Monday, October 26, 2009

Closet Organization for Busy Moms

Getting dressed used to be so easy. Add two little girls to the equation and things get a tad more complicated. It seems like every week someone is outgrowing a pair of jeans (thankfully not me) or in need of new tights. To stay on top of the clothing situation, I rely on a few tricks.

Shop Sales
Whenever I see the sign “70% off” I spring into action. Basics--tees for layering, tights, jeans, underwear, turtlenecks, and socks--are prime candidates for this type of sale. I also try to get the insider scoop on sample sales, here in New York I get invites to designer showrooms. When I can, I’ll head to these events and pick up designer goodies (like this winter’s velvet dresses) at a fraction of the regular price. The trick here is getting the sizing right. My motto: If in doubt always buy bigger. This came in handy last fall at the Petite Bateau sample sale. The pjs run small and had I bought according to the labels, I would have been out of luck.

For mom’s that don’t live near design centers, it makes sense to sign up on e-mailing lists with your favorite brands. Many retailers will send an email blast to customers allowing them to shop online at steeply reduced prices. And of course, sign up for for the very best private sales.

Managing the Closet
Once I bring my treasures home, I get them put in the proper place. Clothes for the current season get hung up or placed in drawers. Clothing that won’t be worn for a season or two gets neatly stored in large, LABELED plastic storage bins. Labeling is essential—if you don’t know what is inside, you’re likely to forget about your purchases. I love the system uses in the picture below.

To keep closet clutter under control and make room for new outfits, moms need to decide what to save and what to give away at the end of a season. Since I’ve got two girls, I save a lot of the older girl’s clothing for daughter number two. What I save: Dresses, tights and coats. The “save” pile goes right into another plastics tub. What I discard: Shoes (doctors recommend new shoes for kids since every foot is different), anything with stains and styles that have ceased to be cool.

I stay on top of keeping current season clothes in the closet. I’ve found nothing makes a four year old angrier than picking her favorite summer sundress and being told it is too cold outside. And for this busy mom, I my efforts mean I won’t waste time reaching into a closet and selecting a pair of jeans that are too short. Who’s got time for wardrobe malfunctions!

No one said being a mom was easy, but with a bit of organization and my beloved plastic storage tubs, getting dressed is more of a creative exercise and less of a chore.

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