1. Your closet makes you anxious: The emotion you experience upon opening your closet doors is the chief indicator of how well it meets your needs. Browsing your closet contents should be calming and inspiring. Your wardrobe should bring you joy; after all, it’s filled with things you chose expressly to compliment your needs and taste. Feeling anxious, overwhelmed or annoyed when selecting outfits is a clear sign your closet isn’t organized to meet your needs.
2. You always wear the same things: While it’s commonly believed that most of us wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time, this is a clear indicator of a dysfunctional closet. If you find yourself wearing the same handful of outfits repeatedly while other viable options are neglected, you either need to purge your closet of unbecoming garments or organize it in a manner that helps you better assess your options each morning (or both).
3. Coordinating outfits is time consuming: Do you find yourself ‘stuck in the closet’, running late for work because you are unable to pull a suitable outfit together? This is a key symptom of an unorganized closet. As with wearing the same outfits repeatedly, it means that you either have too many duds cluttering up your closet space or haven’t invested the time to organize your clothing in a manner that makes outfit assembly intuitive.
4. You’re not confident in your outfits: Once you’re dressed and out the door, are you happy and confident in your clothes? If not, the problem may lie in how you’ve organized your closet. You should be intimately familiar with the fit, condition and feel of every item in your closet as well as understand how each garment mixes and matches best with your other clothes. A superbly organized closet makes outfit coordination easy which in turn leads to looking put together every day.
5. You don’t know what you have: If you had to list all your clothing from memory, how well would you do? Can you easily recall most of your dresses? Do you know how many pairs of jeans you own? If not, it’s likely time for a closet clean out. Knowing what you already have is the first step towards making good purchasing decisions and effortlessly assembling striking outfits.
The single most important step for an organized closet is to purge it of items that don’t fit or flatter. Anything that goes unworn is a waste of precious real estate and an obstacle to mastering a working look.