Friday, December 31, 2010

Going Through My Closet

My goal for the next year is to make sure that I'm using my full wardrobe to the full extent. 

Of course, having done two of Jane's capsule wardrobes (winter and spring), Academichics' "Dress Your Best", Mel's "Pink for Breast cancer", Kendi's "30 for 30" remix, and countless travel wardrobes, I'm much more aware of how to make my closet work for me. 

In order to forward this goal, I took advantage of the first couple posts of Kendi's "Creating A Working Closet" and examined my closet. 

I didn't get rid of much.  In fact, I think there were two skirts and a shirt that went into a maybe pile.  I do have a rather extensive wardrobe for many people in my cirucmstances, but it was nice to see that most things in my wardrobe I seem to be using.  

Organization is very important for any working wardrobe.  I seem to collect two things: clothes and books.  Unfortunately, these are both things that take up space.  As such, books are relegated to the spare room, and clothes to the bedroom.  Fortunately, our bedroom has two closets, both are more sizable than they appear in photos!  While they aren't as wonderfully organized as the closet organizer my dad built for me when I lived at home (see it here, here and here), considering that I do share the space, I'm rather happy with how well I did (even if Scott has less than 6 inches of hanging space: he just doesn't have the same obsession with clothing that I do). 

The most ingenious idea I had is perfect for apartment living.  I grabbed two pieces of wood baseboard that was sitting around my dad's work bench, and added cup hooks.  By attaching the baseboard to the back of my closet rather than directly putting the cuphooks up not only saves time when moving, it's also easier to cover up 4 holes rather than 24! From these hooks, I hang my necklaces and my belts.  Yes, they're stuck behind my clothes, but hangars do slide!

You'll also note my purses are organized by height.  I find stuffing some of the less structured bags with tissue paper, newspaper or fabric scraps helps to keep them upright.  I used to store them in a Rubbermaid container, (up until today), but discovered it really didn't save that much space, and I was always forgetting what purses I had. 

This closet also stores all of my hanging tops.  I move from blazers to vests, to shirts, organized by colour.  Then I have a hanging apparatus for my sweaters.  I keep two laundry hampers in my closet - one for dirty stuff (fabric) and then the white one is where I toss clothing that probably needs to be laundered after the next wearing, such as jeans that are starting to get stretched out a bit, etc.  This way, if I do laundry, I grab from both baskets, but if I don't, have save myself from digging through the big laundry basket for something that is not-quite-dirty yet. 

The other half of my hanging clothing is in the closet I share with Scott.  I promise you, I'm not depriving him of space. First of all, he used to live in an apartment with only one 2 foot wide closet.  Second, he lost about 50 pounds over the last year, and so we're slowly rebuilding his wardrobe in his size. 

His side has the few shirts, and a couple suit bags, where as I do take up the most of the space with my skirts, pants and dresses. 

You'll notice there are three baskets up on top of the shelf.  These are my secret weapons in organization.  I hate the look of baskets, I won't lie, but they are just so useful.  I keep my camisoles in one, my seasonal clothes in the middle, and my gym clothes in the last.  I won't lie: the camisoles and gym clothes tend to just get tossed in these baskets, I rarely fold them. 

I also use the baskets in my bedside table. I used to keep the scarves on hooks in the back of my closet, but they were too tough to get to, and were taking up too much hanging space.  Now, they're folded and filed in the middle basket.  The bottom one has my slips etc.

Of course, not wardrobe would be complete without a dresser.  Really, there are no creative storage solutions in there.  I do feel rather fiendish in having devoted an entire drawer to tights & pantyhose. I purchased this dresser at a second hand store after my first year of university.  I refinished all the furniture for my first apartment, and I still love it. Not as much as the dresser I have at home but nonetheless, it holds more and looks more pulled together than the average first apartment.

The little black box on top of my dresser is another place I store jewellry.  In this one, I keep the more expensive pieces that I wear semi-regularly.  Rings, earrings and a necklace or two go on top. The bottom keeps the two necklaces Scott has given me. 

The rest of the jewelry goes in one of two places: either the mandarin orange box (a cheap box filled with the rest of my expensive jewelry kept in their original boxes) or the bead organization box, which is great for organizing earrings.  You'd think with all the jewelry I have, I'd wear more of it!

All right, now that you've seen my organized wardrobe, I now expect you all to keep me accountable for keeping it clean!! :P


  1. SO organized! I'm jealous!
    I did a closet clean out last week and had two garbage bags of clothes to donate. I always thought of myself as having no clothes - turns out I just don't have many clothes that I can actually feel good wearing! Time to get rid of things that were taking up space and holding me back.
    For now, my closet looks clean and organized. We'll see how long that lasts.

    The Auspicious Life

  2. good heavens; you're ridiculous...wanna come over and do mine?

  3. Wow!! Very cool! Thanks for sharing all this! Its definitely neat to see how other people make a working wardrobe! (Heh, its interesting to think about my experiences... hrm... maybe I should do a post on the bad times when I kept stuff hidden...). Oh, and those craft organizer boxes are insanely useful! And you're awesome... collecting clothes and books! I DEFINITELY have the same "problem" (shoes, of course, as well...)! (And storage in small apartments is very interesting to me as well...)

  4. I love your belt collection, I always wear a belt as long as my pants have belt loops, i'm tall and thin so it keeps my pants up but looks good at the same time. Your black belt all the way to the right looks like the same belt I have from Old Navy, that's my favorite.

  5. Hey Cara, thanks for sharing the link!! Unfortunately, my hubby is not currently accepting applications for a second wife, but if he ever does, I'll be sure to let you know ;)

    I like your idea of having two hampers. Very clever. Currently my pile of "soon to be laundered" clothes is just a heap on my bench. Hopefully I'll be better once the wardrobe room is built!


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