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February 1, 2016

Around the Home: Closet Organization

Around the Home- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

Remember when I was talking about Habits at the beginning of the year? I had this really bad habit of leaving piles of clothes everywhere in our bedroom. It annoyed the heck out of me but I couldn’t ever figure out what to wear and I never made the time to put things back where they belong. I really wanted to see if I could do a capsule wardrobe this winter and in doing so I created so many new/good habits!  I owe it all to the foundation I created in my organized closet.

After living this way for 3-ish weeks I can now say:

  • I put my clothes back where they belong
  • I don’t have piles of clothes all over the place
  • I haven’t felt like I’ve got nothing to wear & I’m not wasting precious time in the morning trying clothes on
  • I’ve managed my shopping impulses and only buy things I need- which is almost nothing
  • I love walking into my closet because it’s clean & I have focus
  • My head is filled with less clutter because I have less to manage

So, let me show you the before. BTW- I am not really good at taking before photos. I realized this a few years ago because when I get an impulse to clean, I just right in and then I’m always like OH CRAP! We’re doing this. I forgot to take pictures!

So this “before photo” is right before I created my winter capsule wardrobe—

My closet looked much worse than this before that.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

I started collecting some of the looks I wanted to emulate with my winter capsule.

They’re photos I printed out from my Pinterest board and hung them up in my closet so I’d have a good direction.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

As you can see, the shelves are packed with pants…that I needed to sort through.

I also had several different types of containers. None of them matched and that kinda bugged me.

Also there are soooo many hangers. They were all white and I think they stuck out like a sore thumb. Before I hung up the pinned photos, I had shirts hanging up there in that section. This photo was taken after I donated a TON of clothes. We’re talking like 5 bags filled. BYE, clothes!!!!

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

You see this show rack thing? We used it as a dumping ground. We hung things up on it that we didn’t feel like putting away so it was always FILLED with stuff. Bags, scarves, Casey’s shirts, belts, etc. I decided to take it down so we wouldn’t have the urge to keep up that bad habit.

Also I didn’t like the wood rack, so I painted it black!

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

All these clothes and I always felt like I had nothing to wear….

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

Ok so the first thing I did was take EVERYTHING OUT OF MY CLOSET.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

I put most of the clothes in our guest bedroom closet. I weeded through things that didn’t serve me anymore and kept only the things I love. When I am ready to start my Spring capsule, I’ll shop that closet for new items and put away some of my winter collection.

I took a trip to Target and bought new bins & hangers.

I got a pack of 40 hangers so I would be able to limit how many items I had.

After creating my capsule I have a ton left! I didn’t think that would happen!

I returned the rug…it didn’t look right in there.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

I wanted to label everything (you know me!).  I printed labels from my computer (font is Bebas) and laminated them with my laminator.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

Labels made:

  • SWIMWEAR
  • CLUTCHES
  • HATS
  • BELTS
  • TIGHTS
  • DARKS
  • LIGHTS

I punched holes in them and tied them to the bins.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

Ahhh!  So pleasing.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

Ok. Let’s talk about hampers for a sec. The hampers we had were about 10 years old and totally worn out. They also weren’t that big so it meant that our laundry was almost always flowing over. I also had the hampers in another area of our bedroom, near the bathroom and NOT in the closet. No wonder I had clothes everywhere.

I took a trip to The Container Store and I found these laundry hampers.

These ones are almost twice the size. These are before I put labels on.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

Ok, so I slowly added back the clothing I picked to wear for the next three months.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

I paired my jeans section to THREE PAIRS OF JEANS.  THREE.

I also consolidated my purse/bag collection.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

I put all the other pants I want to keep to the left hand side.

I’m not sure what to do with those metal baskets. They’re just there for show. I dunno.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

THIS IS THE AFTER!!!

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

Let’s move over to my “prep” section.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

Inspirational quotes to Inspire.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

I have a grouping of clutches/small bags.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

I have some of my stuff organized in a drawer container system.

I printed out some labels on regular paper and then taped them with packing tape on each of the drawers. I like the way it looks. I started out doing it with washi tape but it didn’t have the polished look I was going for.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

I also created a little section for perfumes. They used to be in my bathroom before I moved them into the closet. It’s the final touch to getting ready and I often forget to do it. Now that it’s apart of my habit, I don’t forget!

There’s linen spray in the spray bottle to freshen up clothes & a lint brush.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

To the right I have my “looks” on the wall. It’s great to have a reference because sometimes I walk in and forget what combinations I am going for.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

Here’s the rack painted. No more shoe rack above it!

Now I have some of my favorite necklaces on display. We won’t be hanging anything but necklaces on it because we PUT EVERYTHING AWAY like champs now.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

Under my clothes I have a basket for things to be donated that rest on the floor.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

Hampers in action.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

These are all my clothes!

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

I think I have about 18 hangers left unused from my collection of 40! Not too shabby.

I wanted to see how much space my clothes take up now so I pushed them all to the side.

LOOK AT ALL THIS SPACE. It’s amazing and I have NO URGE TO FILL IT UP.

Those are all my scarves on this hanger. I used to have one of these organizers for my scarves, but it was such a chaotic mess and I could never see the scarves I actually wanted to wear…..so I paired down my collection and placed them on one of these hangers.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

I love getting dressed now.

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

Hope this inspires you to create a solid foundation for your own closet!

Do you want to see my capsule wardrobe? Let me know!

resources

Around the House- Closet Organization- Before & After Photos on Shutterbean.com

  1. Laminator
  2. Bins
  3. 4 Bar Huggable Hangers
  4. Laundry Hamper
  5. Huggable Hangers

Books to Inspire on Shutterbean.com

Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Happy Organizing!

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  • Julia

    Wow – this is awesome! I love your style, and am so intrigued by the idea of a capsule wardrobe. Would definitely love to see yours! One quick question – where are your shoes?? Shoe storage is something I struggle with.

    • Tracy

      We have a no shoes in the house policy, so our shoes live in the garage. I have shelves for that very purpose.

  • Colleen

    Yes! Your capsule wardrobe would be inspiring! Also, where is that black and white donation bin from? I’m on the search for something like that for throws in my family room.

    Love the kos of stuff on your bog and I can’t wait to see your kitchen!

    • Tracy

      I got it from Target a few years ago. It started out as toy storage, but we paired down Cooper’s lego collection so I repurposed it 😉

  • Jane M

    So happy you changed your hangers because that was going to be my first suggestion. What I learned last year, if I buy new clothes then I need to donate something from closet. It’s a great habit! I’m on PINS and NEEDLES waiting for your AFTER KITCHEN photos! Love your blog!

    • Tracy

      Worry not! I am going to try to take pictures of the kitchen this week. IT’S SO PRETTY I WANT TO CRY.

  • S

    Yes! I want to see your capsule wardrobe! And your kitchen too.

  • Joy

    Thank you for detailing your process of cleaning out! I love that you’re not feeling the impulse to fill up that empty space.

    I’d love to see your capsule wardrobe! I keep thinking about doing one but am not sure it’s right for me so I love reading about others’ experiences with it.

    • Tracy

      Thanks, Joy! I think one of the things that has helped is knowing that I WANT to make good habits. I think when I have that in mind my focus is clearer. There’s this natural tendency we all have to fill up the space we live in and I have found it truly liberating to change my way of thinking and use my extra space to give myself more “breathing room” in my life.

  • Liz

    I would love to see your capsule wardrobe. I have read about them but would love to see where you found your inspiration/ideas.

  • Hannah

    Feeling inspired!

  • Helen Jane

    I am ready! This is a marvelous guide!

  • Lisa

    I am in the midst of reading the tidying book and went on a tear in my bedroom. All of my stuff is folded as she states it should be. I was very skeptical but it only took one drawer to convince me. Now my husbands stuff is all nice and folded too. I appreciate your inspiration for the closet. I haven’t gotten there yet but I intend to.

    • Tracy

      Baby steps! If you knock things out one thing at a time, you’ll get there! Keep motivated! You can do this!

  • Amanda

    I recently(ish) switched to a capsule wardrobe and it really is just so freeing! I switched it up, I have 75 pieces for full-year wear, because you never know how the seasons go in Chicago and 90% of my wardrobe I wear 2-3 seasons. I’m able to keep all of it in my small closet and the front coat closet (shoes n jackets there). If you’re on the fence about the capsule wardrobe, consider making it more personalized to your life situation, and most importantly purge the stuff you don’t wear! Honestly those pieces are you just lying to yourself most of the time (oh I’ll go out more this year, I’ll lose those 5 lbs for pure vanity, I’ll wear more colors to the office) and getting rid of them feels real honest.

  • Jessica

    This post is AWESOME. Thank you so much for sharing your process–it’s so inspiring!

  • Caitlyn @ Candid Cerebrations

    Love it! Can I just say I’m envious of all the space you have in your closet?! Oh the joys (or woes) of the tiny closets in Manhattan. This post has inspired me to give my closet a round of cleaning out this week. Thanks!

  • hillary

    So inspiring! Like everyone else on the planet, I have considered a capsule wardrobe. One thing I am in search of is a style inspiration that mimics my body type (and life). All the things/styles/clothes I gravitate toward seem to be meant for other body types and, frankly, don’t work on me.

    Any advice on 1) how to find realistic style inspiration (I usually just end up disappointed) or 2) how to adapt the celeb/model inspiration for a real person?

    You rock.

  • jill

    i did a very similar pare down/reorganization in my closet 4 months ago and the good habits have stuck! i put away my clothes! this is inspiring me to head back in there and make sure i am really using and wearing everything. i would love to see your capsule wardrobe.

  • Jen

    LOVE! So inspiring.

  • Heather

    Ahh this is so inspiring. In the last little while I’ve found myself really wanting to get rid of clutter and resenting getting anything (gifts etc) if it wasn’t something I absolutely had a use for. I just feel so much better when I have less stuff filling up the space in my house. I get rid of clothes pretty regularly, but I think I need to do another purge because there are still a ton of things I don’t wear.

  • Libby

    Why in the hell have I never thought about having a bin for darks and a bin for lights? It look so simple–like something I should have thought of ages ago.
    I also love, love your idea of printing out your favorites from your pinboard. That’s inspiring.

    • Tracy

      I live with a guy who would be lost without the lights & darks labeling 😉 I really want to love the digital world, but you can’t beat printing something out and holding it in your hands. It helps me focus!

  • Amy

    Ahh, your wardrobe looks sooo much better now! I’ve been meaning to sort mine out too and just keep putting it off.. but I think you may have just pushed me over the edge! Time to get organising (and donating!) Also absolutely love that you’ve taped your favourite looks to the wall. Such a good idea. Feeling inspired! :)

  • millie

    so beautiful! so organized! i love it! i’m curious about your perfumes… what are your favorite scents? :)

  • christina

    so gorgeous and inspirational! totally need those hangers in my life.

    • Tracy

      They really are a game changer! I can’t believe I resisted them for so long!

      • christina

        I decided to bite the bullet and get those hangers for my closet! HSN is actually having a great deal right now, so I got 100 hangers for $32. I am so excited. I never thought I’d purchase something from HSN, haha.

        • Tracy

          That’s awesome! But remember, the more hangers you have the more clothes you have 😉

  • Neena

    This has been my year of discarding and I find your post so motivating. I’ve picked a different area of my home for each month and I just finished the office in January. After reading this post, I may have to switch up my line-up and tackle the master bed/bath/closet in Feb.

    I adore the unity of your color scheme. Sometimes I feel like I’m in the tropics when I survey the mad colors and prints in my closet. Ironically, I gravitate towards the same solid-colored basics every day so this may be a great time to evaluate my actual style vs. the style I think I want to be!

  • Lauren

    I would love to hear about your capsule wardrobe experience – I am pretty good about keeping my closet organized and pared down (I try to keep to getting rid of an item each time I purchase a new one) but I love seeing what others do too. Ps. This comment font is great. :)

  • Meg

    Brava! What a lovely closet! And that’s kooky talk — of course I want to see the capsule wardrobe. I am so into this idea — it’s running neck and neck with adopting a uniform.

  • Amanda Barkey

    omg- that idea of printing of fthe pinterest pics and hanging them up is so smart! i always reference my boards before i go shopping but this…THIS is genius!

  • Meaghan

    Love this! I did a sort of capsule wardrobe in the fall and it helped immensely! I cheated a little and knew here would be some clothes I would carry from Fall to Winter and then Winter to Spring, etc. it helped so much though! Can’t wait to see your capsule wardrobe and your kitchen!

  • Aeshna

    Fantastic job, Tracy! Those laminated labels <3

  • Angela

    What about shoes – how do you organize these? I have no space in my house!

  • Meg

    AH! This is so good! So damn inspiring. I feel a sudden need to cancel all my weekend plans and do the same thing. I love the dot-points you listed, I am definitely craving that kind of calm and ease in my life and in my wardrobe.
    Thanks for sharing! xx

  • Jen

    i just listened to the tidying book- it’s a little depressing as I go through my clothes to realize how little do spark joy- and how I need to be more mindful when I add things into my life.

  • Christine

    You might like this book too! Make every day effortless so there’s more room in your brain for the stuff you like!

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Effortless-Everyday-design-matters/dp/1515296296

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