when your mother’s back is turned because you don’t want her to notice the expired, almost-empty boxes of food that are cluttering it up.  Here’s a good one, (this happened to me a lot) your child is playing with the toys that I crammed in the bottom of his closet instead of getting dressed for school. Unfortunately, over time closets can take on the role of being where we put the part of our life that we need but don’t want to see.  It can become a stressful place in our home and it’s definitely an afterthought if you keep the door closed.

Let’s take a closer look at your clothes closet. The average adult closet has a mixture of these things:

  • Clothing that was bought on sale but doesn’t actually fit or flatter (But Boy they were a good deal!)

  • Gifts that should have been exchanged or returned that you can’t let go of because they remind you of the person who gave them

  • “2 hour” Shoes, you know the ones that hurt your feet but are too stylish to let go of (I only where mine when the event is less than 2 hours)

  • Comfort clothes (these are a close relative to comfort food)

  • Wedding dress, high school letter jacket, or other special occasion attire that’s time has past and frankly won’t come back

  • Out of season clothing, hunting clothing, overflow from children’s closets, or clothes waiting to be mended

  • Favorite pieces of clothing that are worn weekly

  • Leisure clothing that is often worn for only a couple hours and folded or draped until a day or so when it’s worn again

  • Shoes, boots, purses, and luggage

As you look through your closet, see if you can apply the 80/20 rule to what you own.  It says that you wear 80% of your clothes 20% of the time and 20% of your clothes 80% of the time.  The first time I heard this, I thought it meant that I was wasting money on things I don’t use. Now after working with people from all professions and seeing so many closets, I see that the 80% includes a lot of those things that I just listed above.  It’s a practical accumulation over time. It’s not necessarily careless spending.

Take a close look at your 20%.  The items that make up your 20% (if they are your favorites) should take a front seat in your closet planning. If they are not your favorites, maybe you have developed a clothing rut.  Or maybe you can’t find those things that are really your favorites! If this is the case, an overall assessment of your closet and wardrobe is probably really important to your New Year resolution list.

Live your mantra. Does one of these mantras resonate with you?

Rules are made to be broken.–Throw the 80/20 rule out the window. Determine that you will only keep things that make your feel attractive, support your confidence, or really get your vibe across to people you meet.  Allow yourself a small amount of “comfort clothes” and make a commitment to not let them multiply.

See things from every angle.— Maybe the 80/20 rule could be reinterpreted.  If your closet is the multipurpose hub of the functional home, it can house the vacuum, the wrapping paper, bed sheets, heirloom tablecloths and a number of other things.  If this is the case, decide how to make it function as the important space that it is. 80% of the space could be used for you personally and 20% for other household storage for instance.

Slow and steady wins the race.–Rather than overwhelm yourself with trying to achieve closet nirvana in January, decide to approach the closet with a system that you can implement over the next 12 months.  Start by seeing the big picture and then make a plan to organize one section or one clothing category every month. It should not be overwhelming to organize your sock drawer.

Stay in your lane.–This mantra is especially for the co-habitating folks. You can only control yourself.  Hopefully your significant other is on the same page but if he/she is not, design your storage to have zones.  Maybe the messier individual should use the spare bedroom closet or if you share a closet, make certain that it has boundaries for each partner.

Working with a professional designer or organizer is always a great option.  It can get you the look that you’re wanting and leave you feeling less frustrated than doing it yourself. An outside perspective can be refreshing.  The biggest piece of advice I can give is to be honest with your designer. Show them pictures of closets that you admire, but more importantly explain your daily routine. Share your clothing struggles, shopping tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses with them so that they can tailor a closet that fits your needs.

Best wishes for a year of organization,


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