Personally, I think I beat this "clean your closet" thing to death. I talk about it all the time. I write about it all the time. I say to myself, “Enough with the closet speech!”

Then I came across an article like the one in the Homes section of the January 22 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and I climb back up on my soap box. The article was entitled, “How to Create the Closet of Your Dreams”, and I quote, “...a disorganized closet is a problem for at least one in four women...Some women (1 in 10) are even depressed when they open their closet doors...some research suggests the average American wastes as much as 55 minutes a day (roughly 12 days a year) searching for things they can’t find.” What?!

Girls! This is an untenable situation! Having a clean and organized closet takes work and discipline, but it does not have to be this kind of stressor.

Let’s talk!

  • Chip away at the project -- subscribe to the 5/5 rule.  Every day 1) deal with 5 items or 2) spend 5 minutes in your closet. Decide if you should toss, consign or donate. 

  • We are at the start of a new season. Start out by facing all hangers toward the back of the closet. After you’ve worn something, return it to the closet facing the front. The hangers still hanging backwards at the end of the season? Well, you get the picture. 

  • Do the same with shoes. Stick a piece of masking tape inside a shoe. When you wear that pair, take the masking tape out. At the end of the season, you have a decision to make with the shoes that still have tape: toss, consign or donate. 

  • Practice ZPG (Zero Population Growth). Buy 3 new items? Three (or more) items have to go. 

  • Contain the chaos. Only deal with one season’s worth of clothing at a time. Put the rest at the back of the closet, in a different closet or in storage. 

  • Make peace with imperfection. Trying to do a perfect job is the easiest way to get bogged down.  Very often “good enough” is “good enough," and a whole heck of a lot better than when you started. 

  • Separate emotions from possessions. It’s healthy to be attached to certain items like your grandmother’s pearls. But pilled sweaters or cheap earrings that you’ve never worn?  The longevity of any item is 5 years. Styles change and even a “timeless” article will show its age. 

  • Know what you own. Hang all like silhouettes together: all jackets; all blouses; all pants, etc. 
    Then hang by color, light to dark. 

  • Buy organizing containers, gadgets and shelving after you’ve gotten a handle on what you need. 

  • No wire hangers! Do buy matching hangers. I use four kinds: wooden (for sleeveless); wooden hangers with clips for pants;  padded (to avoid hanger marks in items with sleeves); and thin velvet-covered (to fold sweaters over).   

You will never be satisfied that this job is done. Keeping your wardrobe in shape is an ongoing process.  But knowing what you need makes you a better shopper, one who is less likely to succumb to impulse buys.

Having an organized wardrobe (or as I like to call it, “curating your closet”) is not about being spoiled or self-obsessed. It’s about looking the best you can, every day, with minimal fuss.  (And lowering your stress level.)

Yours in (organized) fashion,

Faye Wetzel 
Founder, Faye’s in Mequon and Brookfield 
Be Loyal. Shop Local

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