On a scale of 1-10, how happy would you say your closet is? If you have a pile of dry cleaning over 30 garments, shapeless boots and/or wire hangers, you can’t give an answer over 5. Although I don’t know your closet personally, I know an organized closet is a happy one (and also makes for a happier owner). I’m no professional organizer (my personal closet isn’t perfect) but there’s a few things I’ve learned in my quarter-of-a-century lifetime that I think deserves some sharing. Especially something I like to call the Uber of dry cleaning. Yes, this exists.
Let’s start with the core of your closet — the hangers. I used to have quite the array of hangers, including wood, plastic, wire, etc. It looked like a mess and I knew my clothes deserved better. Although this is the most daunting task, I cannot tell you how much it helps to have all of your hangers look the same. And because it doesn’t make sense to take up more room than you need, a non-slip slim hanger is a must. I realize changing out all your hangers seems like a huge pain in the ass (because it is) so doing it while cleaning out your closet or while switching out seasons is the best way to go about it. By the end of it, your closet will look so fresh and you’ll score some major happy points.
Speaking of switching seasons, let’s move on to tip #2. There is no reason to have a sundress next to a cable knit sweater. Ever. Why? Because you won’t be wearing them in the same season, so why take up more room? My closet (which is not seen above, that’s more of the “inspirational pieces” I keep in my office) isn’t coordinated by anything except for item — dresses and pants on one rack (dresses to the left, pants to the right), shirts (including sweaters, blouses, etc.) on another rack, and jackets/blazers on the bottom. Although I’d love to have a color-coordinated wardrobe, I know it’s never going to happen (and if it does, it won’t last) but at least having some sort of flow is nice, so you’re not just flipping through hangers for an hour trying to figure out your next outfit. And if you have any sort of storage space (under the bed, back of the closet, anything really) keep your closet as seasonal as possible. It’s winter so I know I won’t be wearing shorts, sandals, sun dresses and tank tops so those are all put away in bins. When putting together an outfit, it’s a waste of time to even look through things you can’t wear in the current weather, so if you can store your out-of-season items…DO IT.
(ps. this is my real closet)
Something I’ve more recently started taking better care of are my boots. I guess I just thought living in Chicago, it’s inevitable that they’ll get ruined in every way possible. But the least I could do for them is keep their shape. For my tall boots, I never hold onto the stuffing they come with but I do keep the duster bags (you know those drawstring bags with the designer name on it?) I started hoarding them the last few years (don’t tell A&E) so let’s just say I have a pretty extensive collection. I use them to not only stuff my tall boots, but also my handbags. You know I love shapeless clothes but the same doesn’t go for bags and shoes. Just stuff ’em like they’re at an all-you-can-eat buffet. If you don’t keep those duster bags, maybe you should start…but in the mean time, try tissue paper or plastic shopping bags (also, rolled magazines but only for the boots).
Fun fact: it’s okay to treat your closet to a spa day. It’s something I never really thought of until I discovered The Laundress (started with the Fabric Fresh spray and my love blossomed from there). When I think of taking care of my clothes, I just wash them (sometimes hand wash) or dry clean. That’s pretty much it. But The Laundress really opened my world as to what you can do with clothes — comb them, brush them, stone them. They even have special detergents for whites, darks and denim to name a few. And if that’s not enough, more storage options to go along with tip #2!
So about that Uber of dry cleaning. I typically drive 5-10 garments to the dry cleaner a couple times a month. Which doesn’t sound terrible but if you know how much I hate to drive, this is not my favorite task to complete. So I always put it off until the last minute, sometimes it’s not ready by the time they say it is and then I have to drive back to get it (I used to take it to the place across the street but after they ruined my Markus Lupfer sweater, that didn’t make me or my closet very happy). So there’s this pretty cool app (only in Chicago…sorry everyone else. I guess you just have to move here now) called Dryv that offers on demand dry cleaning. I realize that’s probably the best news you’ve ever heard if you’re a regular at your local dry cleaner. It also just may just be the easiest thing ever. You schedule your pick up just like you’d order an Uber, they’ll arrive within an hour (my guy came in less than 30 minutes), they text you when your items are in the process of being cleaned (they dry clean, wash & press AND wash & fold…so if you never wanted to do laundry again, you don’t have to), then they text you when your items are ready and you can pick the time they come and deliver everything back. Can life get much better? Actually it can, because Dryv is offering CCF readers $20 towards their first order (use promo code CHICITY when creating your order on the app). You can thank me later.
And there you have it.
I wouldn’t necessarily say these are closet organizing tips, but they’re just a few ways (well five to be exact) to keep you/your closet happy. And hopefully these will help too…
“You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry” — Your Closet