Archive | Organization RSS feed for this section

Spring Cleaning Part Two

21 Jul

Click here for Part One.

It’s taken me a while to write this post because it’s hard to photograph your closet without it looking messy. Does anyone else have this problem?

Anyways, here’s the second half of my closet. There are definitely more clothes in this half and I’m missing less than 10 items that are either at the tailor or in the laundry.

It’s grouped by sleeve length, top length, sweaters, dresses, and work pants. I don’t color coordinate because I don’t have that many colors for each of the categories.

Below the rack are storage boxes for tees, camis, tanks, leggings, hosiery, undergarments, socks, etc.

To the far right corner are my shoes. At last count, I have 25 pairs of shoes and I’m trying to shave it down to 20, but that hasn’t been going very well as I can’t bear to part with my shoes.

I have 90 hangers on the rack currently (10 empty) and I won’t buy any more hangers. What’s hanging should be half to a third of my clothes because I want to have less than 365 clothing items. My closet already seems bloated, so adding more to it would be excessive.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll notice that you’ve seen the majority of these clothes in my outfit posts. I have few if any wardrobe orphans and I do try to mix and match everything so I can really maximize my clothes.

I’m slowly learning to live with less and I’ll be limiting new additions.

The only major clothing items missing are my seven pairs of blue jeans. Since it’s summer, I challenged myself to avoid wearing blue jeans for the entire three months (June-August) and instead wear more skirts, shorts, and dresses. When it’s cooler, I have four pairs of causal pants to wear, not including leggings. It’s my second year doing this challenge and it worked out well last time. So I hope this year will be the same.

Aside from jeans, I don’t have a hidden wardrobe or anything in storage. This is what I work with everyday and this is what I see everyday, although it might not be this neat.

For now, I have a good solid base and anything new either replaces an item or contribute something different. I’m scouting for unique signature pieces like high-waisted/wide leg herringbone/tweed trousers, patterned or architectural clothing, and fun accessories.

I used to think that I wanted a walk-in closet so I can fill it with all my things, but now that I have a lot of storage space in my apartment, I use less than half of it. If you can see from the full view of my closet, there’s space behind my rack of clothes which lies another hanging rack, which technically doubles my closet space, but it’s staying empty. I’d much rather keep everything on a smaller scale so I don’t have to “discover” new clothes that I forgot about with tags still attached to them.

Spring Cleaning

3 Jun

The good thing about documenting your wardrobe in photos is that you can visually see the changes over time.

It’s been over six months since I had a wardrobe purge and it’s time for another round. It’s not that I don’t have closet space, but I choose to leave half of the available space empty and work on streamlining what I own. I don’t have a separate wardrobe for spring or winter since I have few pieces that are strictly seasonal.

When it comes to getting rid of clothes, I put aside the ones I no longer want or wear. Then, I take them to a few second-hand shops where the last drop-off left me with $115 for a couple pairs of jeans, jackets, and boots. Whatever remained, I donated to local charities.

Even with this purge, I know my closet is still bloated. It’s a continual process and perhaps in the next five years, my clothes will take up less space but I would wear them more often.

Back in October, I had a box-shelf that contained causal pants, sweaters, tees, and non-jewelry accessories. It’s about 1/4 of my closet and it looked like this:

I still have too many pairs of jeans, but since October, I have cut my casual pant collection in half! In the process, I doubled my sweater and knit tops collection. Also, I picked up a few pieces of active wear which are located in the box on the far left.

Now, it looks like this:

Though some of the items are different now, the amount I own hasn’t changed much. I’ve been taking inventory of my clothes but it’s not complete. It’s easier to keep track of jackets, skirts, and pants than tops. I guess I change tops pretty often and I’m not quite sure how to categorize them.

Above the box-shelf hangs all my jackets and skirts. This part of my collection is pretty stable but I want more pattern and color in this section. Being in LA, my jackets don’t get much usage, but my skirts see the sun quite often.

So far, this is half my wardrobe. The other half contains dresses, tops, and dress pants. I haven’t taken photos of the other half because it’s still unruly and I’m working on making it look neat and tidy.

What are your tips to keeping a closet organized?

Mini Flat Collection

3 Dec

For the past six months, I’ve been on a lookout for the perfect flats.

The ones I wore fell apart after several months of continual use. I go through about 3 pairs a year, because I purchase flats that cost less than $30 and were pretty cheaply made. This time, I want to be smarter about my choices. So, I chose another 3 pairs that should last me another year or two given the increase in investment.

So this is my mini collection of flats that should go with any outfit, casual or otherwise.

  • Castañer brown suede flats with purple bows: Yoox.com – $108
  • Steve Madden Heaven Round Toe Flat – patent red: DSW.com – $24.95
  • ri black patent flats: Ross – $12.99

My favorite pair are the Castañer flats. With a hidden wedge, these shoes  add a bit of height and are quite comfortable to wear. I hope these ones last forever because they are so pretty and well-made.

Overall, I spent less than $150 on these 3 pairs of shoes, which is $55.94 more than I spent last year on flats. These shoes are definitely worth the money for an increase in quality and selection. Plus, they should last longer given the thicker sole and the possibility of re-soling the bottom.

Flat collection….COMPLETE!

A Gift for the Home

27 Nov


It is Black Friday and I know there are many shopping their hearts out to get the latest steals and to finish their Christmas shopping. As for me, I am watching from the sidelines. Not only to save money but also because there isn’t anything I want that’s going on sale.

Since I’m home this Thanksgiving weekend to visit my family, I was reminded about the small comforts of home. It’s the intangible pleasures of life that really brighten up my day. Just seeing all my younger cousins getting older and soon heading off to college is another reminder that time does not stand still and will continue to push us forward.

But if I were to indulge in some retail therapy, it’d be in search of the perfect bath towel. I don’t know why, but a great bath towel uplifts my spirits and makes the rest of the day seem better. So far, the best I’ve come across are the Turkish Bath Linens from Restoration Hardware. It’s about $28 for a bath towel, but it’s so worth the money. The towels are the only reason I go to that store.

Another great find is the Royal Velvet Bath Linen Collection at Bed Bath and Beyond. For about $15, you can get an awesome bath towel made from Turkish cotton. Plus if you use the 20% off coupon, it’s even cheaper! Usually I wait for the sales and coupons so I can get these towels for cheap. Since I’m not picky about the colors, I mix and match as long as I don’t pay the retail price.

When people think of expensive, high quality cotton, they usually think of Egyptian cotton. For the most part, that is correct. However, Turkish cotton is just as great and it has a bit of a sheen. It’s all a matter of preference, but for me, Egyptian cotton has nothing on Turkish cotton!

Happy Holiday Shopping!

The Grizzly, The Princess, and the Wardrobe

8 Oct

I keep talking about my closet and how I have too much stuff. Well I finally have almost everything organized after spending a ridiculous amount of time packing, unpacking, and repacking everything for my apartment. After a while, I was quite beastly to those around me during this period because I was so frustrated carting my things around.

Anyways, after doing a quick inventory, I have less 365 items of clothes and shoes, which makes me happy. Somehow, 365 makes a great cutoff number….along with 100 hangers. Plus, I’m only using half of the closet that’s provided in my new apartment!

I’m limiting my hangers to 100, which works out just fine. But, I must start cutting down my pant collection because I have too many! I never wear khakis, but I have two pairs. When I wear blue jeans, I have three favorite pairs, but obviously, I have more than just three. I can’t bear to part with them especially since I got most of them at the Rock & Republic Sample Sale. When you have to fight for good deal, it’s tough to part with something so beautiful, even if I wore those jeans maybe twice in a year.

Anyways, as I’m still trying to build my wardrobe, I want to add more colorful and patterned pieces. I’m pretty sure I have most of the basics covered…but I always want more!

Here’s a peek!

This is my mini crate set…perfect for storing my pants, sweaters, tees, belts, scarves, hats, and handbags. Looking at everything as a whole, I don’t really have that many tees or sweaters. I can do without tees, but in the fall and winter, who can live without sweaters?

It’s pretty sweet to have these newspaper baskets to store my smaller accessories because it keeps moisture away and yet adds a nice touch to everything. As for bags, I don’t have much, but I’m saving up for a quality one…aside from a nice Burberry tote I have tucked away. For now, it’s cheap bags for the everyday.

Here’s the whole enchilada!

Yup. That’s all the clothes I own…for all seasons. I keep reading these closet organization and clutter articles and they always talk about storing away their non-seasonal items. But I have very few seasonal items. For the most part, it’s just a large overcoat, summer wedges and sandals…and swimwear. Everything else, I could pretty much wear year-round given that I live in California.

My closet is organized by type, (sweaters, jackets, skirts, etc.) by occasion (formal or casual), and by color. It’s a bit haphazard, but it works well for me and how I think. I’m still trying to streamline everything so I can pare it down some more and keep things I absolutely love and get rid of things I don’t quite wear anymore. But it’s always difficult if you love something, but don’t really get the opportunity to wear it.

In the lower right hand corner of my closet, I have my boot boxes and some shoe boxes. Where are the rest of my shoes? On the shoe rack, but I haven’t taken a picture of it just yet because I’m still trying to figure out how I want to organize it. Along with my addiction to pants, I’m addicted to shoes. I don’t think I’ve reached 30 pairs, which is my personal max…but I still believe that I have more than I should. However, since the weather is cooling down, I’ll be making good use of all the boots and booties I’ve collected these past six months!

I’d love to find new ways to keep my closet organized and manageable, any tips?

How do you organize your closet?

Closet Therapy

28 Sep

Now, back to almost regular programming.

I recently moved into a new apartment, and during the packing sessions, I realized that I have a lot of clothes and shoes. It was over double of what I originally brought to the place the year before. That’s some crazy expansion! At times, I would go into my closet and I could not find the piece I wanted because it was buried away somewhere. When it got messy, it was pretty unmanageable and sometimes, I’d be frustrated because I didn’t have anything to wear!

It’s not that I don’t have things to wear, but I couldn’t find it because I had so much other junk.

So, to prevent additional growth, I’m gradually paring it down. I went through each and every item and asked myself,

“Have I worn this lately?
Would I wear it in the future?
And can it create multiple outfits?”

If the answer was a resounding NO, it went to the donation pile. If the answer was YES, then it was carefully put back into the closet.

Every once in a while, I’ll sell my clothes to Buffalo Exchange, Plato’s Closet, and the like, but I find that I don’t really shop there, and it’s not worth the pain of seeing a brand new, but too big For Joseph dress (original price $165) get marked down to $15 because few people have heard of this LA designer. It was marked less than a Urban Outfitters dress that I got for $30.

Therefore, I prefer to donate everything to Goodwill or Salvation Army. That way, I have a charitable donation that brightens up someone’s day who really needs these clothes.

After the first round, I made sure that I had less than 365 items of clothing and shoes as my personal goal and luckily I’m still way under! I can mix and match to create countless different outfits with my current wardrobe, so why purchase more? I’m pretty sure I can wear a different outfit everyday for a year and I’m sure people would still think that I have a never-ending supply of clothes. But I don’t.

Here are a couple of tips I’ve picked up to having a great wardrobe:

  • Sort clothes according to the type like putting all jackets together
  • Fold t-shirts and sweaters to prevent them from stretching out
  • A shoe rack or clear storage containers to see your shoes better when matching an outfit
  • If a garment needs special attention, like leather, wool, or silk, make sure it’s stored properly so it lasts longer
  • Have a set number of hangers so when it’s all filled up, then it’s just a matter of replacing items instead of adding items to your closet

What do you do to keep your closet manageable and organized?