Success Story: Taylor's Closet Makeover
Today's makeover is a success story from one of my readers. Taylor is a newlywed, and her and the new hubs have recently purchased their first home. On top of the challenges of moving (which we all know sucks), the home is older and has some challenges that need to creatively overcome. For example, they don't have a garage. Also, the closet - subject of today's story - is sizeable but awkward. We think it may have been either a different room or a weirdly designed add-on. Either way,it needed some organizational love.
Taylor recently read my e-book Fabulous Foothold to Organization, and is applying the principles to her new home. She was so excited about the effects that she sent me pictures. I, loving how excited she was and knowing she enjoys writing, asked her if she'd like to write a guest post detailing her closet experience. I'm SO happy she said yes!! After all, I find it most inspiring to others when you hear how non-professionals apply the information and principles on their own.
Take it away, Taylor!
Fabulous Foothold to Organization in Action
by Taylor Woods
Hi, my name is Taylor and I am a shopaholic. Finding the perfect pair of shoes that fit and come in under budget is what I call heaven. Although who am I kidding, what budget? The minute I see a great bargain, all limitations go out the window. It wasn’t until I had to physically move my entire wardrobe to our new home that I realized how much stuff I actually own.
There are forty, yes you read that correctly, forty plain black shirts in my closet. Not black shirts with polka dots or stripes; forty plain, solid black tops taking up space in my closet. Oddly enough, they are the most frequently worn items in my wardrobe. When moving into my house, I forbade myself from clothes shopping until I evaluated the items which I actually had in my possession.
After reading Melinda’s book, I decided to take action and start the process. The first step for me was realizing exactly the type of clutter I had accumulated and beginning to sort through the mess.
For two months we slowly began organizing, but felt no sense of urgency until we decided we would schedule a holiday party which would force us to organize our clutter by a specific date. This might seem extreme, but deadlines encourage results. I started on my closet, which as you can see from the picture below, needed the slightest bit of help.
To begin, I decided that my closet needed to have the same hanger for all of my blouses to make them look uniform and optimally organized. [Editor's note: HIGHLY recommend this. It automatically adds polish making things look neater and more organized.] To my thinking, if my closet looks like a boutique, perhaps I would be less likely to feel compelled to shop. A kind friend surprised me with several boxes of identical hangers with the velvet on them which can be found at Wal-Mart, Container Store or any Homegoods. Immediately, I began changing out the hangers and only giving a hanger to those tops I truly enjoy wearing and in which I feel fabulous. According to Melinda, “anything less than fabulous is unacceptable”, and this is completely true. If I don’t like the way an outfit makes me feel or look, I'll carry those negative feelings with me throughout the day. [Editor's interjection: true story and same for me...which is why less than fabulous is just unacceptable!]
As I began evaluating the tops, I organized them by color to make them easier to access. No longer will I aimlessly seek one specific black top, I can go to the black section of blouses (yes, there is still a section) and easily pick out the one for which I am searching. The unwanted hangers and clothes were donated to the YWCA Resale Store.
The same formula went for the skirts and pants, purses and hats. To keep my sweaters from piling up on the floor as you see in the “before” shot, I purchased a storage divider from Costco. In it, I have separate sections for underwear, jeans, sweaters, lounge wear and summer items like bathing suits which are used rarely, but still necessary.
[Editor's note/Pro tip: If you're an "out of sight, out of mind" kind of person, place pretty labels on each container so you remember what's in each cubby.)
Organizing my closet motivates me every day to keep it looking neat and fabulous. I honestly feel less inclined to shop when it is so easy to see what is already in my closet. A container stays in my closet as a continuous donation pile, whenever I find an item that doesn’t make me feel amazing, I fold it up, add it to the pile and the first of every month, the items are delivered to the resale shop. This provides plenty of time to ensure I am not donating something without full consideration.
Since the organization I am proud to say I have only bought two items, both of which were black tops.
Total estimated time: 3 hours.
Thank you so much for sharing your success story, Taylor! It's lovely and certainly quite boutique-like...especially with that chandelier! Also, as anyone who knows me knows, I can absolutely relate to the black top situation. I do love a nice black top.