Resolutions, the New Year, organization, etc.

I should start off by saying that some part of me hates New Year's resolutions. It's an arbitrary date to begin with, but then everyone immediately breaks their resolutions two weeks later. It's almost a curse to label something a "New Years Resolution" because it nearly guarantees that you won't follow through. Perhaps because the tradition is somehow so culturally ingrained, though, I still kind of half make them in my head.

If you're interested in resolutions, and are still casting around for one that's not so important you'll curse yourself by making it, I have a possible suggestion: organize your clothes closet.

I know it sounds crazy and obsessive-compulsive to order your closet by type and color. The first time I saw someone do that to their closet, I was suspicious of their mental health. But I moved a few months later, and when I unpacked, I tried it just for fun--and without quite meaning to, I've never gone back.

Mine is organized into the following categories: Tank tops, short sleeves, 3/4 & long sleeves, skirts, work pants, dresses, and jackets/sweaters. Each category is then arranged in a rainbow. I also have a section for empty hangers (even though I don't strictly maintain it), because it makes things easier when I go to do laundry.

The benefits are more numerous than I would have anticipated:
  • Since I know exactly where everything should be, I never spend 20 minutes searching for an item of clothing only to discover that it's in the laundry bin and I can't wear it anyway. This alone far outweighs the time it takes to maintain the organization.
  • It makes matching outfits so much easier. I think, "this would look good with a brown shirt," and I can immediately go to my brown shirts and decide what works.
  • I am more creative with my outfit pairings. I don't spend all my time trying to find anything that matches; I can look for unusual things that work together instead.
  • You don't have to paw through whatever's not going to work (a tank when it's 30 degrees outside) in order to find what does, so you save time there, too.
  • It's pretty easy to tell at a glance what load of laundry you need to do without actually sorting out your entire laundry bin.
  • It makes shopping easier, because you can remember what you already have a ton of. I know, as a result of doing this, that I have nine black tank tops. So even though I gravitate toward them when I shop, I can tell myself I already have too many, and go looking for something I don't have instead, like red ones or long-sleeved shirts.
  • The aesthetic value is pretty high. It's easy to feel good about how clean your house is when even your closet looks beautiful.
The cons:
  • Getting it organized initially will take a decent time investment.
  • People might question your mental health.
  • It does take a small amount of time to maintain. I'd estimate that takes me maybe two minutes to hang stuff in the proper place after I've done a load of laundry, but compared to the annoyance of putting them on hangers in the first place, it's barely noticeable. Most of the same load often goes next to each other anyway. If I'm really pressed for time, sometimes I'll make a "to be sorted" section and do it the next day or with the next load of laundry.
  • You might be tempted to do it in other places in your house as well. This has spilled over into my shoes and my drawers (although it's harder to maintain in those areas, so I don't try as hard), and I am sorely tempted to do it to Colin's closet, too. (I haven't because he insists that he prefers it in shambles.)
Now, if only I could figure out a way to motivate myself to do the hand-wash laundry, my clothes situation would be about perfect . . .


  1. I've been doing just straight up rainbow organizing for a while now, but I don't have it done in types yet. I'm thinking I really should get on that though, because then I won't have random awkward length dresses peaking out from under a bunch of normal lenght t-shirts. If anything should be organized, it's a closet.

    People who question your mental health just don't get it. It's purely good sense - aesthetically as well. The rest of my room may be messy, but I always know where to find any particular outfit I have in mind. =D

    Happy New Year!

  2. Yay! Glad it's not just me. Happy New Year to you, too!

  3. 1. Was that "someone" of suspicious mental health me or is it just a twin thing? Because my clothes are totally sorted like this too.

    2. Have I confessed to you that my CDs are sorted autobiographically and my movies are arranged by color?

    3. You probably SHOULD be suspicious of my mental health.... =/

  4. It was NOT you. I don't remember ever looking in your closet. I knew about the CDs, not about the movies.


  5. I wish I had enough clothing/closet space to arrange clothing in such a concise manner. It's definitely something I would do. Alas.


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