I know I just saw my favorite jeans. Where are they?
I can’t find anything in here!
It’s fair to say that all of us probably have a strained relationship with our closet and wardrobe in general. If we were to add up all the time we spent looking for clothes and all the time we spent sighing at our disorganized closets, it would add up to–a lot of time.
In fact, according to an article in The Telegraph, women spend almost ONE YEAR of their lives deciding what to wear. That doesn’t even take into account all the time spent looking for our clothes. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a year of my life to waste.
It’s fair to say that our disorganized closets are largely to blame for this huge time suck in our lives.
How do we get our closets under control?
First, we need to understand how they got so out of control in the first place.
Here are seven reasons your closet is (most likely) a disaster.
- You have too many clothes. I know this seems like a no-brainer. Most of us in the developed world have WAY more clothes than we need or will ever wear. In fact, Simplyorderly.com states that we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. Does this statistic ring true in your life?
2. You keep clothes that don’t fit. According to a recent Gallup Poll, over half of Americans say they want to lose weight. If you are one of these people, you may be holding on to clothes you hope to fit into “someday.” You may not even like many of these articles of clothing, but you tell yourself that they will serve as motivation for you to lose the weight. The more likely scenario is that they are just reminding you of the weight you HAVEN’T lost and causing you to feel guilty or depressed.
3. You keep clothes you don’t like. There are several reasons you might hang on to clothes you probably won’t ever wear again. One reason is that you would feel guilty about getting rid of that ugly sweater your mother gave you last Christmas. Even if you no longer live with your mother and she would never know if you gave the sweater away, you still feel it is wrong and that somehow your mother would know anyway.
You also may keep clothes you don’t like because you paid a lot of money for them. You may have purchased something expensive, only to realize that it didn’t really suit you and you don’t feel awesome when you wear it. So you keep it around and it languishes in your closet, ignored and forgotten.
4. You mix your clothing types. Do you hang things in your closet that would be more suited to your drawers? Do you put things that are wrinkle-prone in your drawers when they really should be hung? Are your clothes randomly hung–blazer, then sweater, then hoodie, then shirt, then skirt, then dress? Keeping like-items together and putting things back in the right place every time is key to keeping your clothes organized.
5. You have tons of extra hangers. There seems to be a surplus of hangers in the world, and most of them just take up room in your closet. From those unsightly wire hangers (that you really don’t need to save to roast marshmallows over the fire) to the fat plastic hangers that have proliferated like rabbits, hangers are choking the life out of your closet. Hangers are the weeds of your closet. Pluck them out. You only need 5-10 extra.
6. You leave things all over the floor. Most of us have a laundry basket or two in our closets. But most of us are also apparently horrible basketball players, because the clothes we so carelessly toss in the direction of these laundry baskets never make it. They either miss completely, or hit the rim. But instead of bouncing off the rim, like in real basketball, they just hang there–droopy and sad.
Aside from your clothes, you may have a bunch of other things on the floor. They could be anything. Empty shoe boxes. Plastic shopping bags. Receipts. Hangers. The list could go on and on. Clearly these things belong somewhere else. Probably in the trash.
7. You use your closet for a catch-all. Do you have shelves in your closet above your clothing rack? What is on those shelves? Books? White elephant gifts you are planning to take to your next party? Picture frames? Empty boxes and baskets? Blankets that loom precariously, ready to fall on your head at any moment? A secret chocolate stash? These things do not belong in your closet (except maybe the secret chocolate stash). If you put your mind to it, you can find more appropriate places to put all those extra items so they don’t clutter up your space and cause you stress.
How many of these reasons can you relate to?
Are you feeling ashamed as you identify with almost every one of them? Don’t worry. Most of us are in the same boat. But Michael, row that boat ashore, because there is a simple solution! (Don’t worry. It’s not expensive storage containers or a complicated system).
If any of you have read The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, you will know that she prescribes a way to clean and organize your closet, once and for all. However, some people have felt overwhelmed or that they needed more specific instructions for cleaning and organizing their closets and drawers. Many would like helpful demonstrations of exactly how to fold and store their clothes. And some just want a step-by-step program that keeps them on track so they can finish and feel great about their results.
That’s why I created a whole home organization program, with specific steps for decluttering and organizing your clothes. You can check it out here!
You can also subscribe right now to see my famous pants folding video!)