A Publication of WTVP

For some women, closet organizing may seem like an overwhelming task, especially when the average closet cleaning can require an entire day of work. However, if you start managing closet organization now, the chore will get progressively easier season by season.

Recognizing the daunting task, two Peoria businesses are helping to make closet reorganization a breeze.

Debbie Stewart and Libby Koszuta of A Perfect Pear Boutique, located at 4544 N. Prospect, offer a service called “Chic Closet.” The women completely revamp closets and teach clients how to work with the clothing that they have instead of throwing everything out and starting fresh.

“Chic Closet is our closet cleaning service that is offered by appointment only,” Koszuta said. “We ask questions about your lifestyle and get to know what you need to add to or donate from your current wardrobe. We put together new outfits with your original clothing and give you new ideas on how to update your look.”

The service takes anywhere from three to five hours for a cost of $70 for the first two hours and $25 for each additional half hour.

“After the service is complete you will be left with a clean, color-coordinated, organized closet!” Koszuta said. “You will be excited to get dressed in the morning!”

One of the tips they offer their clients is to first organize their closet by season.

“It helps to organize your clothes based on season, style and then color,” Koszuta said. “For example place all of your spring and summer sleeveless tops in one section of your closet and then color-coordinate them. Follow with all of your spring and summer long sleeve tops and color-coordinate, then move to dresses, skirts, etc. This system works well for every season.”

The organization of your clothing isn’t the only thing that makes a difference in the quality of your wardrobe. The hangers you choose can also affect your clothing, as wire hangers can warp shape of fabrics over time, and cause clutter with garments falling off them.

“We find that clothing falls off wire hangers, and plastic hangers work the best,” Koszuta said. “You can also place grippers on the ends of your hangers to help keep the clothing from falling off. Wood hangers add an elegant touch to your closet and if finances allow we prefer to use them over any other hanger.”

Small accessory items can be placed in a jewelry organizer that hangs in your closet or that will fit in a drawer with different sized slots for earrings, necklaces, broaches, etc. Use hooks to hang belts or scarves. Take advantage of space by placing these hooks on the back of your closet door.

Shoes can be organized a number of different ways. You can get a shoe rack that either hangs from your closet rod, closet door or that rests on the floor. Everyday items can also be helpful in storing shoes and other items.

“Shoe boxes or clear boxes with pictures of the articles inside are a great everyday item to use when organizing your closet,” Koszuta said. “You can place belts, purses, scarves and shoes inside the boxes and by placing a picture on the exterior of the boxes you do not have to open them to see what is inside.”

Koszuta and Stewart agree that there is no set rule for how long to keep clothes, but if it’s a trendy item you find yourself not wearing much, they recommend keeping it for two seasons before letting it go for good.

“Don’t keep clothing too long,” Koszuta said. “It takes up too much space and unless you are going to get it altered to fit perfectly—like we all say we will—donate the clothing to your local charity or Dress for Success.”

Recently, Talbot’s—located at 4633 N. University—held a three-week workshop entitled “Cutting your Closet Clutter.” The first week’s session provided women with tips on what to get rid of and how to start the organizing process. Talbot’s came up with a plan called “Keep Three, Lose Five” where they listed the different groups of clothing that you should keep or toss from your closet forever.

According to Talbot’s, closet keepers include:

  1. Building Blocks. The basics that form the foundation for your everyday wardrobe. Examples: tailored pants in neutral colors, a black skirt, button-up white shirt and good pumps in both brown and black. Summer basics include white and black tees, Bermuda shorts and a denim jacket. These clothes should all fit well and be easily incorporated into every day wear.
  2. Super Heroes. Some of the nicer clothing in your wardrobe such as a well-tailored black or navy suit, that perfect little black dress, a nice trench coat or a high quality sweater or cardigan. They may not be as much of a staple as the building blocks, but you could not live without them as they add a certain quality to your wardrobe.
  3. Style Makers. Accessories or seasonal updates that help to set your sense of style apart from others. These items should be used minimally unless you want to proclaim that you worship the trends. This season, Talbot’s recommends a wide, waist-cinching belt, metallics, an embellished skirt and nature-inspired jewelry such as genuine stones. Their picks for classic style makers include pearls, a printed scarf, a light wool wrap and a black clutch for evening outings.

And here’s what to lose:

  1. Misfits. The clothing that you rarely wear because it doesn’t fit or there is a flaw in it. This unused clothing could account for more than half of your closet clutter. If it just doesn’t fit, but is still well made, consider having it tailored to fit you.
  2. Relics. Items that no longer suit your lifestyle and appear that they will never be coming back into style.
  3. One-Timers. These are items that were bought for a specific purpose and will most likely never be worn again. Talbot’s says that these items are easy to spot because they usually don’t match anything else in your wardrobe.
  4. Unbelievable Bargains. If you bought it because it was “so cheap” and still haven’t worn it, then it wasn’t a bargain. Get rid of it.
  5. Near Replicas. These items are low quality versions of your keepers that you only bought to replace or “back up” those pieces in case they are missing or dirty. Skip these and opt to just wait for the real thing.

“Cutting your Closet Clutter” continued with personal consultations for women to really define their style and provide them with some shopping and closet organization guidance. The last week of the session highlighted success stories and featured a fashion show which changed the look of an outfit simply by using accessories.

When getting rid of your clutter, remember that while some of those clothes may not be suited for you anymore, there may be someone else that could greatly benefit from them. Dress for Success Peoria is an affiliate of the national organization which helps women enter the business world with suits and business clothing for the interview process. After one recieves a job, Dress for Success Peoria provides them with a week’s worth of clothing appropriate for their job. The organization depends primarily on donations from the community. You can donate gently used women’s clothing to Dress for Success Peoria located at 800 NE Madison. You can also take clothing donations to any Goodwill or Salvation Army location.

For more details or to schedule a “Chic Closet” service, contact Libby or Debbie at A Perfect Pear Boutique at 688-7327. For more closet reorganizing tips, call Talbot’s at 682-5500. tpw