Category Archives: Organize Your Closets

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

Your Closet Is Your Castle
Your Closet Is Your Castle

To quote an article from an old issue of the New York Times, “Gain control of the hangers, the thinking goes, and your life may fall into line, too.”

Wouldn’t you love to be able to say “I know where everything is”?

Ok…Let’s just say you have done your due diligence and either re-ordered the old closet space, or even designed a new closet space with or without the help of a “Closet Whisperer”.

If you now find yourself feeling confronted by the new order, relax.

There are still a variety of ways to screw this up.

The best and fastest way to do so, is to throw everything back in there willy-nilly and slam the door quickly so the strays don’t get out. So, let’s think this through…

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.  And then there are those blessed souls who don’t give “dressing” a minute’s thought, but think clean and relatively wrinkle free is a good idea.

However you view this daily ritual, your dressing area should have the following:

  • 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 into broad daylight and notice not only cat/dog hair but that your color choices aren’t actually what you thought they were when you put them on?

  • More free storage space than you thought you needed, because it will mysteriously fill up with more “stuff”.

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

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.

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
Think about various activities in your life that have their own dress code and 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 its 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 #1: Where’s My Other Sock?

Household Clutter Control #1: Keep A Firm Grip On The Obvious

Feng Shui: Practical Magic For Your Home

Decor Aid: Where Do I Start?


Image: Jamie Drake Portfolio – 2007 Kip’s Bay Showhouse

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