Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Still in the Closet


I'm in the closet again today.
I have a few more secrets.

*At the beginning of a season, put all your clothes in the closet with the hangers backwards. When you wear something, replace it in the closet with the hanger going the normal way. At the end of the season you'll know which items you actually wear and which things just clutter up your closet. You can then decide whether you want to keep them, or give them away.

*Keep a large plastic garbage bag on the floor of your closet. Whenever you wear something that feels wrong or looks wrong, (that makes you regret wearing it,) put it in the plastic bag when you take it off. If you need that item another day, get it out and return it to your wardrobe. After a couple of months, take the bag to a local charity without going through it. It will keep your closet current with the clothes you like best, and help women who are in need.

*Edit your clothes. Get out all your black pants. Decide which ones you actually wear, and which ones you're just saving for some reason. Keep the ones you wear, and put the others in the give-away bag. Do this with your jeans, your khakis, your T-shirts . . . anything you have in multiples. There isn't going to be a black pant shortage any time soon, and if there is, it won't help to have several pair in the wrong size.


*Keep a file of your favorite outfits. Get a recipe box, tab-style index cards, and a package of 3X5 cards. On the tabbed cards write your clothing categories. I have "Spring Dressy," "Spring Casual," etc. for each season. When I put together an outfit I particularly like, or one that gets compliments, I come home and record it on an index card, and file it in the right category. For instance: "Tan linen pants, red and white polka dot tank, navy blazer. Silver jewelry, tan sandals, tan and red purse. Wore to dinner with Nelson's 6/6/09." When you're wondering what to wear, you have some successful combinations to choose from. I keep my file with a pen right inside, on a shelf in my closet.

*Put together an emergency repair kit. Mine is a small sewing box with needles already threaded with various colors, some tiny safety pins, double stick tape, a seam ripper and a small pair of scissors. I also have a cute little jar of common variety buttons, where I dump the buttons that come with new clothes. An extra pair of glasses is stashed inside my kit, as well. If I want to wear something and discover a loose thread, a tag that itches, or a missing button I can fix it quickly. If a strap shows or a top is too low, I use a strip of double stick tape to keep things in place. I periodically re-thread the needles while I watch TV.

*I have jeans and khakis, etc. that are comfortable if I'm tending grand kids, or sitting in the car, and I have some that are more suitable for going out to lunch or attending a meeting. I use pants hangers with several bars, to save space in my closet. On one of them I have tied a white ribbon at the top to designate my "Oma" wear. The others hold the dressier versions. I've done this on skirt hangers, too. This way I can find the clothes that I wear for the particular activity without pulling everything out of the closet.


*I lined the inside of a cupboard wall with nails where I hang necklaces. I have a vintage lace collar where I pin all my brooches (I love to collect accessories), and on the shelf of the cupboard I have a fishing tackle tray. I keep my earrings and rings in the little cubby holes. I wear them more often when I can see what I have. Nothing is tangled or lost.

*A hanging shoe rack inside the closet can keep lingerie organized and available. No more emptying the whole drawer searching for the long half-slip, or the black bra.


*When I had a larger, walk-in closet I bought a cheap bookcase to place at one end. I stacked my sweaters, shoes and purses on the shelves.

* I have an Inspiration Board inside my closet with pictures from magazines and catalogs to give me ideas. It helps me remember that getting dressed can be a creative expression of who I am.

*Place nice-smelling soaps or sheets of fabric softener in your drawers and on your closet shelves. Replace them occasionally.

I'm coming out of the closet now.
Do you have any wardrobe secrets to share?




16 comments:

marta said...

oma, your closet is what dreams are made of. you really know how to make any space shine! i like your tips and hope to someday follow them to a tee.

p.s. if i were to make a 'favorite outfits' file it would consist of like one or two. if i were to make a file of clothes that can be vomited on, sadly, i could list a dozen. luckily, i was wearing one of them when that happened today. yuck.

Kay Dennison said...

I'd love closet space like yours!!!! If I get to move to the place, I will actually have decent closet space and can try your wonderful ideas.

The best thing I ever did was get my colors done. It really worked and now I know exactly what to buy.

gab said...

Are you sure we're related?

Shanel said...

I have NO wardrobe secrets but I loved reading your... I wish that I had even a percentage of your creativity:)

Christie said...

Maybe you could do this to my closet while I am away this weekend. A little surprise for me to come home to? :-)

Heidi said...

For some reason growing up,I thought all moms did this. Of course, now I know we don't. You're unique mom and it's always works for you. You are definitely a fashion guru. At least I know summer colors and winter colors and I try not to mix them. Thanks for passing that on.

Misty said...

So what about really really cute jeans that fit you perfectly pre-pregnancy(s) and you're hanging on to them in the hopes that one day you'll be able to get them up over your thighs?

Lots of good ideas that I'm going to try to implement. But I just don't know if I can donate my jeans. I love the tackle box idea for jewelry. Pure genius!

ForeverRhonda said...

I'm one of "those" people who has all the black pants, they all fit me though...but I never wear them all. Because really can one wear black pants every day? No, of course not, it would be depressing and I don't know why I keep them. As you said, there is not going to come a time when manufacturers say "okay that's it, no more black pants, ever. Sure hope you have some stockpiled."

Soul-Fusion said...

wow, I'm impressed, I don't think I could ever be that organized but it is something to aspire to. My sister thinks I'm neurotic for how I organize my closet: grouping everything by dresses, jackets, pants, skirts, tops, etc. and then organizing each grouping by color. The color coordinating works best for tops as my pants and skirts generally fall into the neutral shades of brown, gray and black.

The Grandmother Here said...

Whoa. I must have come from another planet.

Heather @ Alis Grave Nil said...

Great tips! I wish I was that organized. I'm going to make it my goal to try just one thing, and then feel proud of myself for that. Maybe I'll graduate to an "Oma closet" in a few years. Love the post.

Diane said...

I love, love, love this post! I especially like the hanger idea - I have some clothes that are years old - some I still wear, some I don't. This way I will truly identify them.

I hang my clothes by sleeve length, then color. It helps enormously. If it's a print, it goes to where the most color on the shirt is.

You've inspired me! I'm off to glean.

kenju said...

Some very good ideas there for paring down my wardrobe. I can't do what you suggest with hangers, however. My mom taught me to always place the hangers in the same direction, so that if you have a fire, you can get more of them off the rod quickly. She learned that the hard way.

Miranda said...

I've been writing myself tiny mantras as I find my style. Baby steps.

CMN said...

This post was terrific! In fact, I've been thinking about doing a little closet cleaning and so all of these posts have been really helpful and a great kick to get me moving. Thanks, Marty!

the wrath of khandrea said...

wait a minute! here's the rest of the post!
google reader is really messing with me...