Just think of how many times you’ve read this tip on organizing closets: “Just turn all your hangers the wrong way, and put them back the right way after you wear a piece of clothing. At the end of a year, donate anything that didn’t get turned around.”
There’s a good kernel there. In general, anything you’re not wearing is cluttering your vision of your closet and inhibiting your ability to express your style. However, style is so wrapped up in your identity, your interpretation of your past, and your hopes for your future. Some things are worth holding on to even if they have limited utility, whether it’s the first piece of couture you ever bought or the shoes you wore on your wedding day.
On the flip side, just because you wear something all the time doesn’t mean you should keep it! We often wear things because they’re just… there. Easy. Imagine only choosing from items of clothing that actively make you feel great about yourself. How much more fun would getting dressed be?
Toss that old chestnut about hangers… and try this infographic from Vogue.com on for style!
My favorite part of this system is that it incorporates ACTION. We all have things sitting around that need to get fixed or altered in order to be wearable. We all also have busy lives, and sometimes it just isn’t worth the time and expense to deal with these items.
I also love using nontraditional methods of holding on to memories. For example, my sister-in-law is an accomplished seamstress and made a quilt out of my sister's quite impressive collection of t-shirts dating back to middle school. It freed up space in their closet and added a fun conversation piece to the comfy, funky style of their living room.
When I work with my clients on their closets, we don’t follow this flow chart exactly, but the thought process is very similar, and always tailored to the individual. Contact me if you’re in San Francisco and have resolved to clean out your closet this spring!