2018 Closet Update: Tips, Tricks, & Must-Haves

Is it just me or does everyone feel the need to clean ALL THE THINGS in January? What is it about a new year that brings this new sense of cleanliness, organization, and self-motivation? I don’t know the answer, but I wish I could bottle it.

If you have visited one of my favorite blogs lately, Modern Mom Life, then you probably downloaded the amazing 31 Day Declutter Challenge checklist (which you should do right now if you haven’t) to help keep you on top of your New Year/New You cleaning and purging. Number 18 on the checklist is bedroom closet…and isn’t that one a doozy. If you don’t regularly organize and purge in your own closet, this one task alone could probably cover days 18-31 on the checklist!

That being said, I am partnering with the owner and founder of Modern Mom Life herself, Michelle, to make your closet cleaning a little easier! Just in time for #18 on your declutter check-list, we are bringing you some Tips, Tricks & Must-Haves that will help your closet cleaning go a little smoother.

OH, and you’ll want to read all the way to the bottom because there JUST MIGHT be a surprise at the end 😉


1. If you haven’t worn it in the past year, you should probably donate it. 

Exceptions would be if you are very emotionally tied to the item or if it’s for very special occasions, such as your favorite dress for formal night on a cruise. Maybe you haven’t worn it in the past year, but you’ll wear it if you have a formal event to attend. That would be an acceptable reason to keep it. An UN-acceptable reason to keep an item would be, “I know this will come back in style one of these days…I’m just going to hang on to it.” You know you’re guilty of that one. So am I. But the truth is, you haven’t worn it for a reason, and even when trends do cycle back into fashion they are always a little different the second time around. Just let it go. There’s a broke sorority girl somewhere who needs that acid-washed denim jacket for her next 90’s theme party more than you need it taking up valuable real-estate in your closet.

2. Do it FAST. 

Us ladies are so ridiculous with how emotionally attached we get to things, which makes cleaning out a closet 1000x harder since we naturally stop and reflect on every single memory that we have with that special piece of whatever-it-is. I’m absolutely guilty of that so I know the struggle is real, but it’s also a real fact that reminiscing about each article of clothing makes a 2 hour process take 2 weeks. So we need to cut that out and just do it fast. No thinking…just purging. Quickly ask yourself, “Have I worn this in the past year?” If the answer is no, then quickly put in your purge pile. This takes willpower, but you can do it. I believe in you.


1. Turn your hangers around (hanging backwards) until you’ve worn that item. 

This one is pretty genius. At the beginning of the year, turn all of your hangers around backwards (like most of the hangers pictured below) and then only turn the hanger around after you have worn that item. This will make your future closet clean-outs SO much faster because you will easily see what you do and don’t wear often. Additionally, this works well if you find yourself constantly wearing the same things over and over again. It will make you stop and consider wearing something on a hanger that hasn’t been turned around yet. The picture below shows most items turned around facing backwards and 3 items facing the correct direction because they have been worn this year. Closet Hacks

2. Use affordable shoe cubbies to save space and make your closet feel bigger

Wouldn’t we all love to have a built-in wall for shoes and handbags? OH and a center island with jewelry drawers?! Yes please!!! But the reality is that 99.9% of us have regular closets that can barely hold what we already have…so it’s SUPER important to maximize space and (if you’re like me) you want it to look nice, too. I use these stackable shoe cubbies from Amazon to organize my shoes. (Linked below for your convenience!) It gets your pile of shoes organized and opens up floor space, so you can actually SEE all of your shoes while simultaneously making your closet feel bigger. Simple and effective– that’s how I roll.

7 MUST-HAVES (my favorite part)

1. The LBD.

Yes, I’m talking about a little black dress. This is a closet necessity. EVERY woman’s closet should have one or ten of these. Honestly, there’s really not any such thing as too many little black dresses as long as you actually wear them.

2. The functional white blouse. 

This is a perfect white blouse that can be worn with jeans or tucked into a pencil skirt and still looks perfect. This closet staple is timeless and limitless with the amount of looks it can create. No closet is complete without this item.

3. Everyday denim. 

If you don’t have a nice pair of jeans that are comfortable and make you feel skinny, then you’re just not doing it right. The right pair of jeans should feel good when you wear them…if this pair of jeans isn’t part of your current closet lineup, then you have some shopping to do!

4. A fantastic pair of heels. 

You might be able to find a pair of heels that knock off the expensive ones, but I can promise you– they don’t feel the same and they won’t wear the same. Do yourself a favor and invest in some really fantastic heels. Splurge a little. They will last longer, they will wear better, and (my personal quirk) they sound much better when you walk on a tile floor. Since higher-end shoes wear better, you can get them resoled several times before they ever look aged. You’ll have them 10x longer than you would have any cheap pair of heels, I can promise you that! Plus, you only live once, right? Buy the shoes.

5. A designer handbag. 

If you have yet to purchase a big-girl handbag, now is the time. Your closet is just not complete without one! Stop with the $19.99 bags and buy something that says, “I’m a #BOSSBABE.” Honestly, a handbag can say a lot about a person. What does yours say? If you’re asking me, I say “treat yo self” and add a nice handbag to your closet this year.

6. A designer belt. 

This sounds funny, but you know what can make a $1.00 dress from Forever 21 look incredibly expensive? A Louis Vuitton belt. Or a Prada belt. Or a Gucci Belt. Whatever, the brand doesn’t matter. The point is, adding a luxury designer belt to literally ANY outfit makes it instantly look expensive. This is one of my fashion-hacks that I have benefited from for years, actually. I can’t tell you how many times I have worn a SUPER inexpensive black dress with a designer belt around it, then had people asking me “who is your dress by?” ALL. NIGHT. LONG. It’s the best trick in the book. Plus, if you don’t gain or lose a ton of weight, you’ll literally have it forever.

7. Accessories! 

Last but CERTAINLY not least, your closet MUST be equip with the proper accessories. This includes scarves, hats, and jewelry. If you don’t have at least 5-10 items in each of those categories then your closet is lacking. Not wearing proper accessories with an outfit is like taking a shower and not washing your hair. It’s not effective and it doesn’t help you look any better. Without accessories, an outfit looks disjointed and incomplete– and that’s a scientific fact!! (According to me, anyway).


Michelle and I want to up your accessories game, so we are giving away this CHANEL PEARL BANGLE BRACELET!!

One lucky follower will win this gorgeous Lucite and Pearl authentic Chanel bangle bracelet!! Talk about starting 2018 off with a BANG!!

Enter to win now through January 24, 2018 using the form below…be sure to follow all of the steps to qualify! The winner will be notified by Michelle of Modern Mom Life on January 25, 2018. Cheers to looking and feeling like a million bucks with a decluttered closet and a Chanel bracelet on your wrist!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  • Reply Erica Ramirez January 17, 2018 at 8:57 AM

    I love reading your blog and watching your videos! Your tips/videos rock!

    • Reply redlipsandnails January 17, 2018 at 9:09 AM

      Thank you so much for reading and watching!! Your support is SOOO appreciated!! Glad you are enjoying everything 🙂

  • Reply Jessi Housel January 17, 2018 at 10:45 AM

    I have been doing the 31 Day Declutter Challenge with Modern Mom Life! This has been huge in getting my house more functional. I am also a labeler and like to clean and organize. Because I’m a bargain shopper and planner I buy my kids things they need way in advance thus organizing and sorting is important in their closets and under their beds. I try to buy them as many soild colored clothes as possible thus making creating outfits easier.

    • Reply redlipsandnails January 17, 2018 at 1:50 PM

      Labeling makes me SO HAPPY!!! I’m glad I’m not the only one!! Sounds like I could use your help with organizing my home!!

  • Reply Bayley Poydock January 17, 2018 at 3:20 PM

    I don’t even have kids yet and I already feel like I have way too much stuff for just two people. We’re getting ready to move so I’ve been purging! I need to get better about the closet though because I am so sentimental with EVERYTHING.

    • Reply redlipsandnails January 17, 2018 at 3:22 PM

      You’re NOT the only one!! I could reminisce about every sing thing I own!! That’s why you have to time yourself (say “I’m going to go through this section in 5 minutes”) and then just do it fast! No thinking! Just keep or purge!! Fast fast fast!!

  • Reply Mandy Hall January 17, 2018 at 5:37 PM

    I love an organized home…especially a closet! It can be a sanctuary! I actually have an area in mine as a “war room”/prayer area. My last closet was a mess…this one is a haven! Your closet is beautiful and I love your tips for must have pieces!

    • Reply redlipsandnails January 17, 2018 at 5:52 PM

      I absolutely love the idea of having a space for a prayer area! Thank you so much for reading…I’m happy that you like the tips and must-haves!!! And I totally agree with you, an organized closet feels SO GOOD. Thank you for your kind words!!

  • Reply Barbie January 17, 2018 at 6:19 PM

    I agree 100% with the 7 Must Haves and now I’m going to be searching out the perfect belt. My current living situation has me all kinds of disorganized but usually I like to keep things in bins and on shelves so my closet floor is clear and I can see everything and know where to find it. I love my Thirty One bins for my sweaters and shorts!

    • Reply redlipsandnails January 17, 2018 at 6:26 PM

      So glad you agree!! A great belt can elevate a look so easily!! Let me know when you find the perfect one!

  • Reply Alana Dvorak January 17, 2018 at 8:14 PM

    I definitely need to do this like right now! I feel like my work attire and everyday attire get mixed together then “lost” in the shuffle.

    • Reply redlipsandnails January 17, 2018 at 9:23 PM

      It feels SO GOOD when it’s all done and organized, and the only things left in your closet are the items you really actually like to wear!!

  • Reply Ashlee M January 18, 2018 at 11:40 AM

    Brianna, you’d be proud of me… I have almost all of the necessities already! I don’t have a designer belt because I rarely wear a belt. Maybe once a year. And I would add, a staple in my closet is also a black blouse that goes with everything. I just got a great one this summer at Express that can be worn long sleeve or rolled up, with skirt for work or jeans for weekend out. More flattering on me than white blouse, which I also have, just in short sleeve and more dressy for work pants and skirts.

    • Reply redlipsandnails January 18, 2018 at 8:30 PM

      Great job!!!!! I’m SO proud!! Now you just need to consider finding ways to add a belt to your outfits!! Thank you so much for reading!

  • Reply Paula Virtue January 21, 2018 at 8:25 PM

    I cleaned out and organized my makeup drawer this weekend. I am on your two week purge of my bedroom closet. Costume jewelry has always been a huge problem for me. Need to get rid of more! Liked your idea of a few really expensive accessories!

    • Reply redlipsandnails January 21, 2018 at 10:41 PM

      Awesome job!!!!! Modern Mom Life & I actually filmed a Facebook Live segment from inside my closet where you can see my jewelry and how I organize all my costume stuff… If you go to my Facebook page, I shared it there!! It’s super long so you don’t have to watch the whole thing… the jewelry part is near the end! Thanks so much for reading 🙂

  • Reply Shana Dombroski January 21, 2018 at 9:05 PM

    Thank you for all your closet organization tips! It’s def inspired me to get a head start on mine before we move!

    • Reply redlipsandnails January 21, 2018 at 10:42 PM

      Let me know how it goes!!! 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and for your support!

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.