About five fateful years ago, I moved to New York for work. In my utter naivete, I hauled basically my entire wardrobe. There I was, my dresses hanging on their chunky, plastic hangers, flooded with boxes of hardback books, and a bunch of other gizmos I never even used. I did not have a clue. Yes NYCers, I was…an idiot. I had no idea what was in store for me.
I moved into a three bedroom apartment with two vivacious, fun girls. We were ready to take the city by storm. Luckily, I did spend much of my time out, away from the shameful, cluttery mess I had created.
Year two, my storage space became even more constricted. Thankfully, my room mate of two years happened to be an organizational pro, Erica and became my sensei. I still am holding out hope that one day she will grace us with some writing of her own, the biotch knows her stuff. And so, I learned about organization, purging (in the healthy way), storing, huggable hangers and, my favorite, the benefits of color coding.
Now summer is here and it’s time to get out those fresh threads (unless you have a huge closet and have room to display your wardrobe year round…ugh). Us apartment dwellers have to organize our limited space.
- Keep: if you wore it last summer it can stay
- Donate: this is that time you have to dig deep and be honest with yourself. You just are not going to wear that again, let’s be real
- Toss: for articles that are past the point of no return, do not be that guy who donates clothing with paint stains on it, etc.
- Store: this is a pile exclusive for limited spacers, what needs to go back under the bed (I’ll see you again winter clothes)
Step 2: Find Homes
The Bin/Box/Basket Approach: Find homes for your accessories or other items that belong in a closet (ex. lint roller or in my case an air conditioner because I have no other choice). Storage bins, storage boxes and baskets are a handy approach. Get bins that collapse from Target to the Container Store (these changed my life and reside over my kitchen cabinets) for your hats, scarves, sunglasses or even flip flops. I store all my winter clothes in lovely, collapsible, zipping boxes.
The Display Your Stuff Approach: If you want to bring a bit more personality to your place, get some hooks or even cool knobs to hang your hats, scarves and even necklaces.
The Use Every Inch Approach: Sure, having drawers in a closet may not seem like a go-to, but man it helps. AND yes NYCers this is an option for us in our rented spaces! Use these for clothes of all varieties or these for shoes, socks or even jewelry displaying. Whether you have drawers in your closet or a dresser, get separators to help you stay organized.
Step 3: Color Coding
Color Coding: This is taking organization to the next level as taught to me by Erica. By color coding your shoes and wardrobe, you will easily be able to locate that one shirt from that one time and create a winning getup in a flash. You’ll be all like…I am wearing black pants, what looks good with black? White, let me flit over to my white wear section! Oh, here’s a cute shirt. DONE.
Organize By Article Type: This is for organization on top of organization (thanks Erica) for you ambitious types and this will actually change your life. Sort by articles within your color section. This can go something like (from left to right): no sleeve black tops, to short sleeve black tops, to long sleeve black tops, to black cardigans, to black jackets, and finally to black dresses.
And here’s when we put it all together! Delicious! Now normally a good blogger at this point would say: and this is my closet! However, as my closet is literally 21 inches wide, it will never be too pretty (although it is organized). A tour of my place is to come.
Men, you too can get in on this! It may allow you to sleep in an extra ten minutes of your life every day!
See what I mean guys!
Thank you for going on this adventure. Take a rainy two hours of your life, trust me. And a big thank you to Erica for teaching me what it really actually means to be organized. This girl should make a career out of it.
Until our next home journey,