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Order in the Closet

Clothes closets are a joy to organize. I find little more satisfying (as a fashion lover) than a brightly lit, clean and organized closet. For me, heaven is when all the hangars match, the clothes are organized by type and color, and dust bunnies and moths are non-existent.

When you get dressed for work or a special occasion, how easily do you put together an outfit that a) fits b) is clean c) has the right shoes/coat/belt, etc. to match and d) makes you feel fabulous? Getting your closet organized is half the battle. I don’t care if you shop at Neiman Marcus or the Salvation Army (I love both!) you can create your best closet and from that, your best outfits.

This project should take from four to 12 hours. I had a client with a walk-in closet and it took us 12 hours to get it in order and updated. But a four-hour chunk should get most of you there.

First, empty it out. Yes, everything. What doesn’t belong? If the toaster is in there because it needs to be fixed or your gift wrap supplies are tangled on the floor with your shoes, things have to change. If possible, your bedroom closet must be for clothes only.

Now, give it a good cleaning. You will need a vacuum or broom and dust rags. Check out your hangars. Would it be possible to recycle all the wire ones at your local dry-cleaners and purchase matching hangers at Target or the Container Store? This will make a tremendous difference to how your closet as well as your garments look and feel.

Take a look at each item of clothing. If you see moth holes, immediately order some moth tents at www.saferbrand.com. These are the only things my clients and I have found that seem to work. I also heard from a cashmere-loving source that periodically shaking out or wearing the items disturbs the moth larvae lifecycle and prevents moth holes. Otherwise, does it fit, does it flatter and do you love it? If yes, call a knit shop and ask for a moth hole repair referral. If not — get rid of it!

Next, the clothes that fit, flatter and suit your lifestyle, should be hung up and grouped: shirts together, skirts together, pants together, etc. If you can, group by color. When I want a black blouse, it is much easier to look at the black section of the blouses rather than through all the blouses.

As you are putting items back, make a note of things you need — a new pair of black pumps, a brown belt for when you wear brown shoes, a tie to match your new suit, etc. Also, don’t rehang anything that needs mending or cleaning. Leave those out and handle those errands as soon as possible so that you don’t end up trying to wear that dirty black dress every time you need something for a cocktail party. If it’s cleaned and pressed, it’s ready.