by | October 2014 | è BELLA MAGAZINE | 0 comments

A year ago, I hosted an “Everything French” party, complete with 3 cases of pink champagne and a 3-foot tall, lighted “Eifel Tower” cake. (You got it, I love France and I love pink.) Anyway, back to why I’m telling you this…. the morning after the party, I had a tennis game scheduled, so naturally I walked into my closet; reached to my right to grab a tennis skirt and top and found myself holding a cocktail dress and sweater instead. It was then I realized something was amiss, which is a nice way of saying my closet had been completely rearranged.

I laughed so hard tears were rolling down my face. I immediately knew who the instigator was and called to say, “You got me good.”

As you can imagine, my closets are perfectly organized (they better be). Yes, I know exactly where everything goes, and yes, there’s space in between each of my matching hangers so my clothes can breathe (of course).

So how do I do it and how can you do it as well? Following are my top five tips to help you organize your closet once and for all:

Stop shopping! First and foremost, give your wallet a break, opting instead to “shop” in your own closet. While you’re at it, be prepared to eliminate anything that’s NAP (not age appropriate) or outdated. (Hint: Unless it’s original Dior, Chanel, Schiaparelli, Valentino or Pucci or a really fine piece of antique jewelry, don’t fool yourself, it’s not “vintage,” it’s “old.”)

Follow my “Too” rule. If something is too big, too small, too short, too long, too tight, too loose, too tattered, too stained, too faded, too dated or too trendy, it’s time to say “adieu.” The way I see it, if you’re not getting rid of stuff, all you’re doing is rearranging the clutter.

Think like a French Woman. Less really is more. What is it about a French woman that makes us want to emulate her every move? There’s nothing more elegant than a well-tailored black skirt topped with a crisp white blouse and a string of pearls. You would never see a French woman combing the “final clearance” racks in search of a great deal, but you would see her saving up to buy a timeless statement piece, such as a Hermes handbag.

Buy one/purge two: To keep your closets completely organized, you really do have to get rid of stuff. Trust me, it’s not easy, but when I buy something, I force myself to get rid of two ‘like’ items. Think of it this way, if you buy a new sofa, do you save the old one? The best part of this “rule” is that it forces you to keep your wardrobe “fresh” and current by getting rid of items, which are “too.”

Buy matching hangers!” Besides looking nice, which should be incentive enough for keeping things neat and orderly, having everything hung on matching (velvet/huggable) hangers is guaranteed to help you stay organized. The secret is to buy just enough hangers for everything in your closet after you de-clutter (one item per hanger/no double hanging). When you run out, you’ll know it’s time to cull your wardrobe.

My personal mantra, “donate, consign, sell or give away” helps make the process of sorting through and getting rid of things easier. There’s always someone less fortunate who can use those items you no longer use, like or want to keep. (Note: If an item isn’t in great condition, don’t throw it out; instead, let the thrift store personnel make the final decision.)