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.
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.
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).