How to Maintain & Manage Your Closet for Every Day

I created this week's post because I don't verbalize enough how important it is to manage your closet on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

A few simple tasks can make a big difference in the look and vibe of your closet. 

You have a limited amount of time you can spend in your wardrobe, and if everything isn't laid out for you to think creatively, you can't conceptualize an outfit.

Suddenly you're reaching for an outfit that "works" rather than one that makes you feel and look amazing. 

Because of this, regular wardrobe maintenance is an essential. It allows you to bring structure and systems to your closet space, and with these systems, comes order. With order, you envision your outfits more easily, feel more satisfaction when putting outfits together and get clearer on what your style is and where your style's going.

Here are 5 simple tips to turn your closet from a landfill into a secret garden.

5. Return any unwanted gifts. 

I know this seems simple, but I can't tell you the number of times I've been in someone's closet and the conversation goes something like this:

"This doesn't look like the style you're going for. Can we donate it?"
"Oh yeah, that was a gift from my [insert: aunt, ex-boyfriend, friend,mom] and I've never worn it."

Instead of letting unwanted pieces sit in your closet, return them. It may feel like a gift takes up only a little bit of space, but that space can instead be used for something you love or even left as open space! 

The giver had the joy of giving the gift to you. Now it's time to give yourself some joy and exchange it for something you really love. If you're not sure where it's from, stick it in the donate pile for someone else to enjoy. Which brings me to my next point...

4. Have a running give away bag in your closet.
 

I get a lot of questions and assumptions that I must have a ton of clothes in my own closet.

I don't.

I practice what I preach, which means regularly investigating who I am and how I want my clothes to show that. Do I want to feel flirty, edgy, classic, etc...? Maybe all of these things, maybe not.

This thought process inevitably leads me to weed out some pieces in my wardrobe are no longer aligned with who I want to be style-wise.

While something may be beautiful, cute or a piece you once loved, if it doesn't represent you now...put it in the go pile. Perhaps you went through a divorce, gave birth, moved, or had a career advancement...all these life changes contribute to style changes.

When you're actively thinking about the messages behind your clothes, individual pieces in your wardrobe will start to stand out as "not you". When this happens, go with your gut. Add them to your bag, and when its full, donate.

3. Prioritize Spots

I was in a client's closet yesterday and the first thing I noticed was the gym clothes had the prime real estate, right up front and center. The light-weight spring/summer tops were shoved in the back left corner.

While fitness is an essential part of life, you won't ever forget to use your workout clothes.

You will however forget about a summer top in a dark and dusty corner. In your closet, out of sight, out of mind holds true. 

Put the lifestyle essentials like tanks, work out gear and sweatshirts aside. Bring the pieces that can spark your creativity to the most visible spots in your closet. This way you can't forget about them, and you'll be encouraged to use more of your wardrobe. 

2.Invest in an iron and a steamer

There's nothing sadder than pulling out something you're eager to wear only to find out you can't. It's horribly wrinkled, and you don't have time to fix it right now. This will thwart your whole style plan and throw off your day. 

When anything that needs to be ironed or steamed comes out of the dryer, hang it up in a certain section or put it in a particular pile, rather than putting it in it's usual place. Add the task to your to-do list too, so you can easily remember to de-wrinkle each piece on Sunday night. 

Also, it's important you have both an iron and a steamer. Some fabrics are more responsive to one over another, so both will keep your bases covered. 

1. keep a spot for hangers-on-the-loose

So often I walk into a client's closet and each section of clothes has unused hangers stuffed in between each hanging clothing item. The hangers get caught on neighboring clothes, the clothes get caught on neighboring hangers and suddenly each piece is going in its own direction. 

This makes it hard to sift through, hard to see and if you enjoy a beautiful closet, this one is not pretty either. 

When you remove an article of clothing from a hanger, place the hanger in a particular section. This makes it easy to grab when you're hanging up clothes again and creates order in each section.

A look inside my closet and where I keep unused hangers...

Want more info on how to work with the wardrobe you've got to create outfits you'll love for your everyday? Book a Greer Style Chat with Raquel. 

How To Organize Your Closet

Organizing is a key part of developing your style and taking ownership of the space where all your clothes live: the closet. It's easy to let this space slip, because apart from you, possibly me, and maybe your partner, no one sees your closet. It is the fashion equivalent of a junk drawer, but unlike the junk drawer, you have to go into it every single day. 

Any space you have to enter every day is an important one to keep tidy.

In the closet, there are three things you need to do to make your clothes easy to utilize and sift through every morning. I have a clear way of organizing my closet and my client's closets, but for this article, I also wanted to contact a certified specialist who focuses solely on bringing order to you closet, home and office.

Suzanne Holsomback, a professional organizer in Austin, TX, gave me her thoughts on the importance of order, "There are a few reasons why an organized closet is essential. One is that clutter is stressful and anxiety inducing. If one of the first things you do in the morning is enter a stressful place or a place that causes frustration (Ah, I can't find my other boot), then you whole day will be influence by that initial stressor. " 

I could not agree more, which is why my first rule of closet order is:

#1 You must be able to see what you have to use what you have. 

As Suzanne said, one boot should live next to its soulmate (the other boot). Ideally, both shoes should be visible, but both shoes should definitely be easily accessible (i.e. live on the floor under your clothes, not in the hall closet). When you're putting together an outfit, and you're not sure what shoes to wear, you can look down and voila! the perfect shoes appears. 

This rule is important for two reasons. First, as the old says goes "out of sight, out of mind." If your jewelry is stashed under your bed or collecting dust in the bottom drawer of your vanity, you definitely aren't using it. Second, when every piece lives together, you can visualize and create a succinct, stylish outfit.

To make pieces more visible, add stick-on hangers to your closet wall or hang them from an available rack. This is where my accessories live in my closet...

When I walk into the closet, they are front, center and impossible to forget. 

When I walk into the closet, they are front, center and impossible to forget. 

I can easily grab a bag to match any outfit.

I can easily grab a bag to match any outfit.

Everything coexists making an outfit easy to create. 

Everything coexists making an outfit easy to create. 

#2 Organize By Item

If everything in your closet is mixed up, it's easy to pull out an unidentifiable black object only to learn it's not the black skirt you meant to reach for, but rather last year's Halloween costume. 

Here are your categories to organize by: pants, shirts, skirts, sweaters, jackets, blazer, heavy coats, dresses. 

Not only will you not get confused what your reaching for, but you will also be able to go to each section to pull exactly what you want to create your outfit. 

#3 Organize By Color

Often times, we dress by mood, "What do I feel like wearing today?" Although you have your favorite outfits, you may lean towards one over another on any given day. Different days, life events and professional occasions call for us to be multi-faceted, thus our clothing must represent that. 

If I'm heading to an important meeting, I automatically skip my yellow dresses and head straight to the navy and black ones. When I'm all giddy for fall (which I've been a lot lately), I head to my blush and nude tops to pair with tan booties. If I want to wear a powerful color I know looks best on me, I head to the coral dress section. 

Categorizing them by their color makes it easy to create your vision without getting distracted, frustrated or lost in a sea of clothes. Each color pops thus each color is easy to grab.

Want more style and less clutter in your life?

I would love to talk with you 1-on-1 to create a personalized plan of action to help you with your closet woes, style goals and wardrobe wants. 

The Phrase You Should Never Say About Your Clothes

My all-time favorite posts to write are the ones that are inspired by my clients, something I've mentioned before. So naturally, I was super pumped last week when I was in a client's closet and she uttered five words (that I'm about to tell you), which I hear all the time and tell me more about a closet than you can imagine. 

I hear this phrase when Im working in someone's closet, getting to know whats inside. A piece of clothing will jump out at me—something that doesnt belong. It could be a top or a pair of pants, or maybe a skirt, shoes, or an accessory. Whatever it is, I can see from the moment I look at it that it shouldn't be there. 

When I asked about why she owned it, hoping that we could bid it adieu, to send it off for someone who should actually own it, I almost always hear this excuse:

"I just bought it because..."

Those are five little words that tell three things you need to know:

1. YOU DON'T LOVE IT. 

You should always love everything in your wardrobe. Yes, I said it. I know it's a lofty goal, but if you don't reach for the stars, who will?! (I know, that was a little cheesy.)

2. YOUR STYLE SHOULD BE UNAPOLOGETIC.

"Just" is a word that lets me know that you aren't owning it, and with your style, you should be unapologetic. Style is one of the few arenas where pride can be a good thing. Style is expressive and all about you. When I hear you have something "just because," I know that it's not really speaking to who you are. There is something that is better out there. I know this for a fact.

3. PURPOSE AND PASSION ALWAYS HAVE TO COLLIDE.

I see this time and time again: a woman will think she needs a gray t-shirt (for example), so she goes to Target, finds the first gray t-shirt in the store, grabs it and goes. That t-shirt sits in her wardrobe collecting dust, because if you don't love a piece of clothing, it no longer becomes a necessity. Style is what you make of it. It's about guidelines, not rules. 

Yes, function is key in your wardrobe, but your wardrobe should make you feel consistently beautiful, powerful and satiated.

Your closet is a carefully curated collection of pieces you love and love to wear. If you own a piece only because you think you should or it goes with something specific in your closet (example: red t-shirt, red patterned skirt), put it in the Goodwill pile. Chances are I can style something with that red patterned skirt thats much more exciting than that red t-shirt.

Your personality should show in everything you wear, which is why everything you wear should be something special. Want to learn how to trim the unwanted pieces in your closet and build a wardrobe thats only clothes that project who you are and how you want to be seen? Lets chat.

I help you develop your personal style, so you know exactly what to wear, how to wear it, when to wear it. 

Systematize. Stylize. Strategize.

Your favorite outfit in your closet should feel like your favorite food: a no brainer. When I see crab cakes on a menu, that's it. I'm ordering them. If I don't, it just feels wrong, because no matter how they come out of the kitchen, I'm going to love them. 

This is how your favorite piece of clothing should feel. It is the physical manifestation of love and it's glorious. When you're wearing it, nothing can touch you. 

Everything else in your wardrobe is a bit different. Other things should be something you love, yes, but you need a few more rules to make sure it's serving you in the way you need it to each and every time you wear it. 

Outfits get stale. And the outfit you've worn 15,30,40 times, is stale. The life has been sucked out of it, and when you put it on, you probably feel this too in the form of exhaustion, anxiety or a lack of excitement. 

So it's time you threw all those feelings away and started anew by looking at each component of each outfit. By looking at each component separately, you can create new looks that feels fresh, exciting and fashion-forward. 

There are 3 things you need to do to breathe life back into your wardrobe. 

1. Systematize. 

Creating a system of how to build an outfit is incredibly helpful, because it removes the stress, but leaves the creativity.

For instance, I NEVER choose my jewelry before I choose my clothing. I NEVER choose shoes before I choose my clothing. I NEVER choose a jacket before I choose my basics. I build around 1 of 3 things: a dress, a skirt, jeans. 

In other words, create a ritual. This will give you guidance and a route when creating an outfit. And then you get to play...

2. Stylize. 

One Dress, Four Ways

Raquel Greer Gordian displays an outfit that pairs the long sleeve gray dress with a red blazer, black booties, statement jewelry, a black belt, and a black handbag.
Raquel Greer Gordian exhibits an outfit that pairs the long sleeve gray dress with an army green cardigan, studded booties, gold jewelry, and a green handbag. 
Raquel Greer Gordian styles the same dress with a fur vest, neutral booties, coral accents, and a gray handbag.
Raquel Greer Gordian styles the same gray dress with a striped turtleneck pullover, burgundy heels, black tassel earrings, and statement handbag. 

Disregard what you paired your skirt with last time. Forget about what you put with it before. Get creative with you choice this time. Pull a shirt or sweater you've never put with it. 

And don't be scared. Most of us think there's some giant book of rules we need to follow. There isn't. The two things that you need to consider in your style arsenal are: 1) your intuition 2) your creativity 

Use both these elements to get excited about getting dressed again. 

3. Strategize. 

Each outfit must have a purpose. This goes for both your personal and professional life. And I'm not just talking about it being appropriate for a certain situation. Whether you want to be powerful, playful, dynamic...your intention must be clear. 

Ask yourself the tough questions to make sure there is a strategy behind each outfit: 

Exactly why are you wearing what you are wearing?

What do you want it to say about you?

How does it say what you want it to say about you? 

 

Now I would love to hear from you! Was this guide helpful for reviving that stale outfit we all have? Let me know in the comments below and tell me about the outfits you brought back to life!

Surviving the Wild: A Common Flaw in Your Wardrobe and How to Fix it

Happy November! I can't believe the holidays are almost here, and it's finally cooling down in Austin [insert happy dance]. I absolutely love sweater weather because it's the perfect time to style some of my favorite layered combinations in my closet and my clients' closets. 

My clients are my greatest inspiration. When I see and hear their style struggles, it only makes sense to write about the answers. This week, I'm tackling a big mistake I often see. And this one is so important because it stops women from reaching their goal and my goal for them: the ability to wear 100% of their wardrobe. 

 This big mistake is...

not being able to see everything in your closet. 

 

Now yes, in states where there are four seasons, it's difficult to squeeze in all the cold weather gear alongside the sundresses and summer essentials. It's often necessary to have more than one closet. You need too many winter items and too many summer items to keep them all in one closet. 

In a more temperate climate like Austin, you can use the same type of items any time of the year. You should be able to see every single thing in one closet.

If this suddenly made you think about those tops shoved up in a corner somewhere or a box of miscellaneous items under the bed, here's three things you can do to bring your wardrobe front and center for you to see. 

1. Roaming the Plains

Bring everything out in the open. All of pieces that are stashed all over the house — in the top corner of your closet, behind the luggage, mixed in with the kids' laundry — bring them out. Take a good long look at them, so you can see what you have. 

Raquel Greer Gordian offers a look into her own wardrobe organization.
Raquel Greer Gordian displays a closet inspiration picture from Pinterest.

2. Stick to the Pack 

Arrange everything in the way that's most logical: with the things like it. Jackets with jackets, sweaters with sweaters, maxi dresses with maxi dresses. 

3. Survival of the Fittest

We are all guilty of holding on to things, but it's time to let go. Apply this rule to the basics, not everything of course! Pieces that are one-of-a-kind are lucky. They are the lone wolf. They can automatically stay. 

With items like black flats, white shirts, grey pants, tan cardigans, think this: There can only be one.

Style should not be a distraction, it's the physical manifestation of who you are. The more clear and direct you are with your style, the easier it is for other people to understand you. Only the things you really love can make up a wardrobe you love to live in. 

Want help with the big task of cleaning out your closet and styling your wardrobe? Schedule an Image Breakthrough Session to see how Greer Image Consulting can help you build a wardrobe that is uniquely and beautifully you. 

Now I would love to hear from you! Were you inspired by these tips and tricks? Let me know in the comments below what your personal experience is with this common problem!