Organizing - Organizing Ideas

Home organization 101: Organizing closets

Kathleen Dore

Don't delay. Get your clothes in order today with these closet organizing ideas; it will be a welcome relief.

What a difference a day makes. That's about how long it will take you to totally refurbish your clothes closet. A weekend, perhaps, if you have to shop for an organizing system. So why do you keep putting it off? I spoke with Toronto-based professional organizer Estelle Gee of Orderly Lives, who shares her five-step game plan.

The five-step game plan
1 Assess your needs
List the categories of items that will go in your closet. “Some people have very little storage space, so they might put other things in the clothes closet,” says Estelle, like sports equipment, an iron and ironing board, extra linens and photo albums.

2 Purge
“Be ruthless,” says Estelle. “Women wear only about 20 per cent of their wardrobes. We tend to wear clothes that are comfortable, make us look good, and fit.” Yet many of us keep clothing that doesn't fit, we don't look good in, isn't fashionable, holds old memories and so on. If purging sounds tough, hire a pro for a supportive, objective opinion, or ask a friend to help.

3 Deal with roadblocks
Your closet should reflect who you are now – both your self-image and your lifestyle. The purging stage can bring up regrets about yesterday (Why did I buy that?) and hopes for tomorrow (Maybe it will fit again). When dealing with those items that bring up emotional stuff, Estelle suggests you ask yourself these questions:

• Do I feel comfortable/good in this?
• Does this fit?
• Does this make me look good?
• Is this still stylish or does this accurately represent my personal style?
• Is this easy to maintain?
• Does this suit/reflect my lifestyle (for instance, if you've had a career change or become a mom)?

If you answer no to any of the above about a piece of clothing, let it go.


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