By Raj Thandhi Style writer @pinkchai and at pinkchaistyle.com
Something I’ve always wanted to have is a well curated closet; a collection of items that feel like they were gathered over a lifetime, but work together effortlessly. Sort of like a movie star’s closet; every piece tells a story. The only difference being that it has to fit into my budget, and the tiny little closet that my husband and I share. So as I work on building my ideal wardrobe this year, I’m sharing the process with masalamommas readers in hopes that it will inspire you to take action on your closet.
If you’ve been following along, last month we purged our closets (The big purge story), and made a pledge to keep only the clothes that made us look and feel good. Since then I’ve taken some time to organize my closet too.
I’m no organizational expert (in fact, I’m the farthest thing from it), but I do know that getting organized has made getting dressed in the morning a whole lot easier. It’s much less stressful, clothes are ironed and ready to go, and I’m less likely to feel the urge to shop because I have nothing to wear.
On a side note, I considered showing you pictures of beautifully organized and designed closets online for inspiration, but then realized that a lot of you probably have closets like mine; basic and small. So here it is, the closet where the magic happens:
Surprised? Yup, I share that little closet with my husband, and that’s all the closet space I get. Don’t fret though; I also have a chest of drawers and some miss-matched bins. The reason I’m sharing this with you is to help you realize that you don’t need a lot of space or hundreds of items of clothing to have a wardrobe that works. All you need is a collection of pieces that have been put together intentionally and work with each other (more on assessing your wardrobe and intentional shopping in the next post).
Ready to tackle your closet? Here are my tips for getting organized:
1. Figure out how much space you actually have (or don’t have)
Before I took the time to get organized; there were piles of clothes in baskets on the floors, I kept my belts in my third desk drawer (true story), and my accessories were all over the house, not a pretty picture. We need to get serious about how much space we have and make things fit. For me that means about three quarters of the closet I share with my hubby, and a chest of drawers, that’s it. If I can’t figure out a system to fit all my things into that space, I have to purge some more.
2. Group like items together
If you are looking for a dress to wear there is no point having to rummage through a drawer, then your closet, and then head out to your garage to look at the “overstock”. Unless something is really seasonal (turtlenecks, shorts, etc), every category of clothes should be kept together so you can see all your options in one glance. For me that means, in my closet I have: coats, blazers, button-down shirts, blouses, skirts, and dresses. In my drawers I keep: t-shirts, sleeveless blouses, knits sweaters, cardigans, and pants.
3. Everything within arm’s reach
I have a friend who keeps purses under her bed and to get to them she actually has to lift her mattress, it’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. How likely are you to use something if you can’t even get to it? My new rule is; if you can’t get to it within 2 minutes it is too far. (Of course there are exceptions to every rule. My Indian clothes and jewellery is tucked away at the top of my closet because I only use it a couple times a year. )
4. Keep your shoes neat and clean
Ladies, if you have to pile your shoes one on top of each other, or can’t find the matching pair for anything in the morning; you have too many shoes! I have a shelf on the top of my closet where I keep my shoes in one row only so they stay neat and clean. Right now it is full to the brim, and if a new pair comes in, something will have to go out.
This is the hardest area for me to tackle. Currently I use a basic hanging rack from Winners for my earrings and smaller necklaces, statement necklaces get hung on the corkboards in my closet, and bracelets are in a box. I have to admit this area is a total work-in-progress for me and I will keep you updated on any changes I make.
Here’s the clincher; your closet will not maintain itself! Some will chuckle at this, but just like I take time on Sunday night to get the kids ready for the week and prep for work, I’ve started to schedule in some time to clean up my closet. This is also when I pull some outfits that I’d like to wear next week. You might think that’s strange, but it really saves time and makes my life easier when I’m trying to get my kids out the door in the morning and already have an outfit ready to go.
Hopefully some of these tips will inspire you to get your closet in order, and if you have any great ideas to share, please leave a comment below!