7 ways to organize an overflowing closet

Do you know how to organize your overflowing closet quickly and efficiently?  Most women love the idea of a wardrobe which looks like a calm, peaceful oasis and may dream of an idyllic walk-in wardrobe which is beautifully organized and is a haven of luxurious organization.  However the reality is often that messy, disorganized, clutter of possessions that has an ability to make us feel despondent and disheartened.

How does it get like that? Or rather, isn’t it so easy for our clothes to get like that?  One day everything is beautifully organized and the next it has turned into a seething pile of clothing larva, ready to erupt, or sometimes looking like it has already erupted.

Like everything in our homes, our closets need attention, pruning, organization and a bit of detoxing.

Whether you are struggling to keep on top of your wardrobe organization or just need a few helpful hints and tips to launch you on your way to “Operation storm” your wardrobe the following seven hot tips will get you there in no time.

Just pick one to start with and you will be surprised at the difference even that one hot tip will make.  

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Here then is your Working Frocks guide to what stops us from truly organizing an overflowing closet.  Each step contains its own pointer to combat our inaction.  Even taking one or two of the pointers will help bring your wardrobe under control. 

Why we don’t organize an overflowing closet 1:  “one day”

One day you will lose weight or tone up.  One day you will go back to your corporate job.  One day you will buy a farm.  One day you will meet the man of your dreams (and wear that top).  One day you will want to wear that pink suede mini skirt (never). 

 

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Don’t live for never

You might lose weight, tone up, go back to corporate, buy a farm and meet the man of your dreams.  But don’t live today for that ‘one day’.  Live today for today.  Everything in your wardrobe should be for today.  All other items have to go.  So go through your closet and each item that you are not wearing because of whatever one day excuse you have, should leave your wardrobe immediately.  Think of it another way: when you lose that weight, meet that man, get the job, you might want to wear something different.  You’ll be in your future then, and you might not want to wear clothes from your past.  Those one day clothes, they belong to the past.  You know that, though.  Why don’t you take a look now, you can get rid of at least 10 items, probably more.

Why we don’t organize an overflowing closet 2: Indecision

It can be a daunting task to organize an overflowing closet.  Don’t get caught up in indecision.  Turn your actions into a game.  Remove one piece every day for a month.  Decide to remove 10 pieces, sell them online and then move on to ten more.  Decide that for every five pieces you remove you can buy one item that you really love.  The game is up to you, just don’t get stuck in indecision.

Why we don’t organize an overflowing closet 3: emotional pain

If you are going through any form of trauma the chances are your wardrobe will take a bit of a beating.  The exhaustion caused by death of a loved one, a separation, a divorce, an accident, redundancy, changes at work, or personal change of any type, can leave very little energy left for other activities.  This may mean that your closet becomes cluttered and disorganized and you just don’t have the emotional bandwith to organize an overflowing closet.

Remove clothes with anxious memories

While you are going through trauma or bereavement or mourning, it’s important to give yourself as much compassion and self-love as possible.  At the same time try and keep your daily routine as simple as possible: keep your clothes tidy; put everything away each day and try and establish a really easy routine for wearing clothes you love and that make you feel great.  If you have clothes that have anxious memories attached to them, it is kindest to yourself to remove them from your wardrobe.  There are so many emotions in our wardrobes  already and each time you open that door you don’t want to be automatically triggered back to anxiety or trauma.

Maybe ask a friend to come and help you.  Make the room as relaxing as possible, put some music on, light a scented candle, have a cup of coffee/tea glass of wine on hand.  Remove the garments from your closet that cause you pain.  Say thank you and goodbye to each one.  Fold them and put them in a bag.  Then either take them, or ask a friend to do so, to the nearest charity shop or homeless shelter.

Why we don’t organize an overflowing closet 4: the thoughts in your head

Do you dislike your job?  Do you want to change careers?  Are you struggling in a relationship? Are you ready to uplevel your life, take it to the next level but don’t know how to get there or are fearful of stepping out?  Our mental state plays out in our real world, especially if our thoughts and emotions aren’t adequately addressed.

Let me tell you about someone I know, we can use her as a case study.  She was ready to uplevel here life, she was ready to stretch and meet new goals that she had never achieved before and she was ready to change her life in a way that she had dreamed about but up until then didn’t know how to achieve.  Now she did know.  She was all set.

Being stuck

Except that she wasn’t all set.  She was stuck.  Stuck between the two worlds, here present reality and the future, which was really close but not yet quite there.

What happened with her clothes?  She started to wear only a small proportion of everything she had in her wardrobe. two skirts, one dress.  She stopped putting things away properly and left them lying around because she knew she’d be wearing them again soon.  She stopped wearing her jeans but didn’t know what to wear.  Why was this?  It took her quite a long time to work it out.
Then she realised.  Her current clothes did not match the life that she was walking into.  Her current closet did not contain clothes that she was going to wear in the future.

The benefits of wardrobe journalling

On my recommendation, she did some wardrobe journalling (see the links below if you’d like to do some wardrobe journalling yourself).  We worked on her thoughts: what she wanted to wear in her new reality, what she wanted to stop wearing.  She realised that some of her clothes she had been wearing for 15 years and they no longer served the life she wanted to live.

The result?  A total shift in her outlook: a new dress style, a new hair cut, new jewellery.  Plus, as a by-product, a pared back, organized, upleveled wardrobe.  

Get your thoughts on paper

Maybe you feel like my client?  Are the clothes you are wearing today not serving the life you want to live in the future, the new reality you want to step into.  Try some wardrobe journalling for yourself.

Get your thoughts on paper and learn to study them.  Recognising the link between your thoughts and your outer world is a great skill, one well worth acquiring, as it is a way you will learn to master your life.  It is a way that you will live the life of your dreams, and wear the clothes of your dreams while you are doing so.

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Why we don’t organize an overflowing closet 5: good times

All those items in your wardrobe that you might not wear but they are old faithful friends and you could never possibly part with them.  A skirt that no longer fits you but holds great memories, shoes that are well passed their wear-by date but that you bought with your first pay cheque, the adult bridesmaid dress that you wore at that amazing wedding (but can’t get into anymore and haven’t worn since).  These are all items that might be bringing you comfort.  But they aren’t being worn, they are taking up valuable closet space and even more, they are keeping you hooked into the past and not allowing you to fully embrace the present or the future.

When comfort is a false friend

That feeling of comfort is a false friend.  Do yourself a favour and get rid of those items as soon as you can (by the way, the adult bridesmaid dress is mine.  I’m guilty! It needs to go…  But the wedding was such fun and I have such great memories!……)

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Why we don’t organize an overflowing closet 6: comfort

It’s comforting to have possessions.  Books, ornaments, furniture, clothes.  But think about it, if you have too much furniture you would not have enough room in the house to walk around properly and too much furniture would actually prevent you from enjoying being in your home environment. 

Because having too much furniture is a very obvious form of clutter we might not tolerate it so well.  You need more space so you remove some furniture and create more space.  With our clothes though, sometimes we just push it all into the wardrobe because we can, and then shut the door.  Out of sight, out of mind.  Until you open the wardrobe door again tomorrow and get faced with your failure to get rid of your clothes.

Hoarding and comfort

Comfort is one thing, but hoarding is another and they are often closely linked.  Treat your wardrobe like your house: don’t overstuff it; have everything beautifully laid out; only have those things in your wardrobe that you really want to wear, don’t have them in your closet because they are a comfort.  I often say that your clothes should be like an art exhibition: well curated.  Go curate your clothes!

Why we don’t organize an overflowing closet 7: disorganisation

Some of us have never learned how to organise our wardrobes properly.  We weren’t taught to shop properly and we have hoarding instincts that have never been checked. Like many things in life, organisation can be taught.  In fact, it most often needs to be taught.  You may have grown up with parents who were very organised, but they never taught you their organisational skills because they did everything for you. 

 

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This may have resulted in a tidy home when you were a child, but it hasn’t helped you as an adult because you don’t currently have the skills needed to organise your belongings.  Or you may be very focussed on your career and everything else takes second place.  Or you might have been relatively organised when you were single, but now that you are married and have a family you struggle to keep up with all the organisation necessary to maintain a well ordered home.

Organisation can be learned

Believe me, I know all of those situations first hand!  Organisation can be learnt, and actually as you do become more organised you will have an increasing sense of pride in yourself.  Don’t feel bad or ashamed if you are badly organised.  Feel great that it is a really easy skill to learn and make a start today.

 

If you would like to know more about how to improve your self esteem and change your attitude to life then take a peek at reDRESS.  reDRESS is our women-only membership site. It’s the place to come to transform your personal style and organise your style life.  It’s the perfect place if you are facing a change in life challenge. We can help you to navigate change in your life looking and feeling amazing.

You can start by detoxing your wardrobe, building a collection of clothes that suit you, finding your signature style and engaging with life from a place of your true identity.  You can join the wait list now, doors soon.  You can find out more about reDRESS here.

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Here at Working Frocks we have many blog posts that can help you on your way to an organised life and an organised wardrobe.  Here are some titles to help you on your way:

For Wardrobe journalling try: What is wardrobe journalling and why is it good for you?
For Wardrobe drama try: Do you have wardrobe drama?
For the mind brain clothes connection try: Why what you wear is all in your mind

 

Additionally why not try our Wardrobe Speed Detox?  You can sign any time.  The sign up link is here:

 

You are also very welcome to join the Working Frocks list?  We just send you information, thoughts and suggestions that we think you might find useful and helpful:

 

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Well, I hope we have given you much food for thought today.  Put one or two of these action items into play today.  For example, get rid of those small irritations in order to live a better life, more focussed on what you want.  This blog post gives you great examples of how to remove your dependency on emotions and memories that no longer serve you.

Have a great day!

Sarah

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