If you're like most moms, when you open up your closet you find a wide range of styles and sizes that seem like they could belong to different women. After having kids, our body and lifestyle go through major changes and we don't always update our closets to fit our new body and new lifestyle. After having my daughter Waverly, I remembered walking into my closet and realizing most of my wardrobe just wasn't going to work anymore. I was dealing with decision fatigue everytime I got dressed, I ended up frustrated after multiple outfit changes and half my clothes ended up in a messy pile on my floor. The clothes didn't fit right and they didn't fit my new lifestyle as a mom. I also had way too many clothes. With a baby now, I didn't have a full hour to myself anymore for hair, makeup, and choosing an outfit. I needed to make a change and I needed an easier way to get myself ready each day. So I simplified my hair, makeup and outfits so that I can easily get ready each day with little thought & a lot less effort. Here's the steps I took to simplify my closet and make it a happier space.
Step 1: Sort & Purge Like Crazy
This is the hardest part, but it's so rewarding when you're done. So set your intentions for this space. You only want clothing that fits, flatters and serves a purpose. Ask yourself these 4 questions. If it's not a yes, don't keep it!
Do I love it? If you don't love it, don't keep it. You're not going to be happy wearing that piece if it's just an ok piece. Love it or get rid of it!
Do I wear it? If it's been sitting in your closet for a year untouched or still has the tags on it then you're not going to wear it. Get rid of it!
Is it still in good condition? Recycle or toss anything ripped, broken, stained... There's no reason to keep those items.
Do I like the way I look and feel in this? If you're constantly pullling, tugging,readjusting it, don't keep it. If you don't feel your best in it, get rid of it.
Now that you've set the intentions for your closet go ahead and make a plan. Grab some empty garbage bags & boxes to create 4 categories. Donate, Recycle/Toss, Sell, and Keep
1. Donate items that are in decent condition to charities. Don't let these items sit too long in your house. Create a deadline and get them out of your house quickly. As soon as a box fills up I take it to Goodwill or a women's shelter. I never let the boxes sit around too long. You don't want clutter to build up in your house.
2. Recycle or Toss clothes that are too trashed to be reworn. Companies like H&M offer textile recycling drop offs in their stores.
3. Sell your gently used pieces by sending them to online consignment services like ThredUp or you can sell yourself on sites like Poshmark. Just don't expect to get much for your pieces and it can be time consuming. Decide if selling is worth your time. Like I said above, set a deadline, If the items don't sell after a few weeks, get rid of them! You might feel better just donating and getting the stuff out of your house. Trying to get your money back and worried you're throwing away the money you spent on those clothes? You already threw the money away when you bought the clothes. They're not doing you any good now just sitting in your closet untouched. Time to move on and create a more intentional closet.
As you're going through your closet, work in stages. Start with the easier things like a dresser drawer full of T-shirts or socks. Then move onto the harder items. Keep sentimental items for last. As you work your way through your clothing items, it will get easier and you'll gain more motivation as you see yourself making progress.
Beware the self sabotage while you're purging! Don't keep something just because someone gave it to you, because you paid too much to get rid of it, or someday you might wear it. These are never good reasons to keep anything. Go back to your intentions at the beginning, If you don't love it, don't keep it Keep it simple.
Now you may need to go through and do the purging a few times before you get it to where you want it. I did lots of purges and lots of garbages bags and boxes left my house before I got my closet down to a simple amount that didn't overwhelm me. I still do maintenance decluttering at the beginning of each season, but it's much more manageable. I used to spend all day cleaning up my closet at least once a month and now it takes just a quick 30-45 minutes once a season. Less clothing creates time for so much more in your life!
Step 2 : Style & Organize the Space
After all that purging you should only have the best pieces left! Every piece in front of you should be something that you love, looks great and fits great!
Put like items with like items. Think about the different types of outfits you wear. Do you have clothes for work, clothes for working out, clothes for lounging around the house. I have my clothing divided into casual clothes I wear around the house or to run errands, and my dressier clothes for date nights, church...Casual clothes are in my dresser and dressier clothes are in my closet.
Decide what works best for you. You may need a drawer for workout clothes or a space in the closet for work clothes. Here's what works for me - I share a dresser and a closet with my husband. My half of the dresser has 2 small drawers and 2 larger drawers. The small drawers hold my socks, underwear and bras. The first large drawer holds all my casual items - leggings, yoga pants, t shirts, and layering tanks. Everything is neatly folded so that it all fits. The second large drawer holds my sweatshirts and seasonal items like holiday tops, shorts, swimsuit....
My closet is where I keep dressier items organized by type and then color - sleeveless tops, short sleeve tops, long sleeve tops, layering pieces, dresses, jackets and coats. My jeans are stacked and bags/clutches are lined up on the top shelf and shoes are on a rack sitting on the closet floor.
Step 3: Pretty up the Space
You spent all that time purging and organizing your clothing. Now it's time for the fun part! The more you take pride in your closet, the more you'll maintain it and the happier it will make you feel when you get dressed each day!
Give hangers an upgrade Pull out all those mismatched random hangers and create a uniform look with ones that are all the same - wood, velvet, metal You decide! This will make such a difference in how your closet looks. Ikea has great wooden hangers or you can always find velvet ones at stores like TJ Maxx and Homegoods.
Add a special touch. If you have the space, add pretty hooks for your bags and place your accessories in new baskets.
Put jewelry on display. I found a small jewelry display on Amazon and a pretty ring dish from 31 bits that I use for my jewelry. They just sit on the corner of my dresser. Keep jewelry on display where you have easy access to it so you can quickly add a pair of earrings or necklace to your outfit before you head out the door.
Step 4: Maintain and Enjoy your Happy Space!
Be consistent. I try to do a maintenance declutter of my clothing at least once a season and ask myself the same questions each time. Do I still love this? Do I wear this? Does it fit? I also pay attention to when a drawer or area of my closet is starting to look a little full. I set a side a few minutes to go through that area when it starts looking too full. I only keep what will fit in the space I have. If it doesn't fit then something needs to go.
Edit as your life changes. Along with routine maintenance you should reassess your closet during changes such as a new job, weight loss, moving...
Shop strategically. Shop for the life you have now. With a toddler running around while I'm trying to run a business and take care of my house, I don't have time for fancy clothes or dry clean only labels. I also don't have alot of time to iron so I look for fabrics that don't wrinkle easily. I need effortless tops that I can just throw on and go. My closet consists of alot of comfy stretchy clothing that can easily be washed. So dress and shop for the life you have and you'll be happier with your closet.
As a mom, I think getting yourself up and dressed each day is such an empowering part of your day. It gives you the motivation to get your day started in a positive way. Maintaining an intentional closet and dressing your best each day is a great form of self care.