What’s it like to have your closet professionally organized?

At Organize to Excel, we’ve seen just about every kind of closet there is! Big closets; little closets; closets that used to be organized; closets that have been a mess from the start. Every person’s is unique, and the goal is to make the space work for YOU. But what’s it like? Many people have never worked with a professional organizer before, and don’t quite know what it involves. Today I’ve compiled some of the common questions I get about what it’s like to get your closet professionally organized. If you’re curious about something I don’t cover, ask me in the comments! 

When is it time to hire a pro?

That’s a great question, and there’s no single answer to it. There are lots of different reasons to hire a professional organizer to help you with your closet! Some of them include: 

  • It takes longer than you want to get out the door in the morning, because you spend time searching for clothes.
  • Every time you try to organize your closet, you end up frustrated or distracted. 
  • Life got in the way: you moved, or had a baby – anything that disrupted your normal organizing routine so that clutter piled up.
  • You’re moving, and don’t want to pack up clothes you don’t wear. 
  • You just plain don’t like organizing!

All of these are perfectly valid reasons to hire a professional organizer. We’re here to help you live an easier life, whatever that might mean. 

Do I need to do anything before the appointment? 

Prior to your appointment, your organizer will give you a call to go over the game plan for the day. This is a great time to discuss what your goals for your closet are, and what you’d like to focus on. If you don’t know, that’s fine! Your organizer will help you define what “organized” means to you, so you both know what you’re working towards. If you like, you can share pictures of your closet with your organizer, so they can get a better idea of where to start. 

Other than that, there’s nothing you have to do. You don’t need to “tidy up” for your organizer, or prep the space in any way. Some clients are already comfortable with decluttering, and prefer to purge before we get there so the session can be focused on organizing. That’s fine, too! 

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An Organized Closet in Just 4 Weeks: Storage Tools

Storing your clothing and accessories in a way that makes them easy to access and put away is pretty much the goal of this entire series of posts! No matter your closet style, no matter what you store in your closet, I want to make your life EASIER. Here are my tips for choosing the right closet storage tools for you.

Remember: whenever possible, use or repurpose any closet storage tools you already have on hand. Decluttering your closet only to clutter it back up with organizers is not the goal here, and using or repurposing what you have makes economical and ecological sense.

Shoe Organizers

Shoes do not belong in piles! It makes them hard to find and easy to damage. The cheapest option is to keep them in their original shoe box. They’re stackable, fairly sturdy, and you can use a written label or picture on the front to identify which shoes are where. Shoe organizers are usually better space-savers. Check out this one made of recycled plastic bottles

Stackable Containers

I love labeling containers clearly and precisely, but the easiest way to know what’s in a box is for the box to be see-through. Transparent, stackable containers are fabulous for shoes and accessories–but they’re not the most environmentally friendly. If you’re in the market for clear plastic, I highly recommend that you check out your local thrift store before buying new.

More environmentally-friendly options include these stylish boxes, complete with a little label.

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An Organized Closet in Just 4 Weeks: Organize!

This is week 3 of my closet organizing series, and it’s time to do the dang thing and organize your closet! Empty part (or all!) of the closet, and try these tips to create an organization system that’s unique to you.

Keep Like with Like

Keeping similar things together means you can visually assess what you’ve got. When your sweaters and pants and skirts are all in a jumble on the closet floor, it’s hard to know how many of each thing you have. Separating items by category keeps your wardrobe balanced. It also makes things easier to find. Just like a file folder with subfolders inside, you can create a system in your closet that makes locating items simple. No more digging through piles to find that one sleeveless top you know is somewhere in there. It’s with the other sleeveless tops!

Of course there are many different ways to categorize items–you don’t have to do it by sleeve length. Use whatever method works best for you. If you’re not sure which to pick, roll a die and pick one at random. Try it out for a few weeks and see how it feels!

You can sort by

  • clothing type
  • color
  • season
  • sleeve length
  • occasion…

There are tons of options! You can even sort by outfit! If there are pieces you know you always wear together, group them.

Hanging vs. Folding

Are you a hanger, a folder, or a mix of the two? I like a hybrid approach where the type of garment determines my storage method. Blouses and pants that crease and wrinkle are best hung up, while denim and t-shirts are great for compact folding. That’s not to say you can’t hang it all! If you’ve got the room, go for it.

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An Organized Closet in Just 4 Weeks: Declutter

This month, we’re organizing your closet! Last week I wrote about how to find your closet style, because defining a goal is the first step toward achieving a goal. But whether you go for minimalism, coziness, or a total glam closet, you’ll need space to achieve it. The best way to make space is to declutter your closet!

When I work with clients, I use the acronym TRACKS to sort and pare it down to the essentials, and you can use it on your own, too.

TRACKS stands for Trash, Recycle, Action, Charity, Keep, and Sell. When I’m decluttering with someone, we go through each item and ask which of these categories it belongs in. Sorting everything into these categories is a big step towards a neat closet!

Trash

It’s the first letter of the acronym, but it’s really the last resort. Only send a piece of clothing to the landfill if it doesn’t fit in any other category.

Recycle

Recycling clothes usually takes the form of donation, but you CAN reuse material in other ways if the garment is no longer wearable. Here’s a neat video about how to make t-shirt yarn! You can also cut garments into rags and use them to clean up around the house.

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An Organized Closet in Just 4 Weeks: Find Your Style

Clothing is an everyday part of life, which means your closet is a central part of your morning. Does it take forever to find what you want to wear each day? Do you roam the house, looking through piles of laundry for what you want? Getting dressed can be simple and stress-free, but not if your closet threatens an avalanche when you open it. A simple-to-use, calm and orderly closet? You can make it happen! Over the next four weeks I’ll take you through the steps you can take to make your closet work for YOU. The first step: find your closet style.

Why Organize My Closet?

An organized closet brings many benefits! An organized closet…

  • contains ALL of your clothes, so you only have one place to go to find what you need. 
  • contains clothes you like and wear. You can go into your closet and be guaranteed to pick out something that fits you and matches your personal style. 
  • keeps your clothes in better condition. When they’re wadded up on the floor, or languishing in the dryer, clothes develop wrinkles. The less you have to iron, the longer your clothes will last. And who wants to iron, anyway? 
  • makes it clear which clothes are clean. When your clothes are strewn all about the house, it can be difficult to tell the dirty stuff from the clean stuff. Clothes might go through the wash two or three times! When all your clothes have a home, it’s simple to tell what’s clean.
  • is decluttered, meaning you have fewer clothes to deal with overall. Things might get worn more often, which gives you a chance to update your wardrobe with current styles without having barely-worn items hanging around for ages. 
  • is eco- and budget-friendly! When you store clothes properly, they last longer and you won’t have to buy new ones. Donating items that you don’t wear gives them a chance to be loved by someone else, too. The longer a piece of clothing stays in circulation, the less new clothing has to be made. Don’t buy into the throwaway mentality of fast fashion! 

Speaking of Fast Fashion…

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Don’t Panic, Your Closet is Your Friend!

We use our closet every single day (okay, except for pajama days.) It makes sense to make it easy to find the perfect outfit for your day. No mess, no stress. Streamlining your closet tells you a lot about yourself. How you dress tells people who you are. And how your closet is set up is also uniquely you. My closet is extremely practical – because I’m a practical kind of person. So if that’s what you are looking for – read on for closet organizing strategies!

What’s your style?

The first thing you want to consider when thinking about your closet organizing strategies is choosing a style. It may be dictated somewhat by your living arrangement and your budget, but you always have choices and it is up to you to create the closet of your dreams (within budget of course!) So whether you choose to use your built-in, have a stand-alone wardrobe, or do a free standing rack, it’s up to you.

I like a clean look in my room, so I prefer to have my clothes behind a closed door and in drawers.

Declutter Your Closet

A few years ago an organizer friend of mine said that the Pareto rule also applies to closets. The Pareto rule (applied to closets) says that you will use 80% of the items in your closet 20% of the time and 20% of the things in your closet 80% of the time. I started to take a really critical look at the things in my closet. The percentages may not have been 100% accurate, but there were certainly things in my closet that I barely wore or hadn’t worn in a while. Time to declutter!

Find the questions that support you in getting to your desired closet when decluttering. Use the infographic below for some inspiration! What questions can you ask yourself as you go through your closet?

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