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  • Michelle Jones

Curating your Closet| The Basics

When you can open your closet and smile, because everything inside highlights your unique style and is displayed so nicely that it makes you feel like you’re shopping at your favorite boutique- That, my friend, is a curated closet. And anyone can have one!

Yes, anyone. I'm lookin at you. Now, In case you’re thinking, "That’s cute, Michelle, but my closet is outdated and awkward." or "My closet is stuffed to capacity and I actually feel a sort of tightness in my gut when I open the door because it's just so... much."

I hear you. And I’m Still lookin at ya!


So, what does it mean to curate your closet?

After all, fashion is art, so I believe it's appropriate to use an art world word - and you will never go to an art museum and find all the art that the curator "kind of liked" just thrown up there on the wall, hanging haphazard under the lights.


Nope. Definitely not! The pieces are selected carefully. They are hung under lights and with perfect symmetry. They have lots of room to breathe so you are not seeing anything except the art piece.


Your closet deserves the same careful care and selection.


If you're ready to be sure that your closet is only filled with things you wear and love, it's probable you're going to need to let go of a few things.


So pick a day or two, depending on the time you have available and the size of your closet and collection and schedule it. You probably want to set aside 3-6 hours each day - again, this depends entirely on you and your stuff.


It's a simple process, but we both know that simple does not mean easy. This will take some work, but it will be absolutely worth it! Are you ready to create a closet that makes you smile!?


Read on, my friend. Let's curate your closet.


ONE: PREP

Clear off your bed (and/ or couch, chairs, etc.) and tidy up your room. You're going to need a lot of space to pull everything out of your closet and sort it into categories.


You'll be determining what to keep, toss and donate, so it helps to get your supplies ready ahead of time. You might want some or all of the following:

  • a sharpie or colored post its and a pen

  • bags, boxes or totes for 5 categories: 01 toss; 02 donate; 03 "this belongs in another room"; 04 "maybe?/ I can't decide" and 05 sentimental items, not in use.

--->I prefer to use these lawn + leaf bags, because they stand tall, are sturdy for carrying donations and trash away and are easy to label with only a sharpie. You can pick them up at any grocery or hardware store or of course, just use what you have on hand.

  • coffee and/or water (if you're like me, maybe a mango flavored Monster Zero!)

  • music playlist - This is can be fun. You're clearing space for what you love and upleveling your closet design at the same time!

Start by getting your head in the right place with your motivational mantra statement, and maybe find an inspirational closet or 2 on Instagram #closetinspo ought to get you excited!


TWO: REMOVE EVERYTHING

Take everything out of your closet, starting with your hanging clothes.

As you pull out your hanging clothes, place them on your bed and begin to categorize "like items". This means: sleeveless tops, short sleeved, long sleeved, blazers, sweaters, jeans, etc.


Every category gets a pile.


Got a lone sweater vest? Categorize it based on how you'd wear it: IE as a tank (add to sleeveless) or as a layered piece (add to sweaters or cardigans).


Move on to your shelves and then finally the floor. With each section, don't stress over the items you're finding or whether or not they should be in your closet. Don't judge - it's counterproductive! Just get it out of the closet and add it to the appropriate pile.


At this point, it's probable that you'll start finding items that don't belong in your closet. DON'T leave what you're doing to put them away, yet!


Just put the item in a pile (or a box, tote or bag, if you prepped last night) for "items that belong in other rooms". Bonus if you have a box or bin for each room or for "upstairs/ downstairs" - whatever makes the most sense for your home + is easy.


When you're finished with your closet, you'll take the whole bag or bin to the appropriate room.


You're still in your room, right? Take a good look around you. How do you feel? Overwhelmed? Excited?*This is to be expected. Take a deep breath and then let it out, because you're about to get it Sorted.


THREE: RUTHLESSLY EDIT

Ready to let go of some things? Go back to the first pile you made and begin to really go through + examine your items.


This looks like:

  1. Touching the fabric - does it feel good? scratchy?

  2. Examining for stains and flaws

  3. Trying it on to assess fit + flatter of the item.

Questions to consider:

  1. Do I love this?

  2. Do I wear it? How often?

  3. Does it fit + flatter my body?

  4. Does it fit my style?

  5. Would I buy this again tomorrow?

  6. Is it dingy or mangled in any way?

  7. Does it have sentimental value?


If you answered "no" to 01-05 and the item is not sentimental, donate or trash the item. If you answered "yes" to 06 and the items is not sentimental, donate or trash the item. *If it is sentimental, there are posts coming soon to guide you through how to make hard decisions and another on how to store sentimental items.


BE RUTHLESS here. If you love it, use it and it checks all the boxes in the questions listed, put it back in the closet. Only the best of the best, should remain!


FOUR: PUT IT ALL AWAY!

You're almost done and I am so proud of you for committing to making your closet a place that highlights your unique style! By this point in the process, I hope you're feeling really great and proud of yourself.


OK, now it's time to put everything back in the closet. You don't want to be living in a mega mess! This part is important both for navigation and for ensuring you're sorted in style. Do the following and you will immediately level up your closet.


Shirts organized by type and then by color.

As you hang your items back up, hang them by type (aka the piles you made): left to right and short to long. *If you're left handed, you may want to do this right to left.


Then within each type, sort by color. I like white/ gray/ black/ r/ o/ y/ g/ b/ i/ v and I keep patterns together within their dominant color group. And of course, this can vary by preference.


Organizing by color alone will result in a visual disaster, so always use color coding as a 2nd strategy. The first should always be "type" or "like items". Besides, I'm willing to bet you don't wake up and think, "I'd like to wear orange today!" But you may think something like, "Hm, I'll wear my black cropped pants with my new black cardigan and a sleeveless top... maybe the orange one!"




All right gal, now you know how to curate your closet to showcase your unique style by only holding onto only what you love and by displaying it w/ organization and style.


If you struggle with this or if you think it sounds amazing but you don't have the time for it, consider scheduling a Free Discovery call to see if working with Sorted's All Inclusive, Done For You Organizing service is what you need to finally get the curated closet you've always dreamed of.


I've also mentioned your unique style a few times here. I wrote an entire blog post on how I finally discovered mine in my early 30's. You can read that one here!


Finally, a BONUS:

If you take a before and after photo of your closet and email them to me at hello@sortedorganizer.com, I'll answer any questions you have about what to do next or how to work out any kinks. I'm here to help!