I know, I know. This is a weird time of the year to talk about closet organization. We're past seasonal changes, haven't hit the post holiday purge and we're not even close to spring cleaning. Contrary to what my desk says, deep down I am a creature of organization and I purge my closet (and home) regularly.
This is the time of year when as a retail worker, I especially need my energy to make life run smoothly and give my best to you and my team, thus organization. In the past, I have organized my closet by category (skirts, trousers, dresses, tanks, and then in ROYGBIV order. ( I was ROYGBIV-ing it long before The Home Edit was cool. While on The Home Edit topic, did anyone else have serious closet awe seeing the episode with Rachel Zoe's closet?! *Dream*) While satisfying and easy to maintain, it wasn't exactly inspiring me in the mornings. And this is where you're going to learn a little more about me and my thought process...
Remember going back to school shopping and getting a few new pieces of clothing and then deciding what outfit you would wear to school on the first day? And then laying it out the night before school along with your pre-packed school bag full of supplies? It aided in how smoothly that routine reemerged for school and it just felt good!
You know how Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerburg basically gave themselves personal uniforms so they didn't have to make that one extra decision in the morning and they could just focus on work? Well, it's a little bit of the same back to school philosophy, just simplifying the options.
What does this have to do with closet organization for a someone who owns a clothing store and why would I even bring that up? Well, follow me for two (three?) more scenarios and why's and I'll make my circle back to it.
First, I rarely check a bag when I fly. I detest waiting around a luggage carousel when I could just get to my destination or better yet, head straight home after. I have become a pro at mixing and matching a handful of clothing items to stretch half a carry-on of clothing easily into a 10 day wardrobe, shoes included. (Half of my carry-on is fully dedicated to toiletries, hair tools and a travel blanket.)
This is where you will hear that record scratching "errrr" sound in your head. With the ease of a travel wardrobe in mind, I challenged myself last fall/winter to trying a "capsule wardrobe." I'm not even kidding. I took pictures and even have a small inspirational photo album of selfies on my phone using only my capsule. If I'm being honest, I kind of loved it. It was simple, it removed a layer of stress in the morning because everything could be worn together. It also forced me to keep up with laundry, which has never been my favorite chore. And since I was keeping up with laundry, it didn't snowball out of control *creating more stress* by adding to my never ending list of things to do.
Here's the basis of last year's capsule. It also included 4 pairs of jeans and 6 sweaters. I'm not even kidding. And you didn't even notice. Or if you did, you didn't say anything. :)
As you all know, I am a lover of dresses and once "dress weather" sprung upon us, my capsule was left in the sunset. My sunrises once again felt chaotic and a little overwhelming.
With my experimentations in mind and knowing what has worked *for me,* I decided to make some changes to my closet this fall. Using a little bit of the capsule mentality and a little bit of categorizing, I edited my items and moved all of my fall/winter articles to one wall of my closet instead of having them categorized in three separate areas of my closet. (Obviously I chose the former dress wall for height so the entire wardrobe can live together harmoniously.)
When I went to place items on that wall, I noticed some major color themes and easily purged the couple of odd ball items that didn't fit in for mixing. What I ended with were items I absolutely love and feel my best in. There are some strapless items for layering, loads of turtlenecks, solid blouses and a few patterned, jackets and furry things because I'm always cold. I have designated winter skirts and dresses that will work alone or layered under the jackets I already own. My denim is sorted by length and pant width. The two larger stacks are wide leg, because that's my vibe. The center stacks are skinny jeans, because they don't allow much air up the leg in the winter and therefore, seem warmer. I whittled my cream sweater stock down to 6 pullover and 3 cardigans and otherwise, the palette is grey, brown, black and one lone green soldier that's been around a few years, because she is a favorite.
For me, SEEING IT ALL TOGETHER AS A STORY is so inspirational in the mornings and it somehow, dare I quote Marie Kondo, "sparks joy" for me to get dressed. It was also blatantly clear that I needed to replace a few staples and Brittney laughed at me when I took a cream turtleneck home. Because cream. But the one I had was very "loved" and needed replacing. I also realized I desperately need to replace black skinny jeans and add a few more layering pieces for my cardigans. Now I know what to buy. And if something else sparks joy and fits into this story, I won't feel guilty.
I don't know if editing your closet by color and framing it as a mix and match wardrobe would work for you, but coupled with being able to see everything in one place, this helped me.
I would love to hear how your closets are organized. I'm open to additional ideas!