2020 has thrown us a few curveballs, to say the least. Most of us are navigating all sorts of new challenges and transitions, all of which affect how we get dressed each day. If you’re currently wearing only a tiny fraction of your wardrobe, and you’re not sure how to approach closet organization in our new normal, you’re in good company. The great news is that with a few simple shifts, you can ensure that it will be easy, even effortless, to get dressed each day.

Reality Check
Between working from home, restricted travel, and few (or no) in-person meetings, parties, or events, you may find that the majority of your wardrobe is doing nothing more than taking up space and gathering dust. Circumstances change, and we need our clothes to change with them. So, take a little time to consider how you’re spending your time, and what your current wardrobe needs are. Take a peek into your closet. Jot down any gaps you need to fill in, and take stock of any items that simply don’t make sense for your life anymore. 

The Tough Cuts
With the future unknown, it’s hard to know how to approach decision making on even the most basic level – Should you hang onto your work slacks and blazers even though your new life is spent in your living room curled up in loungewear? Does it make sense to keep the formal dresses you splurged on for parties or events that never happened? Sigh. 

Your closet should be set up to ease your daily routine and make it easy to get dressed each day. If you’re now working from home, it doesn’t make sense to have to weed through racks of dresses, slacks, and blazers, to find your most comfortable jeans.

Focus on curating a wardrobe that supports your current body, lifestyle, and profession now. When in doubt ask yourself the following clarifying questions:

  • Is this item adding value to my life? 
  • Does this item fit and flatter my current body?
  • Would I be excited to wear this item if/when circumstances change? 
  • Would I buy this item for full price today? 

Still stumped? Create a little breathing room with these easy edits:

  • Goodbye to styles and cuts you’ll just never wear
  • Adios to fabrics that itch, cling, or feel awful against your skin
  • Later to aspirational items that make zero sense for your life
  • Sayonara to the top that looked great on your friend, but isn’t flattering on you
  • Nope to the gifts that you never liked in the first place but hung onto out of guilt

Grab your donation bag and pack up all of the items that can hit the road. Your closet will thank you. 

The Future Perfect 
If you own high-quality wardrobe staples that don’t make sense now, but you’d be thrilled to wear in the future, pack them up and move them to the back of your closet, or another storage area for safekeeping. You can use breathable cotton garment bags to store blouses, dresses, coats, or suits, and storage boxes lined with acid-free paper to keep folded sweaters, tops, and pants in tip top shape. You can use this approach to relocate your formal and seasonal items, aspirational sizes, and professional attire. Just remember to curate your collection so your home doesn’t turn into a storage unit. 

Organization for Your Real Life
Once you’ve donated, packed up, or relocated the items that you aren’t currently wearing, you should have plenty of room to space out and style your current daily staples. If you’re living in super casual separates, consider hanging your tops front and center, and assigning your prime real estate shelves or drawers for stacks of folded leggings, sweats, and jeans. If your stilettos no longer make sense for your life, keep your favorites only and relocate them to the highest shelf, so you can grab your flats. Make sure all of the items in your current rotation are set up at arm’s reach in the most accessible parts of your closet, even if those staples happen to be a neatly folded stack of joggers. 

Identify Your Uniform
Even if you are literally living in loungewear right now, consider how you can freshen up or elevate your sweats and sneakers (or slippers!) so you feel more intentional and get a little confidence boost – yes, even if you’re only dressing up for yourself right now. Consider experimenting with a daily uniform or paring down to a capsule wardrobe. Not sure where to begin? Start by identifying a basic outfit formula or uniform for yourself – think slim jeans + relaxed blouse or sweater. Make sure to hone in on a simple style and silhouette that feels good, flatters your body, and makes sense for your current career and lifestyle. Keep things fresh by adding or subtracting accessories, or get creative with hair, makeup, or nails. 

In a world full of uncertainty, it feels good to make decisions and take ownership of the little things that are within your control. Donate a sweater, clear off a shelf, experiment with a daily uniform, create a little space between your hangers, and don’t forget to elevate your loungewear. 

Happy organizing! 

Shira Gill probably thinks you have too much stuff. Visit her at www.shiragill.com or @shiragill for more tips on how you can edit and organize your home and life. Look out for her upcoming book, Minimalista, with Penguin Random House fall of 2021.

All Images: Vivian Johnson Photography for Shira Gill