Organization: Closet Makeover

The day has finally come where I reveal my new closet! I know you guys are probably getting tired of hearing about it, but I can’t help it.  I am so in love.  I will start by saying that I highly recommend Closet America.  They were so great to work with from the designer to customer service to the installers.  It was a great experience, and I would totally use them again.  The finished product came together last week, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.  It looks exactly the way I had envisioned it in my head.  It is going to make organizing all of my things so easy.  We went with white for a couple of reasons.  One is that I like the nice clean look of the white, and the second reason is because it was the least expensive.  The natural light from the windows in the room in conjunction with the white, really brightens the space. 

As you walk into the room, you see the island and shoe rack right away.  I am so obsessed with the island.  There are 4 drawers on each side of it, and I am not 100% sure what I will put in all of them yet. I am thinking it will probably hold jeans, leggings, and t-shirts. The top drawer on one side has double layer jewelry trays.  It is one of my favorite things in the room.  All of the drawers have the slow automatic close when you push them slightly, which is really nice. Then the giant shoe rack is right behind the island between the two windows.  I am super excited about it.  My shoes are going to look so good displayed on it.  

The wall to the immediate left (same wall as doorway) when you walk into the room is currently blank. It will be the location of my antique vanity with a mirror.  It fits perfectly into that space.  The left side of the closet contains shelving and clothes racks for various lengths of clothes.  The shelves are adjustable so I can make them larger or smaller depending on what I decided to put there. Again, I am not certain how I will organize everything until I get it all in there and see how it flows.  I may remove one of the bottom shelves and use that space for my tall boots.

The wall to the immediate right when you walk in (same wall as doorway) has a tall tower of shelves. This is where I plan to put my purses and bags for display.  There is also a pull out valet rod for hanging clothes for when I am pulling outfits to photograph or to prepare for then next day or even when I am packing.  

The right side of the closet contains more hanging space with a few shelves. This is where the bulk of my clothes will be hanging.  As you can see the racks are various lengths to accommodate dresses and things that are longer and things that are shorter in length.

The whole system is very clean, neat, and modern looking.  I really love that there is still plenty of space even with the island. I was worried that it would take up a lot of space and it would feel cramped, but it doesn’t feel that way at all. Of course there are a few things that we still need to do to the space for it to be complete.  At the top of the list is to put blinds on the windows so that I don’t give everyone in the neighborhood a good morning show every day! The second thing is to install some kind of chandelier because there is no overhead lighting in the space.  There is great light in there during the day from the windows, but I definitely need some lighting for the evenings or early mornings.  The one other thing that I want is a large, full-length mirror. Obviously, it is not going to be in there because there is no place to put it, but I need a full-length mirror somewhere.  Overall, I am very happy with how well it turned out and I can’t wait to get all of my clothes and accessories in there to see how it all comes together.  It really is an organizational freak’s dream come true! LOL! I absolutely love it!

Anchored and Organized,

A Look into my Closet: OOTD

I am sad to say that I didn’t get my Friday Favorites post up last week, but it was for a good reason! My oldest was competing in her first high school state championship meet all day Friday and her team won!!! They are State Champions for the second year in a row! They blew the completion away, but it was still a nail biter for the parents! Man those things are stressful for all of us watching in the stands trying to calculate the scores from all the other schools and make sure we stayed on top after each event.  I think all of the moms were holding their breaths as each one of our girls got up to compete. Then we turned around and did the same thing the next day for the individual state championships.  My daughter competed on bars on Saturday.  It wasn’t her best performance by far with a fall (she never falls on bars), but, in her defense, they were all thoroughly exhausted after Friday. I am proud of her for giving it her best effort! She was bummed, but I think most of it was just pure exhaustion.

Anyway, on to the topic of today….a peek in my closet.  I have had really good responses and feedback from when I did these posts in the past so I will try to do them one or two times a month.  As I have said before, many of the things in my closet are things that I have had for a long time and are no longer available for purchase.  I always try to find something similar for you, but the point of these posts is for you to get inspiration to put together outfits from things you already have in your closet.  You don’t need to copy my exact outfit.  Just be inspired.  Some of the pieces I have shown before when I have done my selfie shots in the dressing rooms of my favorite stores.  You can see how I put those pieces together in an outfit. 

Top-Old Navy

Jeans-Walmart

Boots-Belk

Top-Target (old) (similar-Amazon)

Jeans-Walmart

Boots-Belk

Necklace-Trades of Hope

Top-Target (old) (similar-Target)

Scarf-Target (old) (similar-Amazon)

Jeans-Old Navy

Booties-Walmart

Top-Lularoe(pink option-Amazon) (yellow polka dot option-Amazon

Skirt-Lularoe (pink option-Amazon) (yellow stripe option-Amazon)

Leggings-Lularoe (similar-Target)

Boots-Belk

Necklace-Etsy (similar-Etsy)

Poncho-Amazon

Jeans-Old Navy

Boots-Belk

Cuff-Trades of Hope

Dress-Lularoe(floral option-Amazon) (polka dot option-Amazon) (Bohemian option-Amazon) (striped option-Old Navy)

Jacket-TJ Maxx (old) (similar-Target)

Leggings-Lularoe(similar-Target)

Shoes-Famous Footwear

Cuff-Trades of Hope

Necklace-Etsy (similar-Etsy)

Let me know in the comments what outfit you like best! I would love to hear from you.  If you create your own version of one of these, snap a pic and share it with me too! 

Anchored,

Organization: My Closet Purge

Last Friday we closed on our new house.  YAY!!! As I have mentioned before, we aren’t moving in right away for various reasons. One of those reasons is that we want to do a few renovations before we actually move.  One renovation involves my closet.  I think I have made it clear by now that my closet has always been my favorite area of the house.  I really do go there to hide when I am upset, angry, or just need time to think and pray. It’s my sanctuary. I know I am strange! The new house already has his and her walk-in closets, but they are pretty small.  My husband, surprisingly, plans to use both of them for himself. He doesn’t have a lot of clothes since he wears a uniform every day, so that should tell you that they aren’t that big.  Anyway, this all clearly means that there isn’t currently enough closet space for me. There just so happens to be a little “sitting room” tucked back in a corner right off of the two walk-ins that we will never use.  That room is going to be converted into my closet. If you haven’t guessed by now, I am super excited about it.  

A few weeks ago, we went to a home show at an expo center nearby.  While we were there, we stopped at the Closet America display and talked to the people there.  They were offering a deal of 25% off and free installation.  Then, if we booked the consultation that day, we got an additional 5% off.  Of course we jumped on that and booked the consult for the day after closing.  We planned for them to do the closet and the small mudroom area downstairs.   They told us to expect the consult to be at least 90 minutes.  You guys, the consult took 4 hours! I am not at all complaining because I loved every part of it, and I highly recommend Closet America.  The designer was so awesome to work with, and she really got my vision for the space. She also said she probably had as many clothes as I did which made me feel a little better. I’m not alone in my addiction!

The consult started with our designer taking very detailed measurements of every wall, every angle, and more.  When she was done we sat down with her to go over all of the finish and knob options and to kind of talk about what I was looking for.  I had brought her pictures of my current closet so that she could get an idea of the amount of storage that I needed.  Then, she went to work designing and asking me questions along the way.  When she finally turned her computer around to show me what she had come up with, I was floored! It was so cool.  She could even show it to us in 3D.  From there we walked through each wall and made changes and adjustments as we saw fit. We went back and forth on whether or not to leave space for one of my antique vanity tables against one wall. We ultimately decided to have it incorporated into the design so we had to make some more adjustments to compensate for the racks and shelves that it was taking away on that one wall. We continued to tweak it several more times until we came up with the final design. I am so freaking excited about it! I will say that we did pick the least expensive finish and drawer pulls and knobs to keep the cost at a minimum, but it is still going to be amazing and better than any closet I have ever had.   It includes shelving, drawers, hanging racks for different lengths of clothes, a shoe rack highlighted between two windows, and a small island in the center of the closet. I cannot wait to see it all come to life! 

Having this cool design motivated me even more to purge and get rid of stuff.  I have been putting off purging my own clothes, but this gave me the kick in the behind that I needed. I began the long process this past weekend.  I will say that it is VERY HARD for me to get rid of my clothes, shoes, and accessories. You all have seen my current closet (if you haven’t, you can check it out here), and you know that I have a TON of clothes. That is my weakness.  Some (my husband) may even say that it is my biggest flaw. I can’t help it. I love clothes.  I do! I know that it is over the top and excessive, and I really am working on it. Isn’t admitting that you have an addiction the first step to recovery??? I was originally planning to use the Marie Kondo method of pulling everything out and putting it into a pile to go through like I did with my daughters’ closets, but I just don’t have the time for that. Instead I pulled out sections at a time and went through them.  I am proud to say that I filled up not one, not two, but three large black trash bags full of clothes to donate. That was just from the hang-up clothes alone. I did not even get to go through pants, shorts, t-shirts, scarves, purses, or anything else yet.  Now, if you were to walk into my closet right now, you would think that there is no way that I purged anything because I still have so much, but I really did.  I will admit that it was hard.  There may or may not have been multiple pieces that were thrown on the floor to donate and then hung back up multiple times, but I am really proud of myself for the amount I ended up letting go. It really is a big deal to me. My plan is to finish the rest of it this week, but I am not sure that will actually happen with all that we have going on.  Once I have been through everything and removed the items that I am getting rid of, I plan to go through it all again one more quick time to see if I can let go of a few more things.  I really don’t want to be ruled by my possessions.  I really want to let stuff go, but as I’ve said, it is difficult.  I clearly have an addiction that I need to work harder at overcoming.  Baby steps! I am getting there slowly but surely. 

I cannot wait to show you all the new closet once it gets done and we move in. It really is going to be amazing! Until then, I will keep purging!

Anchored and Organized,

Organization Hack: Purging Clothing

I mentioned to you on Monday that I was able to get a jumpstart on my cleaning and purging over this past weekend since we were snowed in.  If you remember from last week, I am doing this in order to simplify our lives, to not be ruled by our possessions, and to prepare for our move to our new house in a couple of months. I decided to start with my daughters’ clothes. Following Marie Kondo’s method, I had them both take every single item of clothing out of their closet.  Instead of doing every article of clothing they owned at once like she recommends, I started with just the clothes in the closet.  My youngest was first up.  I can tell you that she wasn’t very happy about the project to begin with since she would have rather been outside playing in the snow, but I must admit that once we got going, she warmed up to the idea.  She’s my fashionista so talking about clothes is fun for her. I did not have her take everything off the hanger.  I just had her make stacks of the clothes with the hangers still on them. I figured that would make it easier to hang the ones we were keeping right back up.  She has a lot of clothes that were handed down by her sister, and the two of them couldn’t be more opposite when it comes to clothes and style. My oldest is very athletic and really has no interest in style and clothes and prefers to wear more athletic clothes or jeans and a t-shirt.  This becomes problematic when I attempt to save money and pass clothes down.  I would say that my youngest refuses to wear at least 80% of what her sister wears.  The point is that there are tons of clothes in her closet that she will not wear, and they are just taking up space.

Once all of her clothes were out of the closet in a heaping mound, I had her sit on the floor with me as I held up each piece.  I asked her if she would wear it or not.  I pretty much knew what her answer was going to be each time, but I wanted her to be a part of the process.  She would turn up her nose to most things and tell me no.  Those clothes immediately were taken from the hanger and put aside in a separate pile. I did not want to linger on any of it.  I wanted it to be a gut reaction.  If she was wishy-washy on something, I set it in a separate pile to come back to at the end. The items that were a resounding yes, were kept on the hanger and placed into a third pile.  To recap, we had a NO pile, a MAYBE pile, and a YES pile. Once we had been through the entire mound of clothes from the closet, we went back to the MAYBE pile and revisited those pieces.  The majority of those pieces ended up in the NO pile. From the original pile, I would guess that about 70% of it ended up in the NO pile.  I know some of you would freak out about that thinking there wasn’t much left for her to wear, but I know that the clothes that were put in the NO pile are clothes that she would have refused to wear anyway. My thought was that there was no point in holding on to them.  I will also add that we took into account whether or not certain pieces still fit her or were too small and went through a bag of clothes that were sitting in the bottom of her closet that were her size from her sister that had never been gone through. Now that we were done sorting, I sent her out to play and began the process of folding the clothes in the NO pile and putting them in bags to donate.  I then took all of the clothes in the YES pile and hung them back in her closet.  

When hanging clothes in the closet, there are a few rules of thumb that I follow.  I know most people don’t care, but it matters to me.  It makes my kids nuts and I am constantly “fixing” their closets to match my rules.  It’s pretty much a waste of my time, though, since they just mess it up within a week. To me, this makes it so much easier to locate whatever it is that you want to wear. 

  1. All clothes should face the same direction on the hanger.  For example the front of all tops should face the same direction.
  2. Separate clothes by season.
  3. Separate clothes into categories within each season. For example, dresses (also separate long/short dresses), sleeveless tops, t-shirts, shirts with collars, dressier tops, etc. should all be grouped together.
  4. Within each category, group like colors. If you are like me, you would then put them in rainbow order, but I know that is just me being obsessive. I gave up doing this with my kids.  It is just a waste of time because they don’t follow my system.

Once I finished putting away everything from the closet, I called my daughter back into her room and had her pull everything out of her dresser drawers.  We used the same process as before in sorting the things to keep and the things to give away.  Marie Kondo’s method of folding clothes is similar to what I have been using for years without knowing of her at all.  I fold shirts slightly different than she does, but both ways have the same idea for storing clothing in drawers. You can view the video below to see how she folds. Basically, you fold all of the clothes (from socks to shirts to pants) so that they stand up in a rectangular shape. This way you can store them in the drawers vertically which takes up less space and allows you to see each piece of clothing easily. 

I repeated this whole process with my older daughter who was not into it at all and had to be redirected many times.  Clothing just isn’t her thing. We also went through their shoes and got rid of the ones that were too small for my youngest and set them aside for donation. Then we gathered the ones that were too small for my oldest into a box to save for the youngest down the road. Along the same lines, I store all of the clothes that are too small for my oldest and too big for my youngest in vacuum sealed bags in one corner of her closet labeled by size. I can just pull them out whenever she is ready for the next size. I did get smart this time and went through them with my daughter to see if they were things she wanted to keep or get rid of. That way I am not holding on to a bunch of clothes that she is never going to wear in the future.

After going through both girls’ wardrobes, we ended up with a sizable donation pile. Looking at it makes me happy knowing that we will be helping others who are in need and that we are also simplifying our lives. This process took much of the day to complete, but I believe it was well worth the effort.  That is a sizable load of things that don’t have to be moved into our new house! Now I am in full purge mode and ready to get rid of everything! Look out house, here I come!

Anchored and Organized,

Organization Hack: Closets

I know you have all see the movie Clueless with Alicia Silverstone. I love the scene where she is looking for something to wear and she just pushes a button on a remote and her clothes roll by.  Everything is all color coordinated and neat.  It’s amazing! I admit that I am obsessed with closets. I believe that I have mentioned before that I am a shop-a-holic.  I have a serious addiction to shopping.  My husband cringes whenever I mention that I want to go shopping.  I love to shop! It doesn’t matter if it is in a store or online. It doesn’t matter if it is for me or my kids or someone else (although it’s mostly for me) because I love to shop! I know people kid about needing a little retail therapy, but it actually is therapy for me. It really makes me feel better.  With my shop-a-holic tendencies come several problems. The first is obvious…money! I guess this is probably the biggest problem of them all and why my shopping is my husband’s worst nightmare.  In my defense, I do try to shop budget friendly, and I don’t go to super expensive stores.  Target is probably my favorite with Old Navy as a close second. Yes, I am aware that buying many things on sale or at a low price still adds up to the same as one expensive item.  I know! I know it’s not good, but I can’t stop! I have recently made a rule that when I buy something that goes in my closet, I have to get rid of something else in my closet. See, I’m trying!

The second problem comes with where in the world I am going to put all of this stuff that I have bought, especially all of the clothes, shoes, and accessories that I have. Enter my obsession with closets. We have been going to look at houses for sale on the weekends because we plan to buy a house in the next 9 or so months.  There are two deal breakers on a house for me. One is the location of the laundry room and the other one is the closet situation.  We have to have his and her closets.  It will not be pretty if we have to share a closet.  The very first house that we ever bought only had one closet in the master bedroom. It wasn’t even a walk-in. We somehow made it work, but it was not easy. When you opened the door, you had to be careful that nothing fell out on your head.  It was so hard to find what you were looking for because there was no organization to any of it. I couldn’t stand it. I had to pack up my clothes in totes for each season and change out the closet each time the weather changed which took me hours. My husband even had to keep part of his clothes in our daughter’s room. It was not fun.  Now I know that I sound like a spoiled brat who is a little demanding, and know that many of you are stuck in that same closet situation. I promise I am not a spoiled brat (ok, maybe a little). I just like clothes and closets a whole lot!  I would share a closet with my husband if I absolutely had to (thank goodness he doesn’t have many clothes), but if we have the option for something better, why not?

I spend a lot of time in my closet.  I really do. I sometimes go in there the think or to get away from the craziness of my life.  Some people lock themselves in the bathroom for a little break from their kids; I lock myself in my closet.  If no one can find me, it usually means that I am in my closet sitting on the floor doing something.  It is my happy place. I honestly got spoiled with the closet situation when we bought our second house.  It had a ginormous closet.  It was really like a little sitting room off of the master bath that had been converted into a closet.  You guys, it was AMAZING! It was big enough to hold all of my clothes for every season, all of my shoes, all of my accessories, my vanity with all of my hair stuff and makeup, and my crafting table and craft stuff.  I would spend an hour in there every morning getting ready.  It was that big! I practically lived in there.  It even had a window that I would open in the fall to enjoy the gorgeous weather.  I really hated to leave that closet. It was my dream closet.  The third house we bought had his and her closets.  They were walk-in closets but they weren’t huge. It was crammed and sometimes you couldn’t see the floor of mine because I had no where to put everything, but I was able to make it work. I didn’t like it, but I lived with it.  Now we are at a house that we are renting.  It has very nice sized his and her closets.  Mine is big by most people’s standards but not has big as my dream closet was.  It won’t hold my vanity (which is a little sad) like my dream closet, but it holds everything else easily.

Color Coded.jpeg

I will tell you that I spend hours upon hours setting up my closet every time we move, and I periodically spend hours in there rearranging it.  It’s like people that like to rearrange the furniture in their house every now and then.  I just do it with my closet.  It has to be just right.  I have to be able to see everything that I have, and I like for my stuff to be on display.  It’s almost like a shrine! LOL! The OCD part of me has to make it perfect.  What does the perfect closet look like in my eyes? The answer is super organized and easy to see and get to whatever I need.  First, I separate my clothes based on season. Then within each season, I separate my clothes by kind or category. Then within each category, the clothes are separated by color.  Yes, I know I am insane! Here is a chart to show you how I separate them into categories.

Summer/Spring Fall/Winter Dresses Pants
Long Cardigans Button Down Season Shorts
Plain T-Shirts Cardigans Skirts Leggings
Patterned T-Shirts Long Sleeve T-Shirts Sleeveless Capri/Cropped Pants
Stripped Shirts Stripped Shirts Strapless Shorts
Collared Shirts Turtle Necks Short Sleeves Pants
Dressier Tops Dressier Tops Long Sleeves Skinny Jeans
Stripes Cardigans Long Dresses  Bootcut Jeans
Sleeveless Jackets/Blazers Formal Colored Jeans

Shoes

Once I have all of the clothes arranged how I want them, I typically work on the shoes.  I have a lot of shoes just like I have a lot of clothes. Remember, shop-a-holic?? Again, I like to have my stuff on display so that I can see it all.  My shoes are no different.  I have expandable, stackable shoe racks (Home Depot) that I put all of my shoes on so that I can easily see them all.  My OCD comes in to play here too because I have my shoes separated out by style. All of the flats are together, the wedges are together, the heels are together, the flip-flops are together, and the boots are together.

I love boots, and I have a ton.  I even mentioned to my husband the other night that I needed a new pair of brown boots because my favorite ones got destroyed in the move and my other favorite pair is very scuffed up.  I think he almost had a heart attack! He told me that I needed another pair of boots like I needed a hole in my head! Haha! He’s so funny! I like to display them along the top rack of the closet.  Tip: To get your tall boots to stand up, cut up a pool noodle from the dollar store into pieces the same length as your boots, place them inside of your boots, and they will stand up.

Next, I have to deal with all of my pants, shorts, leggings, and jeans.  I have too many to fit into the drawers of my dresser so I got these wire shelving (Home Depot) units to add to the closet for all of them.  They are also separated out by season and style.  Having things organized like this makes it so much easier to find what you are looking for when you are trying to get dressed in the morning.  I do not keep my jeans on the wire racks, though, since I use them all of the time and they are a little heavier to go on the shelves. I don’t want everything to come crashing down. It has happened before in the middle of the night scaring us to death! I thought I would cry when I saw all of my hard work on a heap on the floor.  Back to the jeans, I keep them in square fabric boxes (Amazon) like you typically use for cube shelving.  They just sit on the floor under one of the racks of clothes for easy access.  I have those boxes divided into skinny jeans, colored jeans, and boot legged jeans.  I also have one of those boxes on the floor filled with all of my hats.

Sweaters

All of my sweaters, sweatshirts, and vests have a home on the top rack of my closet opposite of the boots.  I have them separated by wire dividers (Walmart) that are super easy to add to any wire closet shelving unit.  These dividers are the newest addition to my closet, and I love the look of them. They keep the stacks from toppling over.

Last, come all of my accessories.  My scarves are in two rectangular fabric boxes from Thirty-one but these from Walmart would work as well. I have actually been thinking that I need a better system for these so stay tuned in case I come up with something fabulous.  They are currently on the top shelf with all of my sweaters. My belts are located on the end of one of the shelving units on an over the door belt rack. I just hooked it to the end of the wire shelves that hold my pants, and it works great.  I have all of my long necklaces on a rack (similar) on the back of the closet door for easy access.

Purses

Finally, and probably my most favorite organization tip, is my purses.  Again, I like my things to be displayed so that I can easily see them. My purses are hung on a low rack using shower rings.  I love being able to see my favorite purses hanging there, and they are easily accessible whenever I want to change out my purses.  The rest of my purses/bags are located in two white totes underneath the ones that are hanging.

I know that most of you don’t have the luxury of a big walk-in closet all to yourself or the amount of clothes, shoes, and accessories that I have (I know it is obscene); but I am hoping that you can use some of my organization tips to make things easier to find. I know that searching for clothes and shoes in the mornings when you are in a hurry will make your morning hectic and will cause you unnecessary stress. Being organized will prevent you from leaving the house with two different shoes on (I have done that!), and it will make your mornings go much smoother. I’ll try to give you all an update whenever we move and I get my new closet.  Until then, happy organizing!

Anchored and Organized,

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