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10 tips for organizing your closet

- Author: Crystal

Sparkleize recommends organizing your clothing closet twice yearly. Haven’t done it in a while? Set a date to organize your closet this month!

I’ve just narrowed down my own closet to only high quality pieces that serve me well on a regular basis. I use two criteria for knowing whether to keep something: (1) I wear it very often; and/or (2) I treasure it with all my heart. This has left me with 4 shirts, 5 blouses, 4 sweaters, 2 jeans, 2 slacks and 4 dresses: a sleeker, simpler wardrobe which I like so much more than my previous closet full of stuff that made me go “meh”.

If you’re stumped on where to begin or need some inspiration, here’s how I recommend getting started:

  1. Gather three boxes, bins or bags, and label them “Donate”, “Consign” and “Trash/repurpose”.
  2. Ready, set, go! You’re gonna have to make some tough decisions. Enlist a buddy if it would be helpful!
  3. Retire the old. Is anything stained or completely worn out? Remove these items from the closet.
  4. Be honest about what fits you. If it doesn’t fit you now, and it hasn’t fit you for the past calendar year, it probably never will. It’s time to let it go!
  5. Examine what you wear most frequently in terms of style, versatility, comfort and fit. After all, there’s a good reason that your favorite pair of pants are your favorites! The more you learn about your own likes and dislikes, the better you’ll become at shopping effectively for yourself next time. Be ruthless: If you haven’t worn something in the past calendar year, you’re NOT going to!
  6. Get seasonal. Box up wintertime clothing such as sweaters, fleece vests and warm pants. Clearly label those boxes, and store them in an accessible area of the attic, basement or garage so you can pull them out again next fall.
  7. Consign your nicer items to a consignment shop. Bring clean, seasonally appropriate pieces which are in good condition. (Call first to find out whether you need an appointment.) Consigning will leave you with a bit of extra cash, or store credit so you can add some new oomph to your wardrobe.
  8. Donate the rest of your gently worn (still wearable) clothes to your local donation center, thrift store or homeless shelter.
  9. Repurpose any items that are longer wearable. For example, old socks make great chew toys for dogs and t-shirts can become cleaning rags!
  10. Tidy up. Store properly the clothes you intend to keep! Neatly fold and stack your knit and casual wear. Dressier items like slacks and blouses should be ironed and hung up. Facing clothing the same way and hanging them on quality, matching hangers will create a sense of uniformity and order.

Celebrate your newly organized wardrobe!

Thoughts on this? Other ideas? Post a comment, or write to Crystal and let her know!

No Comments - Categories: Closets

Easy jewelry organization

- Author: Crystal

BEFORE

AFTER!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I ordered an inexpensive hand-crafted wooden jewelry rack from Etsy. It was easy to mount on the wall, and in 10 minutes I went from a tangly jewelry mess to a neat display.

Have additional thoughts or ideas to share? Leave a comment, or write to Crystal and let her know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Comments - Categories: Closets

The secret to being happier with your wardrobe

- Author: Crystal

istock_000002256443xsmallThis blog post was inspired by a depressing ad I saw for the WonderHanger. (Warning! Do not click that link unless you want to be bombarded with loud announcer’s voice and “special offer” pop-up messages).

It is my hope to help convince those who might fall for the WonderHanger that you do not need special expandable gadgets that enable you to fit five times the amount of clothes into your closet, and you do not need a bigger closet. Instead, the secret to being happier with your wardrobe (and life) is truly to own less clothing!

Most people, but especially Americans, have an unhealthy relationship with their belongings. We rely on our possessions to be a proxy for our place in society, our value in the world, and most significantly our self-worth. We consistently forget or need reminding about the things that are most important and make us the most happy, namely: family, friends and leisure time. In fact, those are the three things we most commonly neglect. If you’re interested in exploring this topic further, I encouraging you to watch The Story of Stuff. But I digress!

My main point is: It’s a new year, a new decade, and a new chance  to make a fresh start in your closet. I hope you’ll consider these two key actions:

  • Give your closet the early spring cleaning it needs. Read “Get Ready for Springtime Closet Maintenance” for practical guidance on paring down your wardrobe and organizing what you decide to keep.
  • Adjust your default for a while. In other words, rather than your default action being to buy some article of clothing (which, let’s face it, we usually do because we’re depressed, desperate, panicked, bored, etc), opt not to buy it instead. Vow to live for quality, not quantity.

Thoughts on this? Other ideas? Post a comment, or write to Crystal and let her know!

No Comments - Categories: Closets

Get ready for springtime closet maintenance

- Author: Crystal

It’s a good idea to organize your clothing closet at at least twice yearly. Haven’t done it in a while? Set a date to organize your closet this spring!

Here’s a list of closet maintenance tasks to consider:

  1. Retire the old. Is anything permanently stained or completely worn out? Remove them from the closet. Donate any items which are still wearable and re-purpose what isn’t. For example, old socks make chew toys for dogs and t-shirts become great cleaning rags.
  2. Be honest about what fits you. If it doesn’t fit you now, and it hasn’t fit you for the past calendar year, it probably never will. It’s time to let it go.
  3. Examine what you wear most frequently in terms of style and fit. There’s a good reason that your favorite pair of pants are your favorites. The more you learn about your own likes/dislikes, the better you’ll become at shopping effectively for yourself next time.
  4. Get seasonal. Box up wintertime clothing such as wool socks and bulky sweaters, clearly label the boxes, and store them in an accessible area of the attic, basement or garage so you can pull them out again next fall.
  5. Tidy up. Neatly fold and stack your casual wear. Dressier items like slacks and blouses should be ironed and hung up. Facing clothing the same way and hanging them on quality, matching hangers will create a sense of uniformity and order. For more ideas on organizing your clothing, check out my article called An Organizer’s Closet, Revealed!

Thoughts on this? Other ideas? Post a comment, or write to Crystal and let her know!

2 Comments - Categories: Closets

Recycle your prescription eyeglasses

- Author: Crystal

Don’t let old prescription eyeglasses clutter up your closet any longer! Your local Lions Club will be happy to take them for you. The Lions recycle them for use by disadvantaged and elderly folks who cannot afford eye care. Click here to find a Lions Club near you.

Have more ideas to share? Post a comment or write to Crystal and let her know!

No Comments - Categories: Closets

An organizer’s clothes closet, revealed!

- Author: Crystal

In this article, I share some photos of the inside of my clothes closet, as well as the strategies I use to keep it organized.

Here are some of my secrets:

Store items by type. In general, items are grouped by type: Shirts on the left side; Pants/Skirts on the bottom right; Shoes on the floor; Luggage in the middle; Purses at the very top. (See photo below.)

Be strict about what you keep. I only store in this closet the purses and luggage that I actually use and clothes which fit and are well-liked, worn regularly, seasonally appropriate, and in good condition.

Container-ize it! I don’t have a dresser, so I use baskets and bins (see photo below) to keep my small items organized: one for sports socks; one for dress socks and hosiery; one for hats, gloves, bandanas and swimsuits; and two for undergarments. Belts and scarves hang on the far right.

Maximize the space available. Closet organizers like these (see photo below) which hang from your closet shelves are inexpensive and very, very useful. Indeed, they instantly add more usable space to your closet! I store less bulky shoes such as sandals and heels in one and my casual and sports clothing in another.

Group tops by color. Finally, I like to keep my tops organized by color group: Reds/Pinks/Yellows, followed by Greens/Blues/Purples, and then Browns/Whites/Blacks. Jackets and dresses are on the far right. Grouping my clothing this way helps me more quickly and easily select what I want to wear each day, based on my mood.

Have additional thoughts or ideas to share? Leave a comment, or write to Crystal and let her know!

No Comments - Categories: Closets

A peek inside an organizer’s hallway closet…

- Author: Crystal

Here’s where I reveal all! Check out the photos of my own hallway closet.

Household items I keep in my hallway closet (from top to bottom, left to right) include:

  • Blankets
  • Towels
  • African cloth that I use for table cloths and wall hangings
  • Bath rugs
  • Sheets (You only need one extra set per bed at the very most!)
  • Stock of toiletries such as soap, deodorant, toothbrushes and Q-tips
  • Medicines
  • Travel stuff (means toiletry pouches, mini travel iron, travel-size toiletries)
  • Basket holding hair dryer, hair products and brushes
  • Sports medicine (Ben-Gay, cold packs, etc)
  • Sewing kit
  • Hair accessories, makeup, eye care and shaving items
  • Coleman inflatable guest bed
  • Toilet paper, Kleenex
  • Shoe care items
  • Envelopes
  • Arts & craft supplies
Inexpensive plastic drawer sets come in handy for small items.

Shoe boxes come free with each pair of shoes you buy, and they make great organizing containers!

(Lots of Kleenex: is it obvious that I love Costco?)

Prominent labels for piles of towels are useful for directing a confused husband. These were made with index cards and packing tape. Simple but effective.

Eventually, I’ll probably move to something more refined and attractive, such as these labels from Wonderful Graffiti.

Have additional thoughts or ideas to share? Leave a comment, or write to Crystal and let her know!

Tomorrow: Crystal shares photos of her clothes closet!

No Comments - Categories: Closets

Three secrets to maintaining an organized closet

- Author: Crystal

My own closet maintenance strategies are actually pretty simple. Here is what I recommend:

  1. Be very strict about what you keep. Closet space is so precious! If any item in my closet does not meet the following criteria, it means that it is time to give it away: (1) It fulfills an immediate or imminent need; (2) It is not broken, expired, stained, or worn out; (3) I use it at least once per year.
  2. Keep things visible. If it can be seen, it can be found. Thus, everything should be in plain sight when you open those closet doors! If it is not realistic for every single individual item to be visible, then I group and “container-ize” similar objects and label them; I then make sure the labels are visible!
  3. Organize your closet at least twice a year.

Important note: These three strategies work best for maintaining a closet which is already at least somewhat organized. If your closet is an unsightly mess and you want to avoid thinking about it entirely, you probably first need get your closet in some kind of reasonable order! Read this article for step-by-step help.

Have additional thoughts or ideas to share? Leave a comment, or write to Crystal and let her know!

No Comments - Categories: Closets, Organizing 101

Declutter your wallet!

- Author: Crystal

My wallet was getting too full of membership and frequent buyer cards, so I invented a system to maintain a sleek and orderly wallet: I took all the cards out and put them on a binder ring!

Not only does my wallet look a lot better now, but my cards are easy to find when I need them.

You can do it too! Here’s how:

First, I used my three-hole puncher to punch a hole in the top left corner of each card. Note: It’s best to do this one card at a time so you don’t overwhelm your puncher.

Next, I clipped all the cards onto a binder ring which I bought in a set for only a couple of dollars. Target sells cool, colored ones like the one shown in the photo, above.

Finally, I attached the binder ring to my coin purse zipper and put the whole thing in my handbag.

Voila! Instant organization!

Have more ideas to share? Post a comment or write to Crystal and let her know!

No Comments - Categories: Closets, Office and paperwork

It’s “Sort your Sock Drawer” day!

- Author: Crystal

Quick! When you get home from work today, head straight over to your sock drawer and take five minutes to do the following:

  1. Empty it out.
  2. Put matching pairs together however you wish – folding, tying, clipping, whatever.
  3. Examine the toes and heels of all the socks. Do you see holes? Can they be mended?
  4. If you find socks that can be mended, get out your sewing kit, and put the to-be-mended socks with the sewing kit in a high visibility location. Now put the following on your to do list: “Mend socks”. Don’t know how to mend a sock? Learn today!
  5. If you find lone socks which have no buddy, or socks that cannot be mended, take them out of the drawer immediately (this is very important). Consider alternative uses for them, such as cleaning rags, pillow stuffing, sock monkeys, or tug toys for dogs. If they are 100% cotton, you can compost them. If all other options fail, throw them out. Whatever you do, just don’t put them back into the sock drawer!
  6. Determine whether or not you need new socks. If yes, put this on your shopping list.

Have more ideas? Post a comment, or write to Crystal and let her know!

No Comments - Categories: Closets