Friday, February 9, 2018

How to organize a master closet {spring cleaning series}

Welcome back to this organizing, spring cleaning series! I feel a bit giddy about today's post on organizing clothing.  If you haven't read the kick off post, "How to organize anything," you'll want to flip backward and read that {here} first. That post is key, as it highlights the tools and steps needed to organize any space, room or mess. Use that method with your clothing and you'll be organized in no time. (I will refer back to that process as previously detailed, in all the posts still to come in this series.)

I have gotten the privilege of organizing quite a few really lovely closets for people in the past, and loved the variety of ways a closet can be organized and made beautiful.  Closets were always a favorite, rewarding organizing job of mine.  However... my own is my favorite because of a book I read that though dramatic sounding, truly and honestly, changed my life, thus I must start here first.  The book as many of you already know is Lessons from Madame Chic 20 Stylish Secrets I learned While Living in Paris, by Jennifer L. Scott.  {You can grab a copy here.} The reason this book changed my life, is that it helped me find myself... all the excess clutter of clothing in my closet was keeping me from identifying my own personal style.  As a woman in my early forties, I was being smothered by new trends, clothes I had purchased on sale because they were "in style" though perhaps not my style and feeling like I didn't want to look like my daughter and everyone else out there... but who did I want to look like anyway? 

I began editing my wardrobe following the tips in her book, and I realized how complicated I had made a lot of my life by either not thinking things through fully before purchasing them, (no master wardrobe plans) or not being brutally honest about how I felt about all things that were wardrobe related.  Jennifer talks about the ten-item wardrobe and through the course of nearly two years I've actually gotten myself there.  It took time and seasons, but I can say that I NOW love everything in my closet, I feel good wearing each item, everything fits well, and is the best quality that I can afford.  (All things that Jennifer talks about in her book.)  Getting dressed in the morning is not a chore, it's a delight because I have very little to decide on. I still probably have a few more than ten core items but not many more, depending on the season.  (Core items are things like dresses, pants, sweaters and blouses... and the extras are the items you swap out again and again to change the core look of your outfits, such as basics (white or black tees), cardigan sweaters, scarves and such.) 

Once I had spent the time cultivating a wardrobe that I felt good about, organizing it was a snap.  Again, you may not have the same story as I do, or even a desire for less, but I was once a "more is better" and "you can't have too many shoes," kind of girl, so if I can change and LOVE it...who knows, right?  (I plan to share my spring wardrobe items once this series wraps up too by the way, for those who have asked me!)

In our master bedroom, we keep a nice, large dresser from Ikea.  My husband keeps half filled with his clothing and I've got the other half.  I love this functional piece! (It's from the Hemnes line at Ikea.) I keep fresh flowers and candles on top as often as possible, as this adds the pretty to the practical.  Bedrooms should have lots of pretty! 

 I like to open my drawers and have things tidy and pretty.  It's like the feeling you get when you walk into a store and things are folded nicely.  I like to treat myself by taking the time to do that small nice thing for myself. 

(And actually, that's a great way to view ALL of home organization! Treat yoself!) 

 I love using these white bins in my drawers.  Perfect for keeping items separated. 

In our closet, we have a cubby system (also from Ikea) that works so well for us as we enjoy folding items and placing them on a shelf for ease.  It's a also a lovely way to organize handbags, jewelry and scarves. I'm going to now share photos of our closet, and please bear with me and the horrible lighting.  (It is truly the worst in this small space but you get the general idea.)  You may notice that I also keep a few sweet favorite treasures in here to enjoy, such as the framed silhouettes of my babies and pretty bowls for holding bracelets, etc. 

 I like to keep coats and jackets together, dresses together and blouses together. Keeping like items beside each other is really helpful in closet organization.  I tend to enjoy putting like colors together as well, but that's a person preference.  I fold  and stack all of my pants, sweaters and scarves.  

I have two out of season baskets on the shelf in my closet.  In them, I keep the rotating ten-item wardrobe, core items for seasons I'm not currently in.  This could change depending on where you life, climate-wise, obviously.  I like having chalk labels on the outsides, so that I can quickly wipe off the old season and change it as needed. 

 This is one of my favorite economical ideas for shoe organization.  We used glass blocks and pre-cut shelf planks from Home Depot.  Very adaptable to the number of shoes you own, simple and clean.  And speaking of shoes... remember that I told you about my new love for Rothy's in this post on travelling preparedness?  If you use the following code at checkout, you can get yourself $20 off!

Ways to take a closet from "good" to "wow!" 
* Sentimental items in frames or on walls
* Hooks for robes to hang on
* Hanging jewelry displays (Love this hanging one from Amazon
* Stuffing purses with paper to help them keep their shape
* Showcasing jewelry in decorative bowls 
* Showing off pretty perfume bottles on chic trays
* Folding items the same way every time
* Arranging clothing, scarves, shoes and sweaters by color, from darkest to lightest
* Keeping like items together
* Removing out of season clothing for less closet clutter

Things not to stress about in clothing storage: 
 My sweet boss used to tell us that any clothing that wasn't seen on the outside (think camisoles, socks, etc) essentially gets a free pass when it comes to careful folding.  Just place them into shallow bins inside the drawers to keep them separate and easily accessible.  Don't you love that?!  

Okay dear ones, I'm wrapping this up and preparing for a sweet weekend ahead.  If you've been left with a puzzle in your own closet or have any questions, please feel free to reach out in comments (hopefully that comment issue has been resolved) and I will respond next week!  


  1. Thanks for sharing this Sasha. Love all things about organizing and living simple. Have a great weekend!

  2. Thanks Sasha. You have given me the inspiration to pare down my closet. You are so sweet and I love the simplicity you put forth in your life. Love to you and your family...see you again very soon.

  3. thank you so much for all of your inspiration and sharing. Love everything you post.