I love a good closet edit—the organizational neat freak in me tends to update and refresh my closet on a quarterly basis. Which, trust me, I realize is not normal. That said, I’ve figured out a way to do it in as little time as possible. Let’s call it my busy-mom-approved version of the closet edit. And with seasons changing, there’s no better time than now to spring clean your wardrobe.
Take it from me: I’ve got a four-year-old and a seven-month-old at home and my closet makes me smile every single time I walk into it. Not because it’s huge (it’s not at all), but because it’s organized, not overwhelming, and every single thing has a place. And it didn’t take me a ton of time. I did the heavy lifting one weekend while both my kids napped (which honestly, is a small victory on its own) and the upkeep feels like some form of daily self-care that I love.
Follow my five-step process for a more organized closet, and in my opinion, a more enjoyable morning getting dressed each day. But first, remember this: Everything (yes I do mean everything) you wear should make you feel great. It’s really that simple. Marie Kondo is on to something—if something doesn’t make you feel joy, let it go. This does not include comfiest sweatpants, jammies, or lived-in, softest college tee ever. Let’s not get crazy. Read on to see my busy mom-approved tips for spring cleaning your wardrobe this season.
Step 1: Start at one end
Avoid the jumping all over tactic and instead, start on one side and make your way to the other. Life happens—you may not be able to knock it out in one time block, but do what you can between naps, work, life, and whatever else comes your way. Don’t beat yourself up, just commit to actually finishing. Be sure to take the step to actually pull things out and try things on.
Step 2: Ask the hard questions
- Does this really fit me? Not future me, for sure not past me, but me right now in this moment? If the answer, is no, let it go. There are few things that start your day in a more annoying trajectory than pulling up a pair of pants that no longer fits and is uncomfortable. Why do we do this to ourselves?! I get it, baby weight is a thing, so I stored away my pre-baby clothes until I was ready to get back in to them. This way, my closet stayed organized for the body type and weight I was. When I was ready, I pulled them back out, and put away the post-baby clothes.
- What’s the wear and tear situation? Are there holes, armpit and makeup stains, or worn elbows that are looking a little worse for wear? If a little bit of bleach can’t fix it, stop holding on to it. It’s just taking up precious physical (and mental) space.
- Have you worn this piece in the last six months (weather permitting)? If no, it’s time to really think about letting it go. And while I do agree that sometimes things get buried, be sure that it’s something that actually makes you feel good wearing.
Step 3: Categorize
Loosely organize your closet by item category: sweaters together, dresses together, pants and skirts together. Create zones in your closet—even if it’s a tiny one—and stick to them. Think of the way some of your favorite stores are organized. There’s a reason items are merchandised the way that they are, and it’s easy enough to mirror it in your own closet too.
For all of you overachievers out there, take it one step further and color code your category zones. Not only does this allow you to see different outfit combinations easier, it makes your closet look prettier, too.
Step 4: Make space for things
I live by the “everything has a place” rule, and this approach can help to make shopping your closet way more enjoyable. If I learned anything from Marie Kondo, it was to create space for things. Head to your favorite organizational store and find solutions that create space. For me, I used shoeboxes and small plastic bins to create zones for belts, clutches, neckerchiefs, and other random closet knick-knacks.
Step 5: Make it pretty
You’ve done all the things, now you’re in the homestretch! Treat yourself to fancy hangers, lucite organizers, or a fancy shoe rack. Maybe install a jewelry organizer. Whatever makes you happy and makes your closet feel even just a bit more enjoyable, do it. You’d be surprised how much of a makeover you can give your closet with minimal effort.
And my final recommendation for streamlining getting dressed in the morning? Take five minutes to plan your outfit before you go to bed. Taking this step can make all the difference in the morning. You already know what you’re wearing, so you can take those extra minutes in the shower. It’s worth it.
And because of my edited closet, and a few simple rules that I follow every day, the madness of the morning is made just a little bit easier before we all start our days. It might not be 100 percent perfect, but you’ll feel 100 percent better about getting dressed in the mornings. I promise.