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Getting Back to the Basics

Written by Jill Morgan-Meek

Jill_Morgan_MeekPondering the direction of further columns I decided in this column we should take us back to the basics. Before we talk about shopping and adding to your closet, let’s talk about what’s there and how to make room for new treasures.

When I moved to Rochester, NY, in the mid 80’s, I had all my clothing in an old army duffel bag. When I looked at my closet before my last move I asked myself, “how did I go from a single duffel of clothes to garbage bags full of clothes”? Like many, I can justify that with many reasons – weight gain, weight loss, and sentimental attachment. Even I liked how it looked on the hanger, but not on me. I also couldn’t bare to part with an item because it was such a good find. Moving was the best motivation for me to really assess what I had and get back to the basics.

There are many ways to do this and one way isn’t better than another. This is what I did and continue to do a couple of times a year. First, take everything out of the closet. Next, get out the vacuum and a dust rag and make a clean that closet. If your closet needs some minor repairs this is the time to do it. When was the last time your closet got some TLC?

Alright, now are let’s focus on the task at hand, building a manageable closet. Let’s start by making 4 areas in your room. One is going for consignment, one for donations, one for storage and one for rags or sadly the garbage. Use extra storage bins, laundry baskets, and cardboard boxes. Whatever will hold your items and make it easy to get them out of the house.

Now it’s time to do a quick sort. Take each article one-by-one, give it a quick look over and put it in one of the piles. If it takes you more than 30 seconds to make a decision on which pile, just put it to the side and deal with it at the end of the quick sort. Items you are absolutely going to keep are going to go right back into the closet. Don’t forget to throw out those broken hangers too.

While we are at it, you might as well organize the closet when putting items back. You then can take a step back and see what you’ve accomplished.
Quick tips for organizing your closet:

-organize it by type

-sleeve length

-finally color

In my closet you first find pants, then tanks, dressy t-shirts, long sleeved blouses, collared, sweaters, blazers and finally dresses. If you are like me you will take it a step further and organize each category by color. I just love a color coordinated closet. Those who shop in my Boutique have come to expect it there, too.
Hey, don’t forget the piles. Take the clothes off the hanger and place them in the bin or bag. Also there is that dreaded I will deal with it later pile. Take a 2nd look and when it doubt put it in storage. Keep in mind the next time you clean out your closet you will need to go through your storage bin/bag FIRST.

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