7 Steps to Taming Your Closet Space

When I moved out of my last home, I found clothing items with tags on them. There is nothing more frustrating than forgetting you have something and not wearing it when you had the opportunity (or the body to fit into it). I’ve always admired the beautiful closets in the montage scene in movies where the girl can see every outfit and tries them on.  For most of us though, those closets are a fantasy.

If you’re looking for a way to jumpstart your day with a feeling almost as good as those montage scenes, this blog on organizing your closet is for you.

  1. Purge – be realistic about what’s in your closet and the likelihood of actually wearing it again.  Try the Oprah Winfrey Method of turning every hanger around so it’s backwards and then turn the hanger the correct way.  After six months, you’ll have a good idea of what you actually wear.
  2. If you’re holding onto multiple sizes, be realistic about the actuality of getting back into your clothes. At one point, I held onto five different sizes. When I stopped and looked, some of those clothes would be out of date and if I were able to lose that much weight, I’d probably want to reward myself with new clothes anway.
  3. If you haven’t repaired it by now, the chances are pretty small you actually will.  I mean, we did just spend almost a year in isolation ;).
  4. Move items that aren’t clothing and can be stored elsewhere to a new place.
  5. Utliize the Marie Kondo Method – gather like items together and figure out which items “spark joy”.  Items in drawers and stacked should allow you to see the design so you have a clear picture of what you actually have.
  6. When hanging clothing, you can hang by color order which is visually appealing and also helps you to find a favorite “red blouse” with ease. 
  7. Utilize space saving tools like – slim velvet  hangers, you can get them at HomeGoods or an Amazon. Plastic shelf dividers are a great way to stack items on shelves neatly.  For shoes, use Shoe Slotz.  These allow you to double the amount of shoes you can store.  A handbag organizer allows you to hang eight bags vertically and freeing up shelf space.

What can you do with your donations?  First and foremost, make a plan.  Don’t spend all your time organizing your closet only to drive around with donations in your trunk.  In San Diego, there are several charities who will do pick-ups at your home.

Unless your clothing has mildew or has been stained with a solvent like gasoline, textile waste mills can recycle it,” explains Cassi Happe, founder and sustainable fashion journalist at Curated Cassi. Textiles are cut into rags for industrial waste or ground into fiber to make insulation, carpet padding, yarn, or paper.

If you’d like to turn your donations into discounts, retailers including H&M, GAP, Patagonia, Levi’s, Madewell, and others have in-store programs allowing customers to bring in worn garments for discount coupons.

Whatever you do though, please don’t throw old clothing into the garbage. As that poly-blend sweater decomposes, it releases greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide and methane, polluting the environment further. Levi’s has found that making one pair of 501s required almost 920 gallons of water, 400 megajoules of energy, and expelled 32 kilograms of carbon dioxide. This is equivalent to running a garden hose for 106 minutes, driving 78 miles, and powering a computer for 556 hours. According to The Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), 95 percent of all clothing and household textiles can be recycled or repurposed.