My Best Closet Organization and Tips

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Hello and happy first blog post of 2023! I was asked by my amazing friend Katie, owner of Barre3 Salt Lake City,  to come share my random wealth of knowledge with Barre3 studio members at the studio for a special class. In preparation for this closet class, I put it out to friends, past clients and long-time insta followers to let me know the most helpful things I have taught them or best products I've shared along the way. 

So here we go. My top tips for closet clean outs, which I will be sharing in class and products that I can't live without!

Closet clean out 101: 

It must look like a bomb went off for it to be working. 

Do you need to take everything out of your closet? In short yes, but the most practical approach is to take it all out but work on only one section or designated spot at a time. Rome was not built in a day and neither will your organized closet or home. 

The important thing to remember is that this is an ongoing activity. You will never be "done" which sounds daunting but this is why we set up systems to make it easier. When I talk about my categories for goodbye below, make sure to have a designated spot for these things otherwise they will be in your way. Having a place for things to exit is an important part of the process.

So recap. Pick one spot or category like all the shoes, bathroom drawers or sweaters and work with just that. Take it all out. ALL! Every last shoe or every last sweater. Commit. 

Now take action. This is one of the things my clients tell me time and again is that I taught them to be ruthless! Look at the item. Be real with yourself. Do you use it? Are you excited to use it? Does it work with who you are anymore? Forget the whole "sparks joy" thing. I mean, I keep my tweezers and use them frequently but not everything will give you joy. So, does it spark NEED? Is it worth the space in your home thats it's taking up? If not, SAY GOODBYE and watch yourself feel a little bit lighter with every item you part with.

Where and How to Say Goodbye?

I usually break this up into several categories.

1. Toss- All used up, dried out, damaged beyond repair or desire.

2. Donate- Still has use in it. In Utah you can take it to DI, Big brothers/sisters, 

3. Friend/Family- something you know a specific person who would want or can use an item. I keep a mental list of things that similarly sized friends say they like and when i'm ready to part ways with it I always ask them first. feels good to give it to someone who you know will love it.

4. Sell- things to sell are in very good condition, a well known brand, and something that is in demand. I find things with a reputable Store brand name sell the best.

Also when taking pictures of an item to sell I find a fancy hanger helps the item look its best. I have a gold sequin one that adds some pizzazz to the picture. 

Usually I do this on Poshmark, Thread-up or eBay. With Posmark I usually come out with less earnings but it's so easy to list with my phone and I know it's going to someone who actually wants it. It's always really easy to print labels online as they email them right to you. I just save old packaging and reuse them to send things out and leave it on my front porch. Ebay is more for specific items with a name like for example the last thing i was looking for that I bought on eBay was the "Madewell Kellie Boots." So it's easier to find really specific things. 

Threadup- they send a big bag to stuff full of cute pieces. Send them boutique or lesser known name brands. 

Poshmark- cute stuff in good condition from well known brands

eBay- specific items with well known and higher end brands.  

5. Consign- My favorite place to take my stuff is Icono Clad on State Street in SLC. They get a wide range of clientele and sell to a young crowd that shops both fun festival wear and work clothes and everything in between. They give you 50% of what they sell it for and do all the work for you. You just bring it in, they go through it and let either give you back what they don't want or donate for you. I feel like this is the easiest way to get a little extra cash without even thinking much about it if you are local. I personally haven't had much luck with Uptown Cheapskate. 

What to Consider When Putting Things Back In Your Closet.

Think about what you use most and move it to the easiest to access spot. This is the easiest trick but sometimes clients have had something in a spot for so long, the idea to move it has simply never occurred to them but can be such a game changer. 

You do not need fancy hangers. If you want them, great, if not plastic will do. Especially if they have the groove for straps. I find those help so much. 

What to fold and what to hang? Consider the length of the items you will be hanging there and work with what you've got. Lots of long closets, put longer coats and dresses there or use the top rack and put a bin or plastic drawers below. Install a lower bar if you can, if you have lots of tops you like to hang.

Th more you can see the more you will wear. It's like kids with their toys. This rule goes for shoes and accessories too.

So you want to buy something new. How do you know what to get, keep, or return. 

1. Always check return policies to see if a return is store credit only or cash refunds. 

2. Know what you want and stake it out. Do your homework. Know the brands and stores that fit you and your body/style best. 

3. Download the apps for stores you frequent and save items in there. If you are bold like me, wait for them to go on sale. I like to go into stores, scan the tags and leave them in my "cart" and look back and reassess. Great way to find a size that may not be in store too. A few of my fav apps for this are Zara, Anthropologie and Target. Hot tip, Antropologie sales happen the first Tuesday of the month and progress from there! 

4. Keep a "want" list in your phone or make an Instagram saved folder of things when you see them. This helps when someone wants gift ideas for you too.

5. If you order online check shipping and return shipping. 

6. When the item arrives and you don't immediately want to wear it and think you LOVE it, reconsider. Athena always asks me when she sees me trying on something I ordered, "do you like it or do you LOVE it?" If I don't love it or it doesn't fill an immediate need, it goes back.

7. Returns- Many people hate to do them. I love them. I keep a straw market bag right by my front coat closet hanging on the door knob. It looks pretty there and I just toss things in there I don't want to keep. When it gets kinda of full, I take a returns trip. Bonus points if it has easy to print return labels with USPS I can leave on my front step.

What to splurge on. 

Most of my splurges don't fall into the "need" category. They are more of a piece that speaks to me and fills a hole in my heart. It's like a crush, but this time, with a little money and effort you can make em yours! Is it an interesting color? When people see it on you do they think that is totally a "you" piece? Is it unique, Impeccably made or from a designer you love. Something that makes you feel happy when wearing it is a good splurge. I tend to splurge on coats, comfortable shoes & dresses

Closet Upkeep Tools

1. Swiffer rags in all desks and drawers. Dust piles up quickly. 

2. Fabric Refresh Spray- I like Laundress

3. Fabric shaver- Remove pilling from sweaters and leggings to make them look new again. Even works on upholstery. 

4. Steamer- I have had the best luck with the little travel ones. Also use distilled water. It's a pain to have a gallon of water in your cabinet but its worth it especially if you have water like Utah's and you get lots of buildup. 

5. Peg board- I use this for jewelry, headbands, small scarves and small bags. Had mine cut right at Home Depot to the size I needed and spray painted it in my back yard. 

6. Sneaker cleaner- This stuff is great for cleaning sneakers to make them look new again. 

7. Suede and leather spray- Waterproof and protect your leather shoes. Every few months, wipe clean and spray again. 

8. Natural stain stick- Buncha Farmers is all natural and my favorite. 

9. Glass rags- make all your mirrors so clear with just water. 

Top products from my friends Followers and myself

Dyson Air Wrap: What I say to everyone who asks if it was worth it is that if my house was on fire, I grab my family and this. I love it that much. 

Biossance: Specifically the rose oil and then pretty much everything else I've tried from them is great. The resurfacing night serum and the Glycolic mask are my other favs. 

Grape Seed Oil- At the end of the shower when your skin is still wet, squeeze a bit of this on and it will soak in. Pat dry. The most cost effective way to do this is get it from the grocery store In the cooking section, not health and beauty. You can get a massive jug if you buy it this way. if its good enough for inside of your body then it's good enough for outside. I get the clear squeezy bottles at the dollar Tree to leave in my showers. Never need lotion again!

Brow tinting set- $20 for years of service.

Body scrubbers.-2 for $7.50. Get in the shower to soften skin. No soap yet. After about 5 mins, turn off shower and start scrubbing. Your dead skin will start to roll right off. It's disgusting and utterly satisfying.

Face Tan Drops- Make you look alive in the dead of winter. A bottle lasts me 6 months.

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