Closet Clean Out Step 4: Organize Those Accessories!

Once you have taken the time to get your clothing organized by using my 3 step closet clean out process, you might now be ready to take on those unruly accessories. If the goal of a cleaned out and organized closet is ease of dressing, then we cannot claim success until grabbing the perfect necklace, scarf or shoe is also just as easy as grabbing the top and bottom. The process for organizing your accessories is very similar to the one I taught you for your clothing. Here are the steps:

  1. Organize by color: When you put your outfits together, you are building a “color story.” In most instances, you choose a neutral bottom color and then pop it with a top and layer. Your accessories are just an added layer in that palate. Thus, to make grabbing the correct accessory easy, your most important organization strategy is to separate them by color.

Take necklaces, as an example. For many of us, our accessories are in basket or drawer that we have to dig through to find what we need. I suggest, instead, finding a way to hang necklaces in your closet on some type of multi-pegged hanger. You can buy a wooden peg coat rack, as an example, if you don’t have a ton of jewelry to organize. If you have more, look for a peg board or closet addition that has multiple pegs. Then, take all of your necklaces out and begin laying them out on the bed. Put all the like colors together using the colors of the rainbow as a guide (ROYGBIV: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet).

2. Organize by length/shape: Once you have an accessory category separated by color, the next step is to put them in order from shortest to longest or smallest to biggest.

In our necklace example from above, depending upon the length of your pegs, you may be able to fit 2-4 necklaces on a single peg. Put the longest in the back and then work your way forward to the shortest. This will allow you to see what you have even when you have several necklaces hanging together.

3. Lastly, organize your accessories by type. You can choose casual and dressy, heels and flats, satchels and duffels, neck scarves and long scarves, etc.

Continuing with the necklace example, put your casual necklaces together and your dressier necklaces together, all the while keeping them in their color and length order. You might have a peg with blue dressy necklaces organized from shortest to longest and a peg with blue casual necklaces together organized by shortest to longest. A helpful benefit of doing this is you will instantly be able to see what can be easily layered and worn together.

For earrings, you can easily organize by both color and type. I have a jewelry chest that has a drawer with boxes. I have organized all my earrings by color within these boxes. This same chest also has drawers with larger boxes. I use these for my bracelet, necklace and earring sets so they always stay together. I also have a top portion where I put all my gold and silver “every day” earrings.

An ingenious way to organize your scarves is with a scarf hanger. This is essentially a grid of metal circles all joined together and attached to a hanger. You can put your scarves on the circles using a slip knot, and when you are done, you can clearly see what scarves you have. I also recommend organizing scarves by color and length. If you have a lot of scarves, you might want to consider getting a separate scarf hanger for each type of scarf: short, long, and shawl.

I love to organize my shoes with an inexpensive cabinet I found at Target that has rows of boxes, each one big enough for one pair of shoes. I have my summer and winter shoes separated so I know exactly where I need to go to find the shoe I am looking for. I can also use the rows of boxes to organize by color, starting on the far left with red and moving right and down through the colors of the rainbow.

Purses can also be organized by color and size. They work well standing up, so if you have any shelves in your closet that are good for folded things, these will also work well for your handbags. Follow the same principles: first organize by color and second organize by size so you have your smallest purses on one side and your largest purses on the other.

Once you have everything organized, stand back and take stock. Are there any accessories that just stick out like a sore thumb? Maybe 95% of your necklaces are neutrals but there is one in neon, as an example. Ask yourself if you have anything to match that necklace. Chances are, you may have bought it for a specific outfit that you might not still have. Do the same with your scarves, shoes and purses. The ideal closet is organized not only around color but around colors that look good on you! If you have things in there that are not serving you, get rid of them! When you do this, getting dressed in the morning is a breeze because everything you have matches everything else you have.

My last tip for the perfectly organized closet is to create a space where you can hang your outfit for the next day each night before you go to bed. A logical place in on the back of your closet door because it will allow you to have enough space to see both your top and bottom. Don’t just pick out a top, bottom and layering piece; pick out an outfit that will make you feel great, including the perfectly matched accessories!

If you’d like to see me explain this process in person, watch me live tonight at 6 p.m. in our VIP Facebook Group.

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