A few years ago, I shared about how I created a closet out of a spare bedroom. Though I have ample space, this room was somehow always on the verge of becoming a disaster zone. Whenever I would seek to reclaim my messy closet, I would spend about every other Sunday afternoon “organizing.” What I was actually doing was finding clever ways to move piles of clothes, shoes, and accessories around, and creatively storing all of these things out of sight in a way that was passably neat. But the next eruption was always bubbling under the surface; I had too much stuff.
A couple of months into “quarantine” last year, an especially bright spot was when one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram, professional organizer/lifestyle editor/teacher Shira Gill, hosted a live virtual Closet Makeover Program over the span of a few weeks. Eager for a distraction, I decided to purchase the program, having never paid for any kind of professional organization or coaching before, because all of my past efforts always seemed to get the same results: eventual closet dissatisfaction and feeling like I had nothing to wear. I wanted to refine my overwhelming closet and get to the root of the excess, and knew the best way to do so was to enlist the help of an objective professional.
Before I edited even one piece of clothing from my closet, the lessons began by instructing me to clearly define my ideal closet and wardrobe, and to commit to the vision of what I wanted this space to reflect. By developing a personal set of guidelines for what would make the cut, I now possessed an unassailable ability to say ‘no’ to anything that didn’t support that ideal vision. Furthermore, the lessons expounded on this framework through the development of my personal style statement: my new filter for editing out or keeping anything I own, and anything that may come through the door in the future.
As the lessons went on, I worked through my closet category by category. Shira teaches that maintaining your space is simple math and encourages you to practice the rule of “one in, one out.” Along these lines is also the idea that you need to respect the physical limits of your space. When you visualize the potential of your closet to be set up like a beautiful boutique, it is not crammed with things. Instead, there is open space you can luxuriate in. In any fine boutique, there is breathing room between the uniform hangers, and a small amount of high quality items on display. Anytime I hesitated about a particular item, I would return to the vision of a ‘boutique closet’ and err on the side of getting rid of it because I now realized I would rather have the space than a filler item I wasn’t that crazy about.
When your closet contains only the clothing you love to wear, it is easier and faster to mix and match pieces that always work. Today, everything is visible and therefore more likely to be used. I have channeled the excitement once reserved only for shopping into styling what I already have. I am now a very picky shopper as the bar is set very high for anything that I bring into my closet. It not only has to align with my style statement and wardrobe vision, it has to be good enough that I would want to retire something like it that already exists in my closet. What’s even more fun that shopping, as it turns out, is shopping your own beautiful things, which is free! Now that I have less stuff to manage, I take better care of what I have and am inspired to keep my little boutique in tip-top shape.
This class was nothing short of revolutionary for me. I found that once I mastered my closet, I was able to apply the lessons to every other room, cabinet and drawer throughout the rest of our house! The format of the class is six lessons including videos, plus live call replays which are packed with tips and demonstrations, and plenty of bonuses containing capsule wardrobe inspiration, a packing checklist, and product and resource guides for setting up your space. The program is available on-demand and you can do the lessons and watch the call replays at your own pace. You can see my (overstuffed) closet ‘before’ here. The photos that follow are of my closet right after I finished the Closet Makeover Program, and then a follow-up of my still-maintained closet a year later.
Editorial note: this post is in no way sponsored, rather, I am just a big fan of Shira and her programs!