It’s always hard for me to say goodbye to the warm days of Indian summer, but my one consolation is that I love fall/winter clothes: the rich colors, sumptuous textures and all the creative way layers can be combined.
Imagine your closet as an artist’s palette with all the materials you need to create a masterpiece. Before you begin, your palette probably needs to be refreshed.
An organized closet is the foundation for creating exciting ensembles, but there is no need to strive for perfect order. A certain amount of creative messiness is fine. The important thing is to display your clothes and accessories in such a way as to take full advantage of what you own.
Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to find what you are looking for, so think about a simple system that will support you on those dark winter mornings.
Let the feeling of having nothing to wear be the tip-off that you need a little “closet time.”
Here are my favorite artful suggestions for creating an enticing wardrobe you can’t wait to play with:
Gather your organizing tools
A portable rolling rack is a wonderful aid for both sorting items in your closet and as a mini-staging area when you want to experiment. When you try to clean out your closet without a place to put your clothing as you weed, you end up with a big mess on your bed.
Other tools I find helpful are clear plastic storage bins and hanging displays for accessories. I use stackable bins for my tights, leggings, purses, and belts. I hang my scarves in my closet on a nifty scarf organizer, and all my jewelry lives on display stands where I can see it.
Move aside the items that aren’t in use. If you aren’t wearing a garment but can’t part with it, get it out of your line of sight. Designate a (small) section of your closet for those “frenemies.” Ditto out of season clothes.
Organize the Process
Start by putting like items together: dresses, skirts, pants, jackets, blouses. Then organize your closet like a color wheel; hanging garments together by color is the easiest way to set up your palette, so that later you will be able to design each outfit like an artist.
Do a small amount at a time. Your wardrobe is in transition throughout the year. You should be able to keep your closet up to date by spending an afternoon in advance of each season. An additional hour a month will help keep it fresh.
Spend a little time putting together an outfit or two whenever you have a few minutes. If you start trying on clothes first thing in the morning, before work or appointments, you’ll be late.
If you update your closet in stages, you’ll have a better chance of keeping up. I often use time playing around in my closet as a break from something less enjoyable. The key is not to spend too long each session, and to use your rolling rack so you can leave things in process.
If you don’t concern yourself with being tidy, weeding your closet will be fun, not a chore. Turn your closet into a playground. Get loose!