See the Forest through the TREES! Get a new wardrobe by organizing what you have….

Royalty-Free (RF) Clip Art Illustration of a Cartoon Woman With A Messy Closet by Ron Leishman

Hey there Style Fixers,

I just got a request about accessories and how to organize them best…. and that started me thinking about how organizing what you have can really make a difference in the way you’re able to put together outfits.
Stay with me…

So let’s start with clothes and then go to accessories.

I believe I mentioned this before but one of the very best things you can do to your closet (about 2 x a year) is to do a complete overhaul.

Hands up for those of you that have…
4 copies of the same thing in different colours?
5 pairs of black pants?
A shirt you mom got you for your birthday that you hate but can’t bring yourself to toss?
Pants that you SWEAR you will fit into again one day…just as soon as you get rid of that 10 pounds?
Pants that you SWEAR you’ll need again when you put on 10 more?
…and any other clothes that you haven’t worn in a year have been bunging up your closet?

Get rid of them. Be honest with yourself (and the reality of your closet space) and donate those goodies to someone that could really use them.

Then do it again. I guarantee you that if you try it one more time you’ll be on a roll and get rid of 5-10 more things that are just taking up space.

Once you’re down to the thing that fit well, look good and make you feel amazing, then you’re on the right track.

There are many ways to organize your clothes so that they are easy to see and access. Some prefer drawers, a hanging closet, hooks, boxes or a combination of the myriad tools that are available today.
But here’s what I do:

My Closet

The first thing that you can do to make your closet look nice and organized is commit to hangers that are all the same.

My absolute favourite find is a brand of hangers called “Real Simple Slim line hangers”. I bought mine at Bed Bath & Beyond but you can get them at London Drugs too. They are half the width of regular hangers and give you probably 1/3 of your closet space back. The only thing I don’t use them for is for my suits/blazers because I find they get a little crushed so I use wooden hanger for those.

Real Simple 4-Tier Black Skirt Hanger
Skirt Hanger – $9.99

Real Simple Slimline Hangers with Built-in Hooks (Set of 12)
Suit or Shirt hangers – 12 for $13.99

Real Simple Slimline Swing Arm Pant Hangers (Set of 2)
Pants Hanger – $13.99 for a set of 2

You can see from the closet photo that I also keep a plastic garment case on the right – in there I keep all of my tanks, cami’s button downs and other things that don’t look as nice on the rack. Then on the left I keep on my pants (casual & dressy).

Storage for Pants
Probably the best thing I ever did is commit to a Seasonal Storage box (see the green and white striped box – from Ikea).
Around Mid May I do the swap and put away my sweaters and heavier jackets, sometimes some of my black clothes as well. Then again in about September pull out those clothes and put in all of the the light skirts and dresses and tops I have that I won’t wear through the Fall/Winter.
Seasonal storage and heels I wear on occasion

I also have several pairs of shoes (but not as many as some people I know!!!) so I have a system for those as well. I have a hanging system in the closet by the front door of my apartment and there I put all of my high wear shoes and boots (around 10 pairs including flats, casual shoes, heels and boots). Then I put my heels that I don’t wear as often in the clear Ikea shoe boxes you can see in the picture above on the right.  I LOVE THESE!! For my seasonal footwear like sandals and boots  I have a flat storage container that fits under the bed.

MÄLLA clothes box with lid, white flower, black Width: 16 ½ " Depth: 22 " Height: 11 ¾ " Width: 42 cm Depth: 56 cm Height: 30 cm
Malla Box with lid – $19.99

SKUBB hanging clothes bag, white Width: 17 ¼ " Depth: 21 ¾ " Height: 53 ¼ " Width: 44 cm Depth: 55 cm Height: 135 cm
Skubb Hanging Clothes Bag – $16.99


SKUBB shoe box, black Width: 8 ¾ " Depth: 13 ½ " Height: 6 ¼ " Width: 22 cm Depth: 34 cm Height: 16 cm
Skubb Shoe Storage boxes with clear front – it says $14.99
but I think that’s for a set of 4.

The other question that I get a lot is how do you put things together?? Most people say (as I do) that they can barely rub to brain cells together at 6 in the morning which is no where near enough spark to put together something cute.

Here’s the secretyou do it on Sunday.
Yes!….why not put together 4 or 5 outfits together at one time. That way you already have the iron or steamer out…and you’re on an outfit role so you might as well do it anyways. Plus, I guarantee that you’ll love the feeling of waking up and knowing your stuff is all ready for the day. What I do is clear out about a foot of room on the left side of the closet (by the wall) and then I put all the clothes that are ready for the week there. Viola! Simple and efficient.

The other thing I used to do …but have gotten away from….is creating an electronic catalog of my options. Yes… I sound a bit crazy right now… but I swear to you that I would keep on buying stuff that I thought I wanted and 2 weeks later I was just as bored with my wardrobe as I was before. I just knew that there were good things in there but I couldn’t mix and match them under pressure. Plus, I’d finally manage to put together a cute outfit and then I’d forget about that combo and never wear it again…just because of my bad memory. 

Anyhow…(if anyone is still reading this…haha) I think I took a day or two to photograph different combinations that could be made out of my clothes (not wearing them, just put them on the bed).. and then on Sundays I would just open the file and get inspired by what I owned already. You’d be surprised at how many cute and unique combinations you can make when you give yourself a second to think about it. Without time…our brains just want to go into default mode an dyou end up picking out (and wearing) the same thing over and over. And that’s no fun for anyone!!!


What I love about this system is that whether preparing your clothes before time or cateloging them, you can always mix and match your jewelry at the same time so that everything works together.

In terms of jewelry storage, I love anything visual the best and would prefer to hang all of my necklaces on hooks on the wall (but the husband won’t go for it. Right now, I actually use an ikea wooden box: it has two larger drawers on the bottom (I use one for necklaces (and keep them in ziploc bags) and the second for bracelets and the top level has 3 drawers that I use for earings. I’m sure it’s supposed to be for desk organization but I just find it perfect!

Some of the other ideas I’ve seen for accessory organization:

Using a bust to hang necklaces.

Using a miniature tea cup set to store rings and earings.
Hanging them on a hanger or frame on the back of a door

Re-purposed picture frames

Ok…that’s it for me. I hope I gave you all some interesting ideas to chew over! Remember – get in your closet (and jewelry box) at least 2 times a year and get rid of all those things your are just NEVER going to wear again and you’ll be half way there.



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