How To Stay Organized in 5 Easy Steps, Pt III

Part 3: Your Closet

Marie Kondo has us all obsessed with getting organized - but for me, the real problem is STAYING organized. I've found 5 life hacks that really help me in this area, and I'm sharing them with you in this series! YOU ARE WELCOME.

How to organize a capsule wardrobe

How to organize a capsule wardrobe

In Part 1, I talked about how to stay organized with routine tasks (automation, y'all!! Automate your groceries, your dinner, your blog posts, your pee breaks), then in Part 2, I talked about staying organized with work/life balance by creating a dedicated workspace in your home. Today's post is all about the fun stuff - creating and maintaining a wardrobe that works for your life and is easy to dress from. BUCKLE UP.

Capsule your wardrobe

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We've all heard of capsule wardrobes, scrolled through them on Pinterest, made plans to make one......and probably never followed up on our plans. Why? Because no one wants to get rid of all their precious clothing except 27 curated pieces. TWENTY SEVEN PIECES OF CLOTHING?!?! Who can do that? OK, maybe Marie Kondo can, but I can't. But you know what I CAN do? I can pack away everything I own EXCEPT 27 pieces of clothing. Yep, it's capsule wardrobe-ing for cheaters! 

My recommended method of cheater capsuling is to create a capsule wardrobe for every 1-2 months. Here's the process.

Step 1 - Make Stacks

Take out allllll your clothes (from dressers, bins, closet, etc) and make stacks of like items. Your categories will probably be something like this:

  • Skirts

  • Jeans

  • Dresses

  • Layers (blazers, cardigans, flannel shirts, coats)

  • Slacks/pants (basically any pants that aren't jeans)

  • Button down tops

  • Long sleeved tops

  • Short sleeved tops/tees

  • Sweaters

  • Scarves

  • hats/other accessories

Step 2 - Make Decisions

Minimalist capsule wardrobe

Minimalist capsule wardrobe

You probably don't need access to 43 different sweaters. Let's be real. BUT if you're like me, you probably can't part with more than a few of them (#clotheshoarder). So here's the deal: choose 2-5 items from each stack to keep in your closet, and pack the rest away. How do you choose which to keep out? Here's how:

  • Weather - what season are you in? Is the temperature getting colder or warmer? You're probably not going to need your favorite cozy sweater for the month of July, so it's safe to pack those up.

  • What events do you have coming up in the next 1-2 months? If your schedule is wedding-heavy (hello wedding season), you might keep more dresses in rotation. If it's vacation-centered, you'll want your casual clothes close by. You get the idea.

  • What colors do you want to be wearing? For me, I love soft pastels and neutrals in the spring. My capsules tend to have a base of black/grey/white with a couple of accent colors - right now, that's yellow and pink. In the fall, I'll probably be leaning more toward burnt orange and dark greens.

You'll want to end this step by having a very trimmed down, neat piles of clothing pieces. The numbers are up to you, but be specific before making your choices! For instance, 2-3 pairs of jeans, 1-2 pairs of slacks, 2-4 layers (depending on season), 4-6 tops, etc. Stick to your numbers! 

When choosing which items to keep in your closet, don't forget to keep your color palette in mind. The goal is be able to make the maximum number of outfits with the minimal number of items, so having a clear color palette is key. Hold each top up to each bottom to determine how many combinations you can actually wear, and choose accordingly. 

Step 3 - Pack Away The Excess

Honestly, if you haven't purged your closet of the items that don't fit/are out of style/aren't comfortable/aren't YOU yet, then do that now. Look through your pile of castoffs and sell/donate/toss whatever you can and want to. Grab a plastic bin and pack up the rest.

I should interject here that personally I also keep a few items that are too big for me (from my more overweight days) that I still love, and store them in a plastic bin in the attic just in case I should ever be that size again. No judgment. It happens. My weight tends to fluctuate kind of wildly, and I don't want to feel shame pressure to re-buy larger items if that happens. If I should need the bigger items, I know they're there and that they're pieces I love and feel comfortable in. I do the same (in a separate, marked bin) for smaller items from my skinnier days. There's no judgment. Weight is value-neutral. This is your reminder to be kind to yourself and dress yourself in items you love that make you feel beautiful, regardless of your current weight.

Step 4 - Repopulate Your Closet

It's looking a little empty in there, don't you think? Let's put away the clothes stacks on your floor. I know Marie Kondo advocates for all clothes in a dresser, folded neatly, but I personally prefer them hanging in a closet where I can see them at a glance and make quick outfit decisions. But you do you. My biggest advice here is make a system that works for your life and personality, and stick to it. For me, that means that I hang my clothes in order of item - button downs together, dresses together, etc - and within each category I group them by color. So put those clothes away and do it in a way that will spark joy every time you open your closet. Getting dressed should be fun. 

Step 5 - Repeat Regularly.

Decide on a frequency that fits your needs. Want to rotate your wardrobe once a month? Once a season? Do what works best for you, but whatever you choose, stick to it. 

The benefits of this cheater capsule wardrobe method are AWESOME. For me, it means that I shop less. I know that when I get tired of what's in my closet, an overhaul is coming soon (FOR FREE). Every time I open the bin of unused items to create a new capsule, I get excited about the items I'd forgotten about (hellooooooooo, gorgeous green silk top!! I've missed you!). Excitement about what I already own = less FOMO, less dissatisfaction, less shopping, more saving $$, more contentment, better minimalism. YAY. This method also saves me LOADDDDDDSSSSSS of time getting ready. I choose outfits on the fly in under a minute, because I can walk in my closet, grab any top, and easily locate a bottom that coordinates. It's also really gentle on my "but I don't want to get rid of that ancient band tee that I never wear" tendencies, because I'm not required to actually get rid of anything. Packing items away is a lot cheaper than tossing them in a Goodwill bag and then having remorse a week later. 

Ready to get started? Download my personal capsule wardrobe worksheet (for free!) to help you keep track of the process! Click the image below. 

capsule wardrobe worksheet downloadable pdf

capsule wardrobe worksheet downloadable pdf

So....I've spilled my closet organization secrets -- do you have any favorite closet hacks?? Help a girl out and comment below! 

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