Guest Post by Laura Kinsella, founder of Urban OrgaNYze

It’s officially back to school season, which means fall is full steam ahead!  Whether you are coming back from your vacation home, or have enjoyed the summer in the city, it’s time to grab a pumpkin spiced latte, and read on for our 5 essential steps to getting your closet in tip top shape for the cooler weather.

1- Clear everything out — This may be the most vulnerable step, but it’s the most important.  In order to start anew, we must empty out everything.  This allows us to see and feel the contents of our wardrobe up close (ie: our go-to clothing, our not so favorite jeans, the missing sock from the laundry, and the clutch we borrowed from a friend 6 months ago.)  Starting with a clean slate clears the air, and gives us permission for a fresh start.  Who doesn’t love that?!

2- Edit Edit Edit  — As we evolve, our needs naturally change over time, so it’s important our closet reflects that.  Pairing down to what’s used, loved, or needed helps us define who we are, and how we want to show up in life.  We want to edit not only season specific items, but any items that have stains, need repairs, need to be given back to a friend, or need to be lovingly donated or consigned.  Doing this before the new season allows us to weed out items that have been under-loved or need some TLC, so that we aren’t storing anything that isn’t turn-key ready for the following year.  

Pro Tip: If you’re stumped on what to do with the stuff after a clear out, head on over to Urban OrgaNYze, where you can download our free Donation Transformation Guide for where and how to donate your unwanted items in New York City.

3- Systematize — This is all about catering to who you are, so your closet serves you, and not the other way around.  It’s important to consider your lifestyle and hobbies: do you need professional workwear in weekly rotation, or do you need leisurewear at your fingertips for daily yoga?  Or perhaps you’re my hero, and it’s a mix of both!  We want to take advantage of every empty rod, shelf, wall, drawer & door, assigning purposeful homes to every single item we own.  By dividing and arranging like-items together, we create categories where everything has a place that’s meaningful, easy to access, and easy to put away.  

4- Contain — Often times storage solutions (especially here in New York City) are limited, or may not be obvious, and here’s where you’ll have to get a little creative with products.  For example, when your closet lacks drawer space, you can mimic that same idea by adding streamlined baskets to a shelf for loose items like belts and hats.  If you are low on hanging space, try swapping to velvet slim-line hangers which are space saving, and also prevent delicate items from slipping to the floor. 

5- Label & Style — Labeling & color-coding isn’t just for the Instagram worthy.  They are practices that help us maintain functionality, appeal, and overall organization over time.  Labels keep us accountable, and are even more important when multiple people share a closet (or put away laundry), as they reinforce the systems put in place.  

For all off-season items you simply don’t have room for (or items that don’t get used as often), Garde Robe is our go-to garment storage service.  They provide museum-quality storage for items that need to be impeccably cared for, and provide an on-demand valet service so you have access to your items wherever you may need them: Overseas vacation? Last minute trip to the Hamptons?  Garde Robe has you covered.  Their one-of-a-kind Cyber Virtual Closet where you can view and “shop” your closet online, is what Alicia Silverstone’s Clueless dreams are made of.

Laura is the founder of Urban OrgaNYze, a professional organizing company based in New York City.  She has been seen on A&E, Apartment Therapy, New York Family, Long Island Pulse, & more.  

For more organizing tips and inspiration, please visit: www.urbanorganyze.com, and follow Laura on Instagram @urbanorganyze

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