This episode of The Intentional Edit Podcast will give you all the information you need to organize your closet. With this step-by-step guide you will finally be able to purge the clothes you aren’t using and wear more of the clothing you decide to keep.
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Full Episode Transcription
If you have clothes in your closet that you never wear a messy closet or your closet’s just generally not so organized. This is a perfect episode for you to listen to. I’m going to give you a step by step guide to organize your closet and purge the clothes that you haven’t worn in years. If you’re struggling with daily tasks, clutter organization, and finding any sort of work life balance, the intentional edit podcast is for you. It’s time to stop the chaos and live with more intention. I am Lauren and I am here to help you declutter implement systems and maximize routines that remove the overwhelming unorganized parts of life. Bringing simplicity to your home, come on. It’s time to create a life you love.
Thanks for joining me for another episode of the intentional edit podcast. This is episode 23 and today we are talking about all things that have to do with organizing your closet and purging the clothes that you never wear, or the accessories shoe, anything that’s taking up space in your closet, how to get rid of it if you’re not wearing it and how to organize what you determine needs to stay. But before we get started on this episode, I wanted to take a second to ask you, if you have been listening to the other episodes of the intentional edit podcast, and you have found any benefit fit in any of them, wherever you’re listening to the podcast and scroll down to where it says rating and review and leave a five star rating and a quick review, even if it’s just a sentence or two about how these podcast episodes have helped you, that would really help this podcast grow.
I don’t know if you know this or not, but one of the most important things for getting new listeners with podcasts is the reviews and the ratings. When you leave a rating review that allows the podcast to be seen by more people. I would greatly appreciate it. If you could just take a minute, give it a five star rating. And if you have time, if you can spare a minute or two, do write a quick review and submit that for the intentional edit podcast. Thank you so much for doing that. Let’s get on and let’s talk about closet organization. Just like any room in the house. If you do coaching with me or take one of my courses or you work with a professional organizer anywhere, the first step to getting organized is eliminating the unnecessary unwanted, never used. I items those things are actually clutter, and we want to get the clutter out.
You can’t successfully organize any space in your home. It can be organized if the clutter is still there, you don’t wanna waste your time and resources organizing clutter. So the first thing you have to do is get it outta there, remove the clutter. This is when you per you’re always going to start an organizing project with the removal of the unnecessary things. First thing you’re going to do is purge. If you need help with that, listen to episode eight. What happens in episode eight of the intentional edit podcast is it’s a list of questions that you can use when you’re purging. If you get stuck, it, it will work for any area in the home today. We’re gonna talk about more specific questions that go with your closet. The episode eight will help you too. And it kind of gets you in the mindset of how to purge and what it to look for when you are trying to eliminate things.
Another great episode. It’s a quick episode because it’s a tip Tuesday that is episode seven. It’s all about closet organization. I answer a listener question about closet organization, go back and listen to episode seven and eight. If you haven’t already, those will help you with some of the is that will make it easier for you to get your closet organized and really anywhere in your home organized. I created six questions that I use with clients or friends and family, or even myself. If I’m tackling an organization project that has a lot of decluttering involved and the six step, the six question can help you determine what should stay and what should go. If it’s not obvious to you, I have six closet specific questions to make closet purging easier. You will use the same type of pro process. If you listen to episode eight, it’s the same thing.
These are just specific for purging clothes or things that you would find in a closet. You’ll ask yourself these questions. Then you can take your closet from that disorganized, messy state, where you have too much stuff cramed in and you don’t know where anything is to a closet that is organized. And you know where everything is. When I tackle a closet organizing project, whether I’m working with a closet client that I’m coaching, or if I’m actually doing the physical organizing, the most important thing to do is to remove everything, get it out of the closet, take the clothes off the rods. Take the clothes out of the drawers. If you have shelves, remove everything, clothes, jewelry, accessories, shoes, bags, anything that you keep in your closet, get it out of there. You’re always going to get it out of there first. And then you will do a simple cleaning wipe down the shelves, vacuum the floors, get the dust that has accumulated out of the space.
So when you’re putting everything back, it has a nice clean home to go into. Then we’re going to touch at every single item and ask ourselves the questions it’s pretty straightforward, but I’m going to go through the list of questions that I use. You can see how easy this would be. Now you have this mess somewhere outside of your closet, whether it’s in a bedroom or bathroom or wherever you have taken all of these items and piled the ’em up, you’re going to start going through them. If you do not automatically know if you want to keep it or get rid of it, this is where the six questions come in and you will ask yourself, does this still fit? Let’s just pretend. This is a pair of jeans. Pick these pair of jeans up and you say to yourself, does it still fit? If the answer is no, it immediately goes into the donate pile.
Is it free from stains and in working order? Meaning does the zipper zip do the buttons still work? Things like that. If the answer is yes, it fits and it’s free from stains and still in working order, then you can move on to question number two, because it’s in the category right now of a yes, it stays. If it’s not, if it’s stained, if it’s broken, it’s either going in the donate pile or the trash. If it’s too severely broken, that it can’t be repaired. The second question that you’ll ask yourself about the jeans is the condition. Are these jeans in good condition? If the answer is yes and you will still wear them, you can keep them. If the answer is no, then they go into the donate or the trash pile. The third question you will ask yourself about the jeans is the style.
Are these still style? Would I buy them again today? If the answer is no, put them in the donate pile. If the answer is yes, you can keep them the fourth one relates to the third one. It’s still about style. No, the que the fourth question is, is it my style? So you’d be asking yourself about the jeans. Are these jeans style that I currently want to wear? If the answer is no, they go to the donate pile. If the answer is, yes, move on to the next question. Do I feel good when I wear it? If the answer is no, unless you have to keep it because it’s a uniform or something where you’re required to wear it, then you need to get rid of, of it. If you don’t feel good wearing something, why is it still in your closet? Why is it bringing that negativity into your life?
Get rid of it, donate it because someone else will feel good wearing it or will enjoy it. And it’s not doing anything good for you. If you don’t feel good wearing it, get rid of it. And the final question to ask yourself, if you’ve still answered, if you’ve answered yes to all these questions, and now you are still keeping it. The last question you’ll ask yourself is, have I worn it in the last year? Generally, if the answer is, no, you are not going to wear it in the future. If you have not worn it in the last year, because there are other things in your closet that are more important and that you’re picking over this pair of jeans or whatever the item is that you’re talking about and referencing at that moment. And if you haven’t worn it in the last year, you can get rid of it.
It can now be donated and you can feel good about it. I feel like those questions are pretty straightforward, straightforward. If you answer no to any of those questions, it goes in the toss or donate pile. But if you answer, yes, then that means that item is something that you’re wearing. You don’t have to ask yourself those questions about every single item. If you pick up your favorite sweatshirt and you wear that thing all the time, it’s automatically something that you’re going to keep because you wear on a regular basis, your favorite jeans, same things, things that you are wearing often, you don’t need to stop and ask yourself these questions. You’re asking yourself these questions. When you pick up something, that little voice in your head is saying, like, I haven’t worn that in a very long time. I don’t know if I should keep this.
You have a little bit of question about it, or you feel a little bit of guilt about getting rid of something. A lot of the things that are in closets that professional organizers find when they’re working with their clients is that people don’t really have the intention to wear some of the things that are still hanging on the rod. But they have guilt around the idea of getting rid of it because they had a good intention when they bought it, whether it was to wear for a specific event or it was on sale or something that they had wanted for a long time. And they finally decided to purchase it. And then that never happened. They picked something else for the event. They had purchased something that they could wear in the same type of places that they would wear this. So there’s a little bit of guilt in the back of their minds and they don’t want to let go of it because if they have it, there’s still the idea that they could wear it in the future.
You have to forget if it’s been years and it’s still in your closet and you haven’t worn it, you’re not going to wear it. That’s when you ask yourself the questions, because there’s a little bit of hesitation. There’s a little bit of question you’re wondering, should I really get rid of this? Should I keep this? What do I do about this? That’s when you use these six questions to figure out what are you getting rid of? What are you keeping? What’s going back in the closet and what can be donated or tossed. That’s the part of closet organizing where you’re actually purging and decluttering so that you can get to the organizing step. You have to do the purging and decluttering before you can ever eyes. When it’s time to organize, I always get questions about people with messy closets and what products do I recommend for organization of closet of a closet.
If you are doing a complete closet overhaul and you need a closet system, then I re recommend the alpha closets from the container store. Those are my favorite customs closet systems, because they are completely customizable. You can customize everything from the shelfs, the length of the rods, the everything can be cut down to your closet and they don’t waste space. They find ways you use the corners. If you have awkward ceilings or dropdowns or anything like that, you can do it online yourself. And you can also go into the container store and meet with an associate there that if you take the measurements of your closet, make sure you take all of the measurements. Try to draw out on a paper because you need to know the height with depth of everything, but also take into account. Where are the light switches? Do you have a light that hangs download?
Do you have a door or a big casing around your door? Things like that in the closet. If you take your measurements in and also bring some pictures, then they will be able to do an amazing mock up of what your closet could look like. And there’s different price points, because there are solid shelves and hollow shelves and wire things and different colors and a ton of different options to meet whatever price point you have. If you’re listening to this in January, the alpha, once a year sale is actually going on right now. So if this is something that you’re thinking about doing this year now is a great time to check it out because it’s the one time of year that the alpha closet systems are on sale. I don’t get a kickback for them or anything. I’m just answering your question honestly, about what closets do I recommend.
I always recommend the alpha for a lower price point. Ikea does have some customizable closet systems. It’s not as custom, not even close to as custom as the alpha systems from the container store, but Ikea does have some great options at a lower price point. Of course, you can go super high, high end to very custom closets. But I do find that a lot of times, those really custom closets actually can waste a lot of space. They have a lot of dead space and corners and things that I don’t like, but Alpha’s my number one. And Ikea would be my number two. If you’re not putting in a whole new closet system, then you are just were working around whatever you have. And that’s totally fine. Luckily, there are so many options for things that you can buy. If you need shoe storage or extra shelves or extra rods, even you can get things that hang off of your current rod to double your hanging space.
There are plenty of options or things that you can buy. Once you have determined what is staying in your closet when you took the time to purge and get rid of all of the unnecessary, unwanted, unused clothing that you had in your closet, then you were left with a big pile of stuff that you were keeping in order to figure out the proper organization you need. You figure out categories. Now it’s time to sort and categorize these things that are going into your closet. Examples of this would be jeans can go in one area. Other pants like dress pants in another shorts in another swimwear and accessories undergarments shirts can be long sleeve, short sleeve sweaters, maybe some sweaters you want to hang. Some. You want to fold. There’s tons of ideas that can work for you, depending on how specific you want your categories to be.
But in general, I separate shorts and pants. And then I separate jeans from all the other pants. If there’s colors of jeans, I do organize them by color. And then for shirts, I separate tank tops, short sleeve, long sleeve and sweaters. Sweatshirts are also in a separate category. Jackets would be in a separate category dresses depending on the space. I either hang from long to short or sometimes I do summer dresses. In one section, winter dresses in another skirts would be another category and shoes are the same thing. Boots might be separate from high heel or dressy work shoes. Flip flops would not be with the heels, things like that. So categorize your items. There’s not a right and wrong way to do it necessarily. It’s going to be specific to your needs and the clothes that you have categorize. And then you will see what do you need.
If you have out of really special shoes, you might want to use a container that keeps the shoes so that they would be dust, dust free, not collecting dust. When they’re sitting on a shelf, if you have shoes that you wear all the time and you want easy in and out, maybe an over the door shoe rack is what would work for your closet because you don’t have a, any floor space and you don’t have any shelf space picking. The materials to organize with is really specific to your closet. I love hooks and closets. If you don’t have a space to put hooks, then an over the door rack where they can just hang over the door for your belts, hats, totes, row probes, things like that is a great option and is usually less than $10. If you have a place where you can add hooks for these things, because you have extra wall space, then you wouldn’t need to have something over the door.
You could actually install them into the wall. The number one thing that I think makes a big difference, if you could only do one per just for your closet, is the hangers switch out your hangers to matching hangers? All of the same. My favorite hangers are the slim velvet hangers. I really like the slim design because they allow for more clothes to go on in one section of your closet, they’re not big and bulky recently, there’s new thin wooden hangers out. And that wooden hangers really elevate the look of your closet. I like them. I haven’t found a brand that I love that doesn’t break a little bit and because they are a higher price point, I still feel like this limb hangers are the best option. Especially if you have clothes that 10 to slip off of the hangers, the, the velvet slim hangers are my favorite wood hangers are great.
If you don’t want to make a big investment, you can also use plastic hangers, but whatever you decide to do, make sure all of your clothes are on the same hangar because it gives a more cohesive look to your closet. It feels better when you’re in there. It’s just a more streamlined, organized, overall look. But also it helps because everything is at the same height. All of the same hangers are the same level, and it allows you to fit more in a small space for shoes storage. I mentioned this a minute ago. It really depends on what is the space that you have. There are shoe cubbies that you can purchase, and some of them even can hook together and be stacked. They aren’t come in different sizes for men’s shoes. Women’s shoes. There are taller options for boots. Those are great. If you don’t have a lot of space, but you have a door.
Uh, one of the shoe storage containers that hooks on the top of the door can hold a ton of shoes. I think like 24, 25 pairs. So that’s a lot of shoes. If you don’t have any floor space or don’t have the shelves to store your shoes, that’s a great option. If you have nice high end shoes, handbags, things like that, you really should look into storage that is BLE. So you can see what you have, but also keeps the dust off these things that can’t be clean easily, and that you want to take care of. I love the hour, the UR hour storage bins from the container store. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. So those are perfect for that kind of thing. Take advantage of your drawers or shelf space. If you have a lot of shelves, but you don’t have drawers, you can purchase baskets, baskets, and bins are perfect for keeping items in their categories.
That way you can use those baskets or bins, just like you would a drawer. They sit on a shelf and then you designate each basket or bin to hold a specific type of item. When you’re purchasing those look for a style that you like, try to have them, even if they’re different sizes, be all the same color and style. And again, it’s gonna create the same visually appealing closet space you want because it looks the same. It will look less cluttered and more organized. If they’re all the same color and design, even if you are purchasing different sizes for what you need. The last thing that I like to put into a closet, and this is a zero cost is a bag for donations. I just take shopping bag. It can be reusable or not, but a shopping bag that can sit up on its own.
And I put it on a shelf or put it on the floor in the closet in kind of an out of reach area, but something that you can still have access to. Anytime you take something out and you realize you don’t like it anymore, or it doesn’t fit you. If you don’t to keep it, then you just put it in the donation bag at that time. And when that bag fills up, put it in your car and drop it off at wherever you take your donations and replace it with another bag. This helps you not have to do a big closet purge and clean out very often because you always have that donation bag in there. If something gets a stain on it, but it could still be usable, but you are not wearing it anymore. It can go in the donation bag. When that bag is full, you are just ready to take it to be donated.
You don’t have to go through your closet on a regular base to get rid of these things. You figure it out in the moment that you don’t want to keep it. And you just put it in the bag to get rid of it, right? That I just gave you a lot of information on purging and decluttering your closet, and some solutions for closet systems and things that I like to use for closet organization. If you want more and information, go back and listen to episode seven. That is also a quick to Tuesday episode where I talk about closets. I know I mentioned that at the beginning. I want to go over really quick, the six questions that I already told you, the six questions to ask yourself when purging your closet and figuring out what you can get rid of. Number one, does it still, is it free from stains and in working order number two, checking out the condition.
Is it still in good condition? Number three, the style. Is it still in style and would I buy it again today? Number four, is it my style? Number five? Do I feel good when I wear it? And number six, have I worn it in, in the last year? Those are the six questions to ask yourself when decluttering and purging your closet. Once you have done that, it is time to organize and put things away. And the last thing you will do, if you think that it’s necessary and will help you with organizing is to label, put labels on your drawers, your baskets, things like that. At a click quick glance, you can see what is in that storage or behind the drawers or cabinets. If you have more questions about closet organizing, any type of organizing or simplifying head on over to Instagram, you can find me at intentional edit, send me a direct message over there. I do my best to answer every message that I get or head over to the website, intentional edit.com. There is tons of information over there for organizing every room of the house. Also go back and listen to episode seven and eight. And once again, I’m just going to remind you, if you could please leave a review of five star rating and review for this podcast. I would greatly appreciate it. I, you back here next week for another episode of the intentional edit podcast. Good luck with your closet, purging and organization.
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Lauren is the founder of Intentional Edit, a home organization and lifestyle company focused on consciously editing to create efficient and organized spaces. Lauren believes that a functional home that looks and feels good has a positive influence on all aspects of life. Creating systems that allow for the home to function more efficiently, therefore, eliminating most of the clutter and chaos is her priority. While trends come and go organization is always in style!
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