Return to the Organizing the Home Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Posted by Julie_MI_Z5 (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 21, 05 at 18:11

As you might recall, I have a new portable closet for all my clothes. The plan was to arrange outfits for a couple weeks at a time, so all I had to do was grab some hangers and I was all set.

I AM FAILING MISERABLY!

Turns out, I just can't do it. Matching 2-piece suits are OK, since all I have to decide on is a blouse or turtleneck or whatever. Un-matched (separates) skirts & blazers means I have to decide which goes with which. And what if I sometimes wear that blazer with a pair of dress pants? And what about those dress pants?? How do I know if I want to pair them with a mock turtleneck or a blouse? Or what if it's Casual Friday and I want to wear a sweater-jacket? Or if next week I want to wear the ribbed sweater I wore today with slacks, with a jacket instead?? And what about the one pair of pants that have 2 jackets that look nice with them? Or a jacket that could be worn with multiple items?

SEE MY PROBLEM??? I'm going insane and have no fashion sense.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Change your expectations. When reality doesn't meet the fantasy, something will have to change. Much easier to change the fantasy.

Just have two or three outfits together and then just have your other clothing grouped.

One goal here is for you to no longer have your clothing all over the house. You got that one.

Second goal is to have the outfits ready. If two weeks doesn't work then make it for one week. Two or three days. Doesn't matter as long as you can easily get dressed appropriate for the day ahead.

You have plenty of fashion sense. I'd be wearing jeans and T-shirts and probably get fired. Now, no more beating yourself up and go put together tomorrow's clothing.

Gloria


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Some progress made:

1. All the spring/summer clothes are in one place (and NOT in my new closet). There is no chance I'll wear a short-sleeved shirt or shorts for months.

2. The heavy weight dead-of-winter wool suits are in another place (also NOT in my new closet, since it will hopefully be at least another 6 weeks until I need them).

3. I'm unpacking the rest of the sweaters and turtlenecks from the Rubbermaid bin.

Gloria, I might have to go with your idea. The risk is I'll end up wearing the same thing week after week, without mixing it up (just because it's easy).

No problem with tomorrow; workout clothes to the gym in the morning, then jeans and a sweatshirt for the rest of the day!

Julie


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Julie whatever you manage to do in this area, it's better than me. I'm a SAHM right now, and I live in jeans. At work, it was scrubs, which is like going to work in your jammies. I haven't tried to dress for business attire on a regular basis since the early 80's! LOL

Fashion sense? What in the world is that?? I would be completely lost.


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

I have just been plotting my clothes for fall... even though I am a SAHM plus homeschooling plus relgious education director I REFUSE to fall into the roll of dumpy or frumpy even if i am a bit LUMPY! ..

My real dream is 5 pairs of pants.. 7 tops, 2 nice *church* dresses and one drop dead black slinky dress plus 1-2 sets of heavy yard work and painting clothes.

I really like the idea of the simplicity of it all. I know what looks good on me so I just need to do it/find it! I know my husband would be just fine with it.. so I think I am going to go shopping this weekend!

Maddiemom


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Maddiemom, shopping for clothing with the lumpies is much fun anymore, is it?

Every year I buy 5 pairs of these denim pants from Just my Size. So at any time I have 10 pairs in vaious shades of blue.

http://www.jms.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce/ProductDisplay?prnbr=17546&cgnbr=20E2000000

I have a nice selection of plain T-shirts from Land's End and Just My Size. I'm heavy in the middle and bust that these brands fit me well and wash very well.

To jazz things up for me, I have fun with socks, which match the shirt colors. I like all of the designs out right now. I give in a wear wool socks in the winter.

When the colder weather hits, I have several cardigan type sweaters. Neutral cotton knit which goes with everything and then several which pick up the colors of the shirts.

If I have to go dressier to a meeting, I wear my one good pair of black slacks with my weskit type blouce. I only have to do that once a month and it's with different parents, so it's not like I'm wearing the same outfit.

I buy new tennis shoes every six months and also wear wool clogs or leather clogs.

My entire wardrobe takes up 3 feet of hanging space on the pole and I have a four drawer dresser. I keep my gardening/painting stuff in the luandry room so I don't take up space in my every day stuff.

I couldn't wear dressy business atire again. Luckily in my job, neat and clean is the only thing which matters. And the clothing works for both the job and around the house.

Gloria


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Maddiemom,

Good for you for not going with a Frumpy look! I was always impressed by a friend of mine who was a SAHM and always dressed nice every single day and wore makeup and jewelry even if she wasn't going anywhere.

Part of my wardrobe is simple. I own 2 pairs of blue jeans, 5 pairs of shorts, 4 dressy dresss, 3 pairs of aerobics/yoga style pants. My work clothes are fine for church. I have one pair of tennis shoes to wear while gardening, one pair only for the gym, and one pair for everyday use.

My work clothes are definitely not simple, and I'm not sure that is something I can fix. Seeing them all together makes it look like I have a ton; but then there is that whole spring/summer/fall/winter issue to contend with.


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

I try to plan a few days or a week ahead. I work in a "business casual" office. I have pants in neutral colors: tan, brown, navy, gray & black. Friday is casual day & we're allowed to wear jeans. I have blouses/tops in lots of colors which coordinate with several pairs of pants. That way, if I don't manage to plan ahead & the red blouse I was going to wear with gray pants has a spot I didn't notice, I can just wear the pink one. I don't usually put mine together in outfits in the closet (sometimes I just change my mind), but I do try to think aboout it ahead of time so I don't have to think about it or decide in the mornings.

Greta


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

I'm w/ Gloria--change the fantasy.

I don't think it's sensible to try to keep hanging the outfits together.

All you really need is to have 2 weeks' worth of outfits AVAILABLE--and a couple of extras in case you mix them up.

Each night, pick a different outfit. I'm not sure why it's important to hang them together--and in fact, it's getting in your way.

What's important is that your clothes on "in order," generally--clean, neat, hanging all in the same closet--so you can PICK an outfit each night.

In fact, it might be EASIER to hang them in groups--bottoms, tops, etc. Then, you just pick one from column A, one from column B....

You're doing really great--getting your little clothing area all squared away.

And actually, I don't regard this as "struggling"--it's LEARNING. How does your wardrobe really work? It's interrelated--separates, mostly, which gives you great flexibility. So stop fighting that, and work WITH your wardrobe and the way you like to dress.


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Why it's important to hang outfits together:

I don't want to have to bother choosing something every night, or every other night, or every week for that matter! LOL This is probably the same amount of total aggravation, just stuffed in a single day instead of spread out through the week.

My best bet would be to quit buying separates and go for total outfits again (as in, "wrap me up what's on that mannequin". Some blazers look better with some skirts, some blazers don't go well with some pants, some blouses are too bulky to tuck in pants, some sweaters are too informal for dressy pants, etc.


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

[i]My best bet would be to quit buying separates and go for total outfits . . .[/i]

Exactly. So did you come up with 7 (or whatever number) outfits that are totally together?

[i]Turns out, I just can't do it.[/i]

Yup you can OR you invite a friend over whose 'fashion sense' you admire to help you put together the "group of seven'.

[i]And what if . . . and what about . . .Or what if it's Casual Friday and . . .[/i]

Your making this excessively difficult for yourself. You can't worry about using every piece of what you presently have in every possible manner. Just create your 7 "Great" outfits. Period + Full Stop. Once you've done that, you've removed the stress of dressing each workday for 7 days.

THEN, if you choose, you can create 7 more outfits but you cannot reuse pieces from the first 7 or you'll be back in clothing chaos. As to Casual Fridays - create one or two "I Love It" outfits for exactly those days, and again don't concern yourself with multiple 'other possibilities'.

This is not likely the world's most economical way of dressing however it appears to me that the priority is destressing the situation at present. And you just may find that your decision making ability vis-a-vis clothing choices improves immeasurably when you don't need to make a decision every single day.

JMHO FWIW,
Cheers,
Holly

PS - maybe someone can tell me what I'm (obviously) doing wrong with my attempt(s) at making specific text italicized??


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Holly, instead of using square brackets like this: [ ] use the carrot-shaped brackets like this:< > Your start and stop italics are correct inside the brackets, it's the brackets that are giving you problems.


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Thank you THANK you Sheri! So now I can write Thank you like this = THANK YOU,/i>

VBG
Holly


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization - TY

Hmmm - well almost. LOL!!


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

You're very welcome! :-D


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Thanks, Sheri! I learned something too!


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Hey, thanks! I wanted to do italics and I always wondered how that worked!

This week has been interesting; haven't been home very much, and I did everyone's laundry but mine. This gave me the opportunity to put together outfits based on what's left in the closet. It actually worked out OK and gave me new ideas.

This weekend I'm going to try to do the 7-day wardrobe and see how I do, LOL.


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

UPDATE:

So I continued on for a while, NOT doing MY laundry, and working through the winter work clothes. What I discovered:

1. I have 4 warm wool suits that are too big. I joined Weight Watchers last winter because they were too small, now they're too big! LOL Out they go. I felt bad about it the first day, but I'm getting used to the idea now and I'm anxious to reclaim that closet space.

2. I moved several pairs of pants from the "winter closet" to the "summer closet". Black is black, but some pants are just too thin for winter wear (I'm always cold) and tights underneath just caused a static problem.

3. I have some clothes that match nothing. Those are going.

4. Two pairs of jeans is plenty. That 3rd pair (the uncomfortable ones) are going. I have too many casual shirts for the amount of time I spend in casual clothing, so some of those need to go.

5. I need more Cuddle Duds, but I have plenty of socks and undies.


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

When I was working in an office I had a six day rotation of outfits (so the same thing didn't always land on the same day of the week). I was always free to change my mind on any particular day, but it felt good to know that I had a "default" outfit standing ready.


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

I continued on for a while, NOT doing MY laundry, and working through the winter work clothes.

This is a great idea. I have done it w/ my DD, who won't admit she can give some clothes up. And so we discovered, this weekend, that she has a pair of jeans that's too stiff. They were the only thing left in her closet and she wouldn't wear them--out they went!

This is a great way to see the extra stuff--getting the GOOD stuff out of the way.


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

I tried the 6-day rotation when I was losing weight and didn't have many clothes that fit. Didn't work for me. First, I can't keep track of what I wore when, THEN six wasn't enough... like this weekend I had a dress-up meeting on Saturday AND church on Sunday.

New plan: Wear clothes from left to right in the closet. I'll dress from the left side and put the clean ones on the right. We'll see how THAT rotation goes, LOL.

We're definitely in winter-winter clothes now. Found a 5th suit this morning that's too big!

Julie


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Regarding keeping track of what you've worn (and I freely admit to being a bit obsessive/compulsive at times) -- Back when I was working outside the home I kept a clothing diary. It was just a regular calendar hung in my closet with a pencil nearby, and in each block I jotted down what I wore that day, just quick and simple along the lines of, black skirt, striped blouse, black heels. It wasn't much work at all and by keeping track I avoided repeating outfits, and better yet, it gave me a record of complete outfits I liked that I could quickly put together again when the brain wasn't fully engaged at 5:30 in the morning.


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

I'll dress from the left side and put the clean ones on the right.

My dh does that. The problem is that I can never remember if it's left-to-right or right-to-left when I put his clothes away. :)


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Sheri,

Great idea to write down what you wear when... but I'm definitely NOT obsessive compulsive enough to last more than one day no matter how good my intentions, LOL.

I could make it easier on myself if I would at least take a marker and write inside the tags of my pants which shoes have the right heel heighth. That alone would probably save me time in the morning as I go back and forth trying to figure it out.


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Well I have made my way through all of my winter wardrobe and am now noting what I need to add to make it really work for me. I had to dump quite a few tatty things that I did not feel good wearing and were not worth keeping.

My new vow is -- no more elatic waists -- when I was heavier they were a need but now that I am a size 16 they just remind me of my old *fat-pants*.. not that I am all that thin now, but am thinner than I was.

My next goal is adding things to my wardorobe to round it out and make it really work for me.

maddiemom


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Good for you for dumping the tatty things. That's generally my downfall... I'll keep "special" clothes for gardening, or house cleaning, or whatever, and it is just pointless to do so. I still need to clean out the drawer of ratty workout t-shirts. They're too big, and they're well-worn (and WHY can't I toss them???).

Also good for you for setting those clothing goals!

Cleaned out 2 bags of don't-needs for the Salvation Army. Don't want to wait for Purple Heart (and give me a chance to change my mind) so DH is taking them tomrorow and dropping them off.


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Julie, I do a lot of work outside and cleaning and painting apartments. I need those "work" clothes, too. It helps to give myself a number - this is how many I realistically will need before doing another wash. That has freed me to get rid of the really ratty things, and I actually don't feel dirty putting on CLEAN work clothes. I actually bought new shorts this summer for working. This is huge for me. But I feel good in them, am more likely to put them on first thing in the morning, and get more done. It's almost like having a uniform. Wierd.


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Winter Closet Wake Up Call:

I don't wear blouses in the winter! They are great for fall/spring but thin long-sleeved blouses in the winter just don't work for me. I'm much happier pairing up winter work suits with turtleneck sweaters or whatever.

Time to re-do the closet and shove all those blouses to one side!

Julie


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

"Time to re-do the closet and shove all those blouses to one side!"

This really helps for me. Right now, because it's so cold (well, it is for Oregon!!!), I am mostly wearing turtlenecks, so these are all lined up on the top rack, to the right. I'm mostly wearing cords and jeans, so they are hanging to the right, on the bottom rack. Everything else is hung to the left. It's so much easier for me to put together my daily outfits with my "regulars" in one spot.

I, too, try very hard not to fall in the frumpy catagory! I guess that's why I enjoy watching "What Not to Wear" every so often!

Sheryl
Who is a preschool teacher but doesn't want to dress like one!!!


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

I've been wearing my clothes from left to right (clean laundry gets added to the right side of the closet) to make sure I'm actually wearing everything. Funny how the blouses all ended up together, unworn!

My office is cold so I often wear Cuddle Duds under my turtlenecks even with a blazer. The blouses don't have enough "give" to wear a longjohn type shirt underneath, though I have thought about getting sleeveless ones (but I think I would still be cold).


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

UPDATE:

I'm tired of wearing winter clothes and it's only January! This is making it MUCH easier to weed out things that don't make me happy.

This month I grouped my clothes by skirts, blazers, pants, sweaters, etc. on the left of my closet (clean clothes, after I washed them, went willy-nilly on the right). The goal was to wear nothing twice.

The first week was easy. I wore my favorite outfits.

The second week... got a little tense. LOL The night before I would choose an outfit for work the next day. In the morning, I found myself changing clothes at least twice... turns out some of those clothes are NOT my favorites.

Gone from the daily wear choices: Four blazers that didn't make me happy, three pairs of pants that I thought made me look fat, three sweaters that are too big to wear without blazers (I dropped 2 sizes last winter), and a henley shirt and sweatshirt that were too big AND bad colors for me.

Next week (Week 3) I'm going to continue to do the same thing, packing up and giving away those work clothes that I find fault with--even if it is imaginary "fault".

Interesting side note: I went 2 weeks (only 9 work days because of the holiday) and didn't wear a single skirt--not even to church! I might have to re-think the winter skirt/suit collection and see what's left after I reallocate them for spring/fall wear.


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

My personal feeling is that it is better to have a smaller wardrobe you like and feel great wearing, than a large assortment.

Sounds like you are really re-evaluating what's been in your closet.

Gloria


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Gloria,

The funniest part is I considered my wardrobe SMALL when I started! And it's getting smaller by the day. LOL

My neighbor (a SAHM) confessed the other day that she still has all her work clothes, and she hasn't worn them in 9 years!

I'm getting rid of things I have worn in the past 4 months, they just didn't make me happy. And work clothes I only wear twice a season aren't worth keeping.


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

I'm a SAHM and I finally gave the last of my work clothes away last year, 11 years after leaving the office environment (I worked from home for a long time after wearing blue jeans). It was incredibly hard to part with expensive business clothing, but I felt SO good after I did.

I still need to pare back what's in my closet and bureau drawers, there are a lot of things I just don't wear or that just don't fit anymore.

Sorting/donating/tossing the kid's clothes is a lot easier since they just outgrow things or, in my DS's case, destroy them.


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization - OT

Sorry, this is OT but, please, can somebody explain how to make a portion of text (copied and pasted) into italics?

Thanks!


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

mvastian, you need to put html symbols before and after the block of text you want to italicize, bold or underline.

To do this, you need to use the little carrot symbols on the period and comma keys: < > Inside the carrots, place the letter i for italics, b for bold or u for underline. Then type your word or text. At the end of the text, place a backslash and the same letter inside the little carrots again.

Your text would look like this (only I'm using brackets instead of carrots so you can see it):

[i] I'd like to italicize [/i]
[b] or make something bold [/b]
[u] or underline a word [/u]

Make sure you use the backslash or end html symbols, or all the rest of the text will be italic or whatever.

I hope that's clear, lol!


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Julie, small is a relative term. Just from reading I know you have way more clothing than I would be willing to have.

Now, even including my work clothing I take up 3 feet of the hanging bar of the closet. One drawer for undies, one for socks, one for jammies and one for jeans. I'm done.

I think I could get my entire wardrobe into a good sized suitcase. But everything fits and totally usable for my current lifestyle.

This does really limit my job options though, since I don't think I could ever go back to a job where I had to wear business attire. I'm so glad everyone in pretty casual up here.

Gloria


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Gloria,
OK, you win the minimal wardrobe award! In my defense, most of my clothing is business attire (which takes up a ton of space, and I have to cover all the weather seasons).

But I only own 2 pairs of jeans since I usually only wear them on the weekends, so that's good progress!


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

thank you Sheri!<\i>

But why is the symbol at the end visible in the post preview?

Maria


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling ... sorry...

oh, maybe it's not a backslash,
just a plain slash?

Maria


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Maria, you got it!

Have I been calling this thing / the wrong name? I always thought that was the backslash.

Sorry for any confusion!
Sheri


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

From my old programming days, it's
"caret - <,>" "forward slash - /" and "backslash - \"

Anyhoo, I fall into the clotheshorse category and now even I've grown tired of clothes everywhere. I think in the spring I will DIY a closet system. Looking forward to lots of drawers for sweaters, a place for ironed cotton shirts. Right now I am in toss-what-you-don't-use mode.


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Okay, I'm very interested in this topic . . .

I need to do better about "frumpy". Oh, don't get me wrong, I go to work wearing a casual dress, boots and a cardigan . . . or dress pants and a sweater. But the minute I get home, those things go back in to the closet, and I fall into sweats. I think frequently, "Why am I dressing nicely for other people, and letting my husband see me at my worst all the time? Comfortable is a crutch.

Okay, that's a New Year's Resolution.

As for wearing things again /not wearing the same things as last week, I'm trying for a new system:

I don't get dirty and sweaty at work, and I have no problem wearing a dress 2-3 times before it's washed. It extends the life of the garment.

I'm trying to come up with a system by which I leave the hanger on the back of the door when I come in . . . and when I put it back, I'd put a plastic ring over the hanger. When the hanger already has two rings, I'd know that it's due for a trip to the laundry.


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

MrsPete, that is a good idea! What are you using for plastic rings? I often wear blouses, but mostly suits several times before they go to the cleaners. I still need to pare down my clothes. Right now, I've gained four pounds. Funny how it makes such a difference on my pants.


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

I have a similar system but without rings.

When I put clean jeans/slacks on a hanger, the zipper is zipped and the waistband button is buttoned. When I put a clean shirt on a hanger, I button the top two buttons.

When I put a somewhat worn but still clean piece of clothing back on a hanger, it is not buttoned or zipped. That means it doesn't go back on a hanger next time I wear it, but in the wash at the end of the day.

I hand wash all my wool sweaters. I don't even try to keep track of how often I've worn them. If they get dirty, I wash them right away. Otherwise, I wash them every two months, and again at the end of the winter weather.

Same for the dry-clean suits, jackets, slacks. I rotate which ones I clean, but they all get cleaned about every other month. Which works out to about every 4 wearings.

Obviously, if something is visibly dirty or smells or even if it looks clean but has been in a potentially dirty-making environment (like in close quarters with my cousin's 6 month old baby) it gets cleaned before I wear it again.


 o
RE: Why I'm struggling with closet organization

Thought I'd chime in with my closet system, although I admit I like the idea of the rings....In my tiny closet I have blouses, then skirts then dresses. When I rehang a worn item that can be worn again, it not only goes on the very left side of the closet no matter what type of item it is, I use a bright colored flocked hanger, instead of the black flocked ones the clean items are on. (Except skirts on a skirt hanger. But are identified easily as worn as they are in the "used" section.) Admittedly, this is a doubled system, that most would not need but helps me. I originally just used the different colored hangers and put the used blouse in with the blouses, etc., but eventually liked the idea of keeping the worn items out of the clean ones so started just putting them separately, naturally still using the bright hangers. If I forget and hang a worn item in with the clean, or vice versa, the hanger will identify it. When I do laundry, it is easy to locate the clothes that will be washed...(aside from the rest in the hamper!)


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Organizing the Home Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here