All posts by Cindy Lee Bergersen

Closet Clutter Control #2: Managing Your Hang-ups


“When I get up in the morning, I examine my mood and dress accordingly”- Anonymous Clothes Horse

Dressing daily for every occasion or just the occasion of switching out the clothes you slept in, is obviously a very personal thing.

Some people manage it by only wearing black.  Others have designed a kind of multi-purpose Uniform and have several copies of each critical piece.  Still others think in terms of Concept Dressing.  There are, of course, those blessed souls who don’t give “dressing” a minute’s thought but think clean (or at least odorless) and relatively wrinkle free is a good idea.

Chances are excellent that those good people aren’t that concerned about well ordered closets either. However, at some point, almost everyone has to spiff up appropriately for some occasion, however random.

Zip it? Whatever your personal views on your apparel may be, there is more to dressing  than zippers and the right button meeting its designated button hole.

For example, the Laws of Attraction aren’t always working in your favor.  Lint is a good example of this.

Command Central.  Your “everyday clothing” benefits from attention to detail as much as those “outfits for special occasions”. Wherever you go to pull yourself together, clothes-wise, here’s what you want to have on hand, in a basket or drawer too:

  • Lint brush
  • Safety pins, in case a cuff or skirt hem rips out and you have no time for repair
  • Sweater de-pillers.  Electric sweater shavers works too.
  • Beeswax or candle wax. Great for lubricating stuck zippers
  • A hand-held steamer.  Takes care of any and all wrinkles
  • Detergent pens can remedy a stain and save you a complete change of outfit.
  • Some version of a sewing kit – it’s a good idea to mend tears or replace buttons when you notice them.  You don’t want to be ripped and unbuttoned, so to speak, when you are rushing to dress and leave.  At least mark these repairs for the cleaners.

Regardless of whether you are into “Concept Dressing” or you just want to dress like you know what you’re doing, you will benefit from an organized point of view…and the right tools.

Flattering light and a proper full-length mirror to get a good head-to-toe look at what you’re wearing. Don’t you just hate it when you get out in broad daylight and notice that your color choices aren’t actually what you thought they were when you dressed?

Hanger Hang-ups. The wrong hanger leaves its mark and misshapes your clothes while they are innocently hanging in your closet. It’s nice when all the hangers match because your clothes all hang at the same height.  Dresses and delicate tops are best hung on fabric-covered or padded silk hangers. Shaped wood hangers are an excellent option too.

You know better than to use wire hangers. At the very least, use plastic.

Subdivide and Conquer. Even if you don’t care so much for being Well Dressed, almost everyone wants to be able to dress quickly and efficiently.  If you consider the  various activities in your life that have their own dress code, you can organize your closet for your own convenience. Separate your clothes and accessories into categories.  You can take this further by grouping types, styles, light and dark colors or even length.

For example:

  • Sweaters: separate the turtlenecks, cardigans, cashmere, and bulky knits. By the way, aromatic cedar is a natural moth repellent.  You can find aromatic cedar shaped in balls or blocks.  Stuff these around your sweaters before you store them for the season. Have your garments cleaned before you put them away or the cedar won’t protect against moth damage.
  • T-shirts: by color, style, long or short sleeves.
  • Skirts/pants: can be sorted by style, occasion, color, length and/or season.  The same is true for suits.

There is no right or wrong way to order your clothes. It depends on where your first “daily dressing thought”  takes you. A woman might hang her skirts or pants at eye level because she knows she will build the rest of her outfit from this starting point.  She might also have her shoes arranged so her “date shoes” are in the same area as the date dresses, or her sneakers with her jeans.

Of course, in New York, it’s a lot easier if all you wear is black.  Then you only have to think about whether it’s winter black or summer black.  This idea takes us full circle back to the notion of a Uniform, with which you never have to guess what goes together.

One way or the other…you still have to hang up your clothes….

Related Posts

(Closet Clutter Control Two Part Series)

Closet Clutter Control #1: Where’s My Other Sock?

Photo: Paris Hilton’s Closet –

Large Featured Photo: – License: CC BY 2.0