How many shoes can a person own?  As many as they wear on a routine basis.  Eliminating your shoes is a very touchy subject, especially with women.  But for many, the challenge is letting go of shoes they no longer wear because they've left the corporate work life, or they no longer attend formal affairs, or they've given up skiing, or their feet are no longer comfortable in 5-inch stiletto heels or summer flip-flops.  I suggest keeping your shoe organized on a flat or slanted shoe organizer.  I also suggest not using the round shoe "trees".  The round shape and vertical orientation may take up less space in your closet but the metal shoe "horns" into which your shoes are place distort or deform your shoes, especially if they're not worn for a long period of time. 

It's Clutter Chaos!

While I don't want to spend time here recommending different organizing products specific to closets, I will make a mention about clothes hangers.  Subliminally, our spatial view is distracted by different colors or types of hangers.  As a matter of point, these should all be the same type whether they're plastic or metal necks.  If you use plastic ones they should all be the same color and preferably either black or white.  If you venture into having colored plastic ones, make sure you have a continuing source for these colors in the event you expand your wardrobe and are in need for more hangers.  The hangers I currently prefer are the ones with the metal necks and hook with material for non-slip shoulders, especially to keep blouses or tops or straps from slipping.  These metal-necked hangers also take up less space as opposed to their plastic counterparts. Hangers with clips made to neatly hang skirts and slacks should also be the same type.  Spacing hangers consistently throughout the rods also make for a tidy, more aesthetically pleasing outcome in your closet.  Lastly, NO WIRE HANGERS, please!  These often are flimsy and with time collapse or bend out of shape.  They also create a sharp pointed bend in your clothing when items are hung for long periods of time.

Coming Out of the Closet...and Leaving the Old Life Behind

Times have changed.  Have YOU?  A new lifestyle emerges. 

What used to be IN, is now OUT. 

Are your closets jammed packed with clothes and shoes you haven't worn in months or, for goodness' sake, years?  I know I can't let go of my many great bargains, but honestly, do you I really think I'll wear them again....ever?

That explains why I can't see into my closet anymore, much less walk in it.  And who am I kidding anyway when I think I can still fit into the size 6 I used to wear just a mere 10 years ago and was 10 pounds lighter?  And let's face it, man, I'm old enough to live on Social Security.  Gone are the days of being a svelt 30-year-old.  And let's all hope the Nehru jacket or Mommy Jeans never return!

When your clothes still have the sales tags from last month when you bought them, or they're hanging over your bed post, the top of the door, or on the stair railing, it's time to seriously take inventory of what you've really spent in time and cost, and the precious real estate these clothes occupy in your home.

Our intentions are always to live mentally healthier, exercise more, live less stressed, and be more informed about the world...and even to consume less fat and few calories.  For those, especially over 40, who can amazingly transform their derrieres to pleasingly fashionista figures, kudos to you!  You serve as an inspiration to all of us who wish we had the discipline and lifestyle that support you!  However, for most Americans getting to a thinner place can be a challenge as "life gets in the way".  Despite our genuine efforts to eat less and get back into the size 6 jeans, outside circumstances tend to hijack those lofty goals, such as health issues, sedentary jobs, hectic schedules to keep up with parenting, etc.  What we CAN control is adjusting to the fact that the size 2 jeans will probably not be part of our wardrobe.  By the way, if and when you do get back into those size 2 jeans, kudos to you!  Then you definitely need to reward yourself with a trendy new wardrobe and not several years-old fashion.

Time to call in your local professional organizer to help you de-clutter your closet.  They're in heaven when they do it, and you'll be in heaven when you can see the floor again and more hangers to hang your stuff.

If you can't hire an organizer, do your own organization

with few simple steps.

Totally clear out your closet.  That's right, take every single thing outa there!  Start with a baron, vast emptiness of space you never thought you had.  I'll just bet you hadn't remembered how huge your closet space is! 

When you've recovered from this awe-inspiring site, take each piece of clothing and start sorting them in 3 different categories.

  • Work apparel
  • Casual, off duty wear
  • Athletic sportswear

These categories can then be separated into:

  • Long sleeve, short sleeve, skirts, shorts, etc., in graduated size fashion. 
  • Finally, categorize clothing by color.  It's easier to search for a specific color when colors are grouped together.

NOTE:  Many of my clients have categories of formal wear, seasonal wear, and different categories of sportswear, i.e., skiing, tennis, biking, hunting, etc.  If you have a large enough closet to incorporate all these subcategories, great!  If not, then I suggest using unused clothes closets in our rooms for your subcategories, or vacuum storage space bags. Make sure to utilize those closet shelves for space bags, sweaters, purses and hats, categorized in the same way as your garments.

So if you think it's time you revised and updated your current wardrobe space, and you need help getting there, hire your favorite professional organizer (see our article on Mr or Ms Right) and start living your new, organized life...out of the closet.

Here's wishing you a clear road to a clutter-free life.