Alright, New York. Enough with the hard to get. First you’re warm and inviting, daring me to join you for an adventure. Then you shut me out with your cold and temperamental angst. Frankly, I wish you’d commit to your sunny, optimistic nature because it looks much, much better on you.
I’ve decided even if you’re not ready to divorce yourself from this state of perpetual winter, I am. After all, let’s not forget what this season is supposed to be about. Spring, prelude to summer, is arguably the best time of year in this city. Not too hot, not too cold, just a blissful taste of all the glorious days of warmth that lie ahead. Cheers to a new beginning, says Spring, the best is yet to come.
So, call it wishful thinking or denial at it’s best, but I’m turning over a new leaf in my apartment that includes swapping out my heavy winter wardrobe for the bright, light attire of the moment. Even if the moment I’m referring to is a rainy, gloomy high of 55. I see your grey skies, New York, and I raise you my color-blocked best. After all, life is too short to take yourself so seriously.
Without further adieu, here are my essential tips for eliminating closet chaos, inspired by organizational-guru Justin Klosky’s new book, Organize & Create Discipline, an a-to-z guide to an organized existence.
1. No t-shirt left behind. Pull it out. Everything. One by one, piece by piece, ask yourself: have I worn this in a year? Does this make me feel good when I wear it? Would I buy it again? If the answer is no, it goes into one of three piles: donate, consign, or trash. Be ruthless. This is New York, your entire apartment is probably the size of a standard closet in California; you really don’t have time for that top that you’ll maybe wear again. Instead, give it to a friend who will love it (hello: clothing swap). Now is also a good time to box up all those winter clothes to free up major space. Every inch of your closet is prime real estate; treat it as such and you’ll thank me when you get dressed in the morning.
2. Hanging Tough This may sound optional, but it’s not. Uniform hangers. Velvety, space-saving, worth-every-penny hangers. Really. They will change your life. My personal favorite is the 50-count Real Simple Slimline hangers in stone from Bed Bath and Beyond for $29.99. But if you’re feeling ambitious, go with the pink. If you don’t smile every time you open your closet doors, you’re not doing it right.
At this point, you may have glanced at the piles of clothing strewn across your bed and begun shaking your first at the computer. Patience, young organizer, this is the fun part.
3. Full Circle Time to bring it home, guys. On your fancy new hangers, hang the clothes that made the cut according to their function, type, style, and color. All clothes face the same direction and go from dark to light in ascending length. Function can be assigned as “work”, “every day”, “black tie”, etc. Types can include jeans, pants, dresses, skirts, tops, tanks, sweaters, coats, etc. Styles should be grouped together (long sleeve, short sleeve, sleeveless, etc.). Sort clothes by color: black, brown, gray, blue, green, purple, red, pink, orange, yellow, nude, white; and then shade: dark to light hues. Stand back. Voilá. You’re welcome.
Extra Credit: Hang all your clothes back with the hook of the hanger facing you. In other words, hang your clothes up with the hanger backwards. Then, with each item of clothing you wear, hang it back up correctly. After a season, take a look at what is still hanging backwards. Those are the clothes you don’t need. You can’t argue with cold hard facts. Or backwards hangers.
Will you tackle your closet this spring?