A note from our editors: Thank you so much for all your support of Rue in 2018. Before we launch into new content for the new year, we wanted to share the posts of 2018 according to you, our readers! So we’re republishing our most popular posts, including this one. We hope you enjoy it!
We’ve featured Shira Gill’s work before: the organization expert offered up pre-holiday tips on a party ready pantry. Her boutique lifestyle brand (Shira Gill Home) offers a “less is more” philosophy, and includes on-site, full service home organization and styling as well as online resources and inspiration to help you design a clutter-free life. Basically, she’s the hero we all need as we’re craving that post-holiday “fresh start”. So today, Shira is sharing 5 very simple steps to a streamlined and stylish closet. If you want to make getting dressed a little easier, or simply have less stuff, just follow Shira’s steps to success:
Step One: Prep
Start by removing everything from your closet. You heard me. Everything. Every. Single. Thing. I generally use a bed for a staging area, or place an old sheet on the floor so it’s easy to lay everything out in preparation for editing and sorting. It helps to organize clothing in stacks by specific categories so you can take inventory. This will make it easy to see how much you have of each type and will also expedite the editing stage. This is your opportunity to start fresh, so make sure to wipe down any shelving, give the space a vacuum and relocate stray items that don’t belong in your closet.
Step Two: Edit
Too much stuff is the enemy of a well-organized space. Take a moment to reflect on the size of your closet and on your current lifestyle. Jot down what’s required for your typical week as well as what you need for workouts, hobbies, and special events. Since the contents of your closet will determine your style, this is also a good opportunity to become more intentional about how you present yourself each day. Just because something cost a lot of money or looks good on somebody else doesn’t mean that it is the right fit for you. Review the entire contents of your closet and do your best to keep only what you actually use, need, and love. This is the most important step in this process. If you get stuck, try asking yourself the following clarifying questions:
Does this item fit and flatter my current body? (Beware of the aspirational items that just make you feel bad about yourself!)
Does this item reflect my authentic personal style?
Would I buy this item for full price today?
Would it impact my daily life not to have this item?
Is this item really worth the space it’s taking up in my closet?
Is this item adding value to my life right now?
Does this item energize or drain me?
Step Three: Stock Up
A few things I like to invest in when setting up a closet:
- Uniform, streamlined hangers. Same style and color for a consistent look.
- Open bins and baskets for storing accessories.
- Shelf dividers to keep stacks of folded jeans or sweaters from toppling over.
- Sturdy hooks for bathrobes, handbags and necklaces.
Step Four: Set Up + Style
Now, for the fun part!
In deciding where to store things, consider how frequently you use them. Try to keep everyday essentials visible for easy access, and formal, seasonal, and occasional items in the back of the closet or on a high shelf.
- Create a stylish, organized look in clothing closets by using uniform hangers (no more wire hangers!) and arranging hanging items by type, style, and color.
- Use pretty bins or baskets to store gloves, scarves and accessories. Pick one style and color of bin to keep everything looking clean and streamlined.
- Display shoes on open shelving, shoe racks, or cubbies so you can see what you’ve got. Formal or occasional shoes can be stored and stacked in clear shoeboxes. Flip-flops, sandals and sneakers work well in a round basket on the floor for easy access.
- Handbags can be hung on sturdy hooks and clutches, and small accessories can be stored in labeled bins or baskets.
Once you’re all set up, it’s nice to add some personal touches and décor to complete the look. You might try fun patterned wallpaper, a throw rug, pretty lighting, framed pictures or an inspiration board.
Step Five: Maintain
Life can get messy, but your closet doesn’t have to. Inevitably, you will buy new things and receive gifts. In order to maintain a streamlined and stylish closet you must respect the boundaries you have set up. Every time a new item enters your closet, a similar item should be donated or taken to a buy-sell-trade or consignment store. (When deciding whether to sell or donate your unwanted items, consider if the time it takes to consign or list on Ebay is really worth the dollar amount you may earn, usually a small fraction of the original price.) It’s also helpful to keep a basket or tote bag in your closet for storing donations as they arise. When the bag is full, toss it in your trunk and drop off those donations!