step 3: organise
Now that you have completed the decluttering step, you should only have left your KEEP pile - the things that you love and need, and so should have a smaller selection to organise. Don't worry if you haven't been able to let go of as much as you had hoped, or expected to. Sometimes the decluttering process can be harder than we think.
How many white t-shirts do you have? or jeans? pairs of shoes? If you had to give an answer to those questions you would probably group those items together so that you could see at a glance how many you have. This is what we are going to do in the organising step.
There are lots of different ways in which you can organise your wardrobe, and everyone's approach to how they want to organise theirs will be different, but the main rule is to sort and store like for like things together so that it is easy to see what you have and easy to put things away.
Organising your clothes into categories will help you to select outfits easily every day, and also help you to make better use of all the items in your wardrobe.
organise into categories
Organise all of your items into 'like for like' categories - all tops together, all jeans together, nightwear together, workout wear together etc. Again, everyone's categories will differ slightly, but go with what feels right for you. There's no one size fits all approach.
Assign each category a home (even if it's only temporary as you can change things around later). Dedicate certain drawers to T-Shirts or underwear and sections of your hanging space to dresses and jackets.
When putting things back on the rail or into drawers, you can further organise into sub-categories by type and/.or by colour. If you are working on trousers, sub-categorise into jeans, smart/tailored and so on - as this will give you a better idea of how many similar pairs you own. Organising by colour provides a great overall visual effect when you open the doors or drawers in the morning.
You may discover that you have ten pairs of black jeans and twenty white t-shirts. When you see them all together you might be surprised at just how many you have and be able to prune them down even more.
Once you have organised all of your categories and can see how much you have for each, you can move categories to a better space if needed.
Try not to overstuff your wardrobe and leave enough space to be able to easily see what you have. It's not good for your clothes (or your stress levels) when you have to wrestle them from the hangers or squash them into drawers.
Your daily clothes and favourites should be in the most accessible spaces. For me, 'daily clothes' are casual, so I keep my favourite jeans and t-shirts and a selection of workout wear within easy reach. It saves time and decisions in the mornings!
OUT OF SEASON
Don't keep winter coats next to summer dresses.
If you can, pull out store away any items you don't want to wear during the current season. Neatly fold away any items into lidded and labelled boxes (remember to include footwear). Do a seasonal switch for the Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter.
I understand that not everyone has room to do this, but keeping only what you wear in the next couple of months in your everyday space really does make a difference, and will give you more space in your wardrobe. There's no point in having chunky winter jumpers or boots taking up valuable daily space when months will go by without you wearing them.
Ensure that whatever you pack away is clean, doesn't need repairing (if it does, get it done first) and is packed away properly.
There's more about the seasonal switch in the maintain step.
OTHER ITEMS TO STORE away
Also pull out any items for Sentimental, Memories and Keepsakes and Future clothes. If you can't actually wear them they shouldn't be in your daily wardrobe space. You don't have to get rid of them, just store them away safely (with moth protection) until you are ready for them.
You can use the above download as a checklist as you work through decluttering and organising your clothes to keep you on track. you can also use it as an inventory - write down your numbers if you dare!
go to outfits
To make it even easier to get dressed in the morning (and pack for trips away), spend a little time picking out some favourite outfits that fit your life and activity categories, as identified in step one. This should be much easier to do now that you have simplified and organised your wardrobe.
Start by creating 5 new outfits for the activity or the activities that you spend most of your time. These can be new combinations or old favourites. Sometimes finding new ways to wear old things feels just as good as buying something new. If it has an accessory that coordinates, keep it on the hanger, that way you'll wear it more often.
Creating go-to outfits can make you feel that you actually have more to wear than before you let anything go. These outfits will save you time and decisions in the mornings and help you to feel more confident about what you are wearing. Keep these outfits together in an easily accessible section of your wardrobe ready to grab.
If these are the outfits that you keep coming back to, think about how much of the rest of your wardrobe you really need.
fill in the gaps
Another benefit to organising and creating outfits is it will be more obvious where your gaps are. You might have 15 pairs of black jeans but only 2 tops to wear with them. These gaps are the reason why you may have felt that you had a full wardrobe, but nothing to wear.
If you need items to complete an outfit, add them to your shopping wish list. Sometimes, if you buy just one jacket or top it will help unify the things you already have, and you will find that you have a lot more outfit choices. That way you are only ever going to get more value out of what you already own and not wasting money buying things that you won't wear because you have nothing to go with them.