Top closet organization solutions

By: Anne Donahue

Author: Canadian Living


Top closet organization solutions

By: Anne Donahue
What better way to kick of the new year than by organizing your closet and giving it a fresh start? While tackling your wardrobe may seem like an overwhelming task, if you abide by a few simple rules you'll have an organized, functional closet in no time.

We spoke with Cori Burchell, founder of Cori Burchell Image Consulting, who shared her closet organization tips just in time for the new year.

1. Minimize clutter
Burchell maintains that the first step to closet organization is to get it pared down to the basics. "The number one problem is too much stuff," she explains. "People get overwhelmed, and they can't visualize outfits." To maintain an "active closet," Burchell suggests clearing it of excess: Cut down on accessories, find places for miscellaneous items, and donate clothes you've avoided and that no longer fit. That way, you'll be able to see your space and dress with ease every morning.

2. Be honest about what you wear

Begin by getting rid of tired pieces or anything you haven't worn recently. "The average clothing item has a life span of five years if it's a quality piece," says Burchell. "But if you bought a fashion-forward item and have never worn it, you're not going to wear it. It's as simple as that," she says.

The same applies to "skinny clothes." Instead of holding onto an item for the future, donate it now and use your weight loss as an excuse to treat yourself. "If you lose weight, you'll want new clothes," says Burchell. "Those old pieces will remind you of where you were. Look forward to new clothes and make them a reward -- celebrate your great new body when you get there."

3. Tackle items according to season
To make closet organization simpler, work only with items that you're currently wearing. "If you have all of your clothes together in one closet, take out the current season and only put back the things that will be worn in the next four months and get rid of the items that you don't want in rotation." Then, as new seasons approach, continue the tactic. That way, you'll keep only the best items, and return to the beginning of your cycle confident in your wearable, organized wardrobe.

Page 1 of 2 -- Discover how to make a 10-piece wardrobe work for you on page 2

4. Organize one category at a time
Burchell also suggests tackling closet organization by section to avoid getting overwhelmed by the process. "Just focus on one thing," she says. "Start with your pants, for instance, and get them organized, then move on to your knitwear or blazers," she says. By moving slowly through your closet by section, you'll also be able to determine the quality of your clothing and what fits you well. Then you can filter out any subpar pieces to ensure that the contents of your closet are top drawer.

5. Adopt a 10-piece wardrobe
If your closet is small, Burchell proposes adopting a 10-piece wardrobe. "If you have zero space, get down to the very, very bare minimum and make sure that each piece you have complements the others and fits into that space."

The 10 pieces Burchell suggests you adopt are:
• Four tops: one crisp white button-up blouse, one colourful red long-sleeved knit top, one patterned long-sleeved blouse and one black sleeveless knit top; three bottoms: one pair of black pants, one pair of medium grey-toned pants and one black pencil skirt;

• One pair of great-fitting jeans;

• One black or navy blazer; and

• One medium grey cardigan.

These wardrobe components are always in style, and they will also save you valuable time getting dressed since you can mix and match these pieces and confidently know that you always look put-together.

6. Organize according to colour

Burchell believes that by organizing your closet according to colour, you'll have more wardrobe options without having to buy anything new. "By using a colour rainbow, your closet seems organized at a glance," she explains.

"Order your clothing from the biggest pieces to smaller pieces -- jackets then long-sleeved blouses then short-sleeved blouses -- and then move onto the next colour and do the same thing." This technique will inspire you to look at your closet differently, and you'll likely pair items together in new, unique ways. "That's what I do for all of my clients -- putting everything together, specifically," she elaborates. "If clothes are grouped together by colour, you'll be inspired to try wearing two different pieces together."

By following these six simple suggestions, you'll start the new year with an accessible, organized closet that will breathe new life into your wardrobe. Here's to keeping your resolutions this year!

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Top closet organization solutions