Cleaning Out the Closet

The cold winter weather means lots of time indoors to do home projects. I came across this pin this week called “Building a Grown-Up Wardrobe.” I didn’t find the “tips” that useful – the articles mostly chronicle her closet-cleaning journey rather than give useful tips or tricks. BUT I was not about to look the inspiration gift horse in the mouth – the articles inspired me to do some work on my own closet.

When we first moved into our home I was so excited to FINALLY have a walk-in closet all for me. However, when we moved in we were in the midst of wedding planning so I kind of just threw everything in the closet. I always intended to go back and organize but, of course, I never did.

Here is what I was working with…

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I had some light organization – pants were with pants, dresses were with dresses. But a lot of the space was unusable do to the piles of clothes on the shelf. I couldn’t hang much from the second level because it would block what was there. I had all my belts messily hanging from there too. And because the clothes weren’t really organized some of them got lost in the mix.

I didn’t follow the articles inventory tips. I think this would have been really interesting but it just wasn’t a step I felt like taking right now.

After 2 hours and a shopping trip to T.J. Maxx for some pretty decorative boxes this is what my closet looks like now!

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Now my clothes are more organized by type. Dresses are still with dresses but are color coordinated from white to black on the second level since they are too long to go on the bottom level. The bottom level has, from right to left, blazers and zip-up sweaters, button-down shirts and sweaters, dress pants, jeans, and blouses; all organized from white to black.

The top of the second level has flat purses and duffle-bags as well as a few boot boxes. The top of the bottom level is the biggest change and my favorite part. The biggest box has yoga pants, sweat pants, and sweatshirts. The next biggest have more sweaters (it’s winter!) – mostly the ones that are hard to keep on a hanger. The third box from the left has long sleeve basic tops and more “fun” basics like colored and neon tanks and tees. The smallest box is packed with black and white basic tanks and tees.

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I hung my accessories on the wall with removable hooks. I could use a few more hooks to spread everything out more but everything fits OK for now. I also have my boots all standing up on the floor, out of the boxes. I wear them so much this time of year that constantly putting them in and out of the boxes was a waste of time and doesn’t exactly inspire me to keep the closet neat. Once the winter is over these will all go away in their boxes in storage.

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All the shoes that are in boxes are stacked on the floor behind my clothes. Loose shoes that I either don’t have the boxes for anymore or wear frequently are in some felt bags on the floor in the front.

I didn’t get rid of as much as I would have liked – especially shoes which are incredibly hard for me to part with. But I did manage to fill this large T.J. Maxx bag with clothes (and 1 pair of shoes!) for Goodwill.

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I am happy with my closet organization project. I actually have more space than I even realized. I thought I couldn’t possibly fit any other items on the bottom level but I actually have extra space there now. I also can start utilizing the top level once the bottom is full now that I don’t have piles of clothes creeping up the walls. AND I can actually walk in my walk-in closet again!

Here I am IN my closet for the first time in months…

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So happy!

I will say that to be able to utilize the box system you do need to mentally know your wardrobe VERY well because you can’t see everything. For this reason, I found categorizing the boxes very important.

I’m hoping this inspirational spark stays alive long enough for me to clean out my dresser next. I even offered to organize my husband’s closet in the process. Once I got started now I don’t want to stop!

Do you have any home organization projects planned for this winter? Let me know in the comments!

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