Here is a look at what I started out with....
From the pictures above you can see what a mess I had on my hands. Clothes hung up with no rhyme or reason, just thrown in the racks. Shoes and handbags everywhere on the floor and on random racks. Hats, scarves, a mysterious cardboard box, that I finally realized had Christmas decorations in it. I was wasting so much space and could not even see half the clothes that I had, much less the ones that I definitely needed to part with. I dug in with my first task being to get rid of every hanger that came from a dry cleaner!! I could not believe the amount of hangers I had in my closet. The space that opened up from just removing those was amazing. I then started throwing things out of my closet. Things that I hadn't worn in years, things that I looked at and said, "what the hell was I thinking?!", things that didn't fit anymore (sad face!) and things that would just never fit again (double sad face!). I went at it trying to be realistic as possible. All of the free "gift with purchases" that you think are going to come in handy one day, they gotta go. Here is a few picture of what I got rid of...
The cardboard box with those Christmas decoration, gone and filled with hangers, the pile of clothes, going to Goodwill along with those red Stuart Weitzman suede heels, that I truly loved, but bought a half size too big and when they stretched out, I just couldn't walk in them anymore. I hope they find a very happy home, they were like brand new!
When I dug into organizing my closet, I went with the way I have learned to merchandise. I started with my underpinnings, I started with the sleeveless tops and tanks, started with white, moved to colors and then to black. I then went into the short sleeved underpinnings and moved on form there. This is an easy way to work with the items in your closet because when you need something to go under a jacket or cardigan, you have all of your sleeveless underpinnings in one place. You need a t-shirt, they come next and so forth. I kept to mostly solids and then added novelty tops toward the end.
I have a ton of black jackets! Black jackets and other blazers and cardigans. I knew I wanted them in an order where I could see them all, but I didn't use them on a daily basis so I chose to put them on a lower rack. I kept my underpinnings and tee's up top and hung these below.
I also put some other printed jackets and cardigans on that rack, along with hanging my shorts and skirts all together at the end of the rack as well. I like having things in groups so that I know where everything is when I want to reach for it!
These are the two racks I worked on first and I feel like when they were completed, I could see everything which would lead to coming up with outfits a breeze. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a complete dress girl. I love dresses! Long dresses, short dresses, medium length dresses, I have room for you all in my closet! When I started to organize them, I thought back again to the way I organized my tops and went with short to long and started with sleeve length. I started out with my sleeveless dresses and went on from there. This way, I could feel out what my mood was and go from there. If I am feeling beachy and casual I go for a long cotton maxi dress, if I want to turn it on with a pair of heels and a mini, I go for my DVF vintage print minis, they're all together in the same place.
The last thing I did was organize my shoes and handbags on my shelves. I also organized my boots on the floor. Really it was just straightening them from the pile that they were in. I also used little bins to organize my Hanky Panky's, tights and socks, sleep tanks and shorts and other items of lingerie. This makes it easy after laundry and I even put my tights in zip lock bags, a trick I learned from Brooke's modeling box. I labeled them so I wouldn't have to dig through four pairs of black tights to find the ones that I was looking for.
One other thing I think is important is to keep sweaters folded. Hanging sweaters can get those annoying hanger marks on the shoulders and they can also get stretched and misshapen. I fold all of my good sweaters and pop them on the shelves. It will make them last longer and they are easy to see. I also folded my leggings and they are easy to see by color so when I want to wear them I just pull them out and they don't take up as much room.
Finally as a personal touch, I found this little sign years ago when I was visiting my brother in college at Auburn in Alabama. I popped into a cute little boutique and I saw this hanging there. It has followed me to many of the places I have lived throughout the years. It basically sums it all up!!