Closet Organization: Pants & Skirts

By Leslie (aka Missus SmartyPants)

Get ready for your next decluttering mission in your bedroom closet! Let’s tackle our pants and skirts today—15 minutes at a time. No hoarding either—remember FlyLady says, “You can’t organize clutter!”

But first things first…I’m afraid you may not be giving your closet the respect it’s due. Is your closet a place for your clothes? Or is
it a dumping ground for anything that no longer has a place? Try thinking of it this way: if you don’t have a place for these “things”
do you really need them? What do you have crammed or stashed in the back of your closet? Perhaps old curtains (still in good condition) but you no longer use them anymore. They are now “clutter” and nothing more. Let them go, and give them a chance to bless someone else’s home.

This is your closet (a place for YOUR clothes) not a storage area. I know, I too have been guilty of storing items in my closet. I thought I was “hiding” things from my kids in the back of my closet. Guess what? This is one of the first places they looked!! Have you ever caught one of your children rustling through shopping bags “hidden” in the back of your closet? LOL! There are other places to store gifts and such. Let’s use our closets only for what they were intended for: our clothes. Your closet will start to become a special place for you!  Try adding stylish hooks, matching hangers or even a picture or two. Pleasing scents like a lavender sachet would also add to your closet “ambience”. Your closet (once organized) will become a pleasing place for you and be full of nice clothes that you feel pretty in—nothing more.

Begin today’s decluttering mission by trying on ALL your pants and skirts in front of a full length mirror. Yes, take the time to try on
each item one at a time. This may take longer than 15 minutes, but you can set the timer and do it (or anything) 15 minutes at a time!

As you inspect each pant or skirt, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I like this pant or skirt on me? Does it flatter my body shape? If you don’t like it and don’t wear it—there is no sense keeping it.  Often we feel guilt over who gave it to us or how much we paid for it–then end up keeping it. Instead, toss it to the give-away pile because I have given you permission to let go of it!
  • Does it fit me? Are you hoarding 3 sizes in your closet? Usually this sets you up for disappointment and guilt. Dress for today! Wear clothes that fit the body you are in TODAY! Besides if you ever lose the last 10 pounds you won’t want those old clothes anyways—you’ll want something NEW! Don’t beat yourself up that you are no longer a size 6 (gee, I don’t think I was EVER that size!) Dress for today and look better for it!  FIT TIP: Truth is, no matter your “number” size you only look good in clothes that fit well!
  • Maybe it will come back in style? If you are hoping for this, let me tell you, you are wasting time and valuable closet space! Unless you are attending a “retro party” forget it! Styles never come back the same way. The next time around the style will be in different colors and fabrics. This item you are hanging on to will still be out-of-style–forever!

Put these removed clothes in 3 piles. The skirts and pants you no longer want need to be sorted because they are NOT going back in your closet. The first pile is for give-away, the next is for trash and the last is for alterations. NOTICE: there is not a forth pile for undecided! If you are not wearing these clothes, please put them in one of the 3 piles. This is the only way to clean out your closet, remove clutter and move on.

The first pile is the give-away pile.

This includes pants and skirts you haven’t worn for a year or more. If you aren’t wearing them, there is no reason to keep them. These items should be in good condition that someone else would wear. It may be the size, style or color is not right for you—it really doesn’t matter. Give away whatever you have no intention of wearing again.

The next pile is for trash.

Yes, sometimes even clothes must be thrown out. If the skirt or pant has a stain on it that won’t come out, throw it out. Keeping it won’t make the stain lift and no one else wants to wear clothes with stains either! Out it goes! Clothes worn thin, faded or pilled from wear…OUT, OUT, OUT they go!

Your third pile is for alterations.

Put your pants and skirts here that you will wear once you get some minor alterations done. This can be pants/skirts that need to be hemmed, zippers replaced, sleeves taken up, buttons changed etc. The most important thing about this pile is that you get it to the tailor! Put it in your car right away. Do not let it sit in your closet (or anywhere else) and become a new pile of clutter!

I am asked quite frequently what are the correct lengths for skirts and pants. It’s a good question too. Wearing pants too short (no
matter your height) will make you look heavier. Lengthen your legs and slim your silhouette by getting the right pant length.
Pants should “break” on your foot–or slightly crease over the top. Wear your shoes you will be wearing and then have the tailor find the correct length. For skirts, the most universally flattering length is at or just below the knee. Around the knee is slimmer and a more flattering length for a woman. Long skirts tend to look matronly and short shirts—well can just be too hard to wear!

Take a look at what is left. Hopefully it is great fitting basic pants and skirts! Now, organize them. Put all the skirts together and all
the pants together. Next, arrange by color. This will show you (if you are like most women) you have too many black pants! No need to buy more! LOL!

Personally for pants and skirts I like to hang them on felt covered hangers instead of the plastic tubular ones. Pants and skirts can be heavier than blouses; therefore the hangers may sag because of the weight. I also find with these felt hangers pants and skirts don’t move, so if you accidentally bump into your hangers you clothes won’t slide off onto the closet floor!

Take your closet one babystep at a time and you are on your way to less stress–when you dress!


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