I was going to start this post with how to "renovate" your closet for $150.00. But as I started getting the post together, I realized that I was missing a vital step. Before you can renovate your closet, you have some prep work to do because, first, you have to organize it.
The very first step for a closet renovation is going through every piece of clothing that you own. Yes, I do mean everything. This part of the project can take quite a bit of time depending on how much clothing you own. I would slot a weekend for this part of your closet renovation alone. This project will give you the perfect opportunity to go through your clothing and "weed" out your closet to make it a more functional space for you. "Why am I going through every piece of clothing I own?" you may ask. Well.....
1. You want to know what you have so you know the storage solutions that you need.
2. You are going to get rid of anything that no longer works for you in your closet
creating space in your closet.
I used to love to watch What Not to Wear and other shows where organizers would come into a person's home and organize their life for them. I always wanted to hire a personal organizer but there was no way that I could afford even an inexpensive one. So I went to the library and checked out books on the subject. I also went on the internet and read what other people were doing to organize their lives. Some of the advice seemed incredibly impractical to me, other pieces of advice I modified and made work for me. Here is the most important piece of advice that I will give to you about organizing gathered from books and personal experience:
Make it easy to get to your items AND to put away your items.
It doesn't matter how organized you begin once your closet is finally organized, if you don't plan for ease of use, it won't stay organized because it will be too much of a pain for you to maintain it. For example, if you decide that you want to organize your clothes and use stacked baskets, I would recommend no more than three baskets. Why? Because once you get past three baskets, it becomes a chore to start getting to the items in the bottom basket and, if you are anything like me, you will put those clothing items in a pile somewhere and completely nullify having an organizational system in the first place.
Closet Renovation Step 1Items you will need:
Plastic bags for items that you will be getting rid of
Plenty of space to lay out clothing
Go through your clothes and remove those items that are in need of repair, have not been worn in a year or no longer fit. This step can be the hardest step. But it is necessary. This means trying on any piece of clothing that you are not certain fits as it should. Keep these guidelines in mind:
* If an item is torn or missing a button, either take this time to repair the item or get rid of it. Or, if you are needle and thread challenged, put it in a bag to go to the tailor. Be honest with yourself. If you are not going to go to tailor, get rid of the item.
* Do not keep those items that you once wore but now cannot fit into to. Seeing "skinny" clothes in your closet will just depress you and do you no good. You may keep one pair of jeans for inspiration. The reverse is also true if you have lost a lot of weight. If you spent a lot of money for your clothing and you are reluctant to get rid of them because it seems wasteful, take them to a tailor and see if the tailor can alter them to fit you as you are now. If there is nothing the tailor can do, just let them go.
* Don't keep the item that you bought because it was such a good deal in the store but then never wore because it simply isn't you and you got caught up in the euphoria of a good deal. If you think it will sell, you can put it aside to sell on eBay or to sell at a commission shop but it is only taking up valuable space in your closet and needs to go.
* Remove items that are worn beyond further wear and cannot be repaired. This includes bras and underwear that have been stretched beyond recognition, socks that have lost their elasticity, shoes that a homeless person wouldn't wear, and clothing that is only held together with hopes and wishes.
* Carefully look through your items and remove any items that have been stained and the stain cannot be removed. You may keep one two sets of these for house renovations and painting and the like but, unless you are an artist or have a messy job and wear these clothes to work, get rid of them.
* Remove any item of clothing that you are keeping for "sentimental reasons". You can take a picture of it and keep your memories that way. Or, if the material is beautiful and there is enough, put it aside to make a throw pillow out of it. Either way, remove it from your closet.
* If you have not worn an item in over a year, remove it from your closet. (The exception to this
rule is evening wear. If you have a nice formal gown that you can wear to a formal occasion-
keep it. It is always good to have one evening piece in your closet for those times when you have
an unexpected social occasion. Or, an occasion that is not so unexpected but at a horrible time in
your budget for you to be purchasing a dress that you may only wear once or twice a year.)
* Get rid of all clothing that is not flattering to your figure. I don't care if your mom bought it for you or if you love the color. If it doesn't look good on you, it doesn't belong in your closet.
After going through your closet, the only items remaining should be items that you can and do wear.
You should also have a pile of clothes that no longer belong in your closet. You may give them away to Goodwill or similar organization, put them on eBay to see if you can make some of your money back OR, and this option is my favorite, if you have friends who are a similar size to you, see if they have some clothes that they want to get rid of and do a swap party. Just because it no longer works for you doesn't mean that it won't work for them. Please be kind and respectful and don't try to swap the clothes that need repair.
Congratulations! Once you are done with this project, you have completed the first step of renovating your closet. The next step will be organizing and planning.