In December of 2015, I had had it. I was fairly tidy in all areas of my home with the exception of one space…my closet. I was basically dressing out of a laundry basket every single day because I hated putting my clothes away THAT much. It was awful. I knew I had to do something pretty drastic so I partnered with a group of bloggers to read the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up over the holidays desperate for something to click.
The book was an easy read and I finished it cover to cover while we were at the cabin. By the time we arrived home, I was armed with a fresh perspective and an intense motivation to change. I got right to work on my closet. This is how it looked when I started in January of 2016…
Crazy messy, right?
The drawers of all of my dressers were just as bad…
Don’t even get me started on the piles from my jewelry box…
It was so hard to go through everything. The basis of the book is to “start by discarding. Then organize your space, thoroughly, completely, in one go.” Kondo suggests starting with your clothes first. I tried on all of the clothes in my closet and cried when so many of them didn’t fit. I literally had sizes 8 – 12 in the closet and now that I look back on it, I have no idea why I was saving half of those clothes.
It took an entire day of going through every single item of clothing, shoes, purses, and jewelry in all of my closets and drawers. By the end of the day I had 9 bags of items to donate. You can read the full post here but this is how my closet looked at the end of that day….
It’s been a little over a year and I’m excited to report my closet at present looks like this…
It feels like such an accomplishment to have kept it up an entire year. Here’s a look at one of my drawers and some of them are even empty!
Was it hard work to keep it this organized all the time? I’ll be honest, sometimes yes! I had a few moments where I had to MAKE myself put away the clothes. For example, every time we’d take a long vacation or a trip. I would be so tired I didn’t feel like unpacking my suitcase much less putting away all the clothes. But I was determined not to live out of a laundry basket any more – no matter what – and even if I had to make myself do it, it was worth it. Here are a few tips that have helped to keep the closets and drawers organized over the past year…((Affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. You can read our full disclosure policy here )
OHIO – Only Handle It Once – every time I wanted to leave my clothes, shoes, or jewelry untidy or stashed on the top of the dresser I would say out loud, “Only handle it once, CoCo.” I also used “Don’t touch it twice.” It may sound kind of silly but this verbal cue helped to remind me it was worth taking the extra time to do it right the first time in order to keep things tidy and organized.
Declutter by Keeping Only the Clothes, Shoes and Accessories That Make You Feel Confident – This one was really hard because I realized I was holding on to the size I wanted to be instead of accepting the size I actually was. It was total gut check time but finally accepting I’m not a size 8 right now, helped me to embrace being ok at a size 10.
Use the Same Hanger Throughout – We use wood hangers but that being said, whatever material you decide to use wood, felt, plastic, metal make sure they’re all the same. The uniformity will keep your closet visually pleasing, more cohesive and organized.
Keep Your Shoes Contained – I have a specific amount of individual shoe containers I’m currently comfortable storing and I’ve made a commitment to not buying any more. Santa brought me 3 new pairs of shoes for Christmas which meant immediately placing 3 old pairs of shoes in the donate pile to make room for the new ones. Allow yourself a set number of shoe containers, cubbies or shelf space then work within the confines of the system you have committed to.
Nest Your Purses, Totes and Handbags – I used to use a plastic blue bin to contain all of my purses and bags but since I’ve started using the vintage blanket box, I’ve learned to nest smaller purses into larger ones. I also keep similar colors together so I can find what I need quickly. If you change your purses frequently, you want to consider a shelf divider or a desktop organizer similar to this one. We also nest overnight bags and luggage pieces together.
Wash – Dry – Fold – Put Away – When you’re making time to do the laundry, it’s not only about washing and drying, it’s also about taking the time to fold and put away. These steps are key in helping to keep your closets and drawers neat and tidy. Use this folding board if you want to keep the folded clothes in your dresser drawers consistent.
Use a Laundry Hamper that is Functional and Pretty – this closet is so small I don’t really have room for a laundry hamper so I take my clothes to the laundry room each day. Right now, we use a wicker laundry hamper which works out well but I’m hoping to upgrade to this laundry hamper soon because it has wheels.
Make Your Laundry Room Work for You – We gave the laundry room an update last March and it made a huge difference in the way the space functioned. I stopped folding the laundry on the kitchen table and started using the folding station in the laundry room. This simple change allowed me to do all of the activities related to keeping the clothes clean in the laundry room which meant the clothes weren’t pilling up in other places around the house.
Maintain, Maintain, Maintain – I know this can be tough for us ladies sometimes because our weight, style, taste, and type of clothing we use changes depending on the seasons. If you’re not able to utilize the “1 in – 1 out” rule because you’re putting together outfits or whatever, consider scheduling a specific day/time each month/season to go through your clothes. You may just be surprised at how many things you’re willing to let go of.
Finally, if you find yourself getting off track, get back on track as soon as possible. You’re worth taking the extra time to reevaluate how your current closet/drawer situation is working for you. It could be as big as a second round of decluttering or as small as you just need more storage space. Don’t let the weeks turn into months where you revert back to your old way of living…you’re better than that, ok?
I’ll share a few more tips and tricks for simple storage solutions and how utilizing hooks can easily transform a small space in the next few weeks. We’re in the midst of giving my bestie S’s closet a makeover and it’s going to be so fun.