Sort It Out
After I’ve cleaned out my closet, what’s the best way to reorganize the pieces I want to keep? Should I hang everything by color, outfit or style?
—Marguerite, Marco Island
First, separate your clothing into seasons; in Southwest Florida, that may be less clear-cut than in northern climes, but you still want the current season’s clothing accessible when you open the closet door.
Now categorize everything—pants, skirts, dresses, shirts, suits, tops, etc.—and place them in the closet by type. By separating garments rather than hanging them as a complete outfit, you can create more options and different looks. (That textured Chanel-style jacket, when separated from its skirt, could be stunning with jeans.) Then sort everything into color within each garment category.
Depending on your personal level of attention to detail (non-existent; good intentions but no follow-through; borderline obsessive) you can categorize things still further, like tops into sleeveless, short sleeves and long sleeves. You can attach tags stating how you wore the outfit, with which accessories and to what occasion. Whatever you decide, it needs to be manageable for you. If you can see clearly what you’ve got, you’ll wear it all.
Submit your questions for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org.