An organized closet and a functional wardrobe can be a part of our meaningfully productive life. This week Geralin Thomas shares wardrobe wisdom as she and I talk about building a wardrobe that is versatile, organized, and stress-free.
A little wardrobe wisdom can help us be more productive!
Geralin Thomas is a professional organizer and a career coach for professional organizers and teaches three classes for the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals. Her business, Metropolitan Organizing, established 19 years ago, is based in Cary, North Carolina! She has published two books (one has been translated into 8 languages!) In addition, she appeared regularly on the Emmy-nominated TV show, Hoarders, where she and team members compassionately decluttered and organized some of America’s messiest homes. Geralin loves lists, puns, the oxford comma, and alliteration as much as she enjoys going behind the "seams" for "clothes calls" with clients who not only have the right to "bare" arms but bare their souls as well!
When not working, Geralin, and her husband of 33 years, Bill, enjoy their empty nest where they dote on their spoiled six-pound Papillon, Pip, and their two grand-dogs, Sally and Minnie.
Geralin has been a professional organizer for the past 19 years but is no longer taking one-on-one clients and going into people's homes. Instead, she is now coaching organizers who have their own small businesses. She teaches them how to start their business with a focus on decluttering closets and wardrobes and helping women build better, more sustainable wardrobes with pieces that suit their lifestyle, budget, and the image they want to project.
Using systems to keep our closet under control
Even those of us who are very organized in our everyday life can struggle to keep our closets organized. Maybe this is because we have more clothes than we have space for, or because our closets become a catch-all for things other than our clothing. Regardless of the reason, Geralin and her "wardrobe wisdom" can help us turn our closets into a space that serves us instead of one we dread looking at.
When Geralin first starts with a new client, she begins by asking them about their goals, likes, and dislikes. She reminds them to control what they can control--start with the things that can be done, analyze the situation, and then strategize about what's working and what isn't. This is where productivity begins. So for example, items most often worn should be the most accessible. If rickety doors on the closet should be replaced or old boxes or storage containers need to be thrown out, do those things right away so the closet is more inviting and accessible.
Geralin also likes for each item in the closet to have a "permanent address", meaning that when you are out shopping for an item, think about where it will live in your closet.
She also thinks it's important to have a system for your various items, such as scarves, belts, shoes, jewelry, tote bags, even receipts and tags (for those who like to consign).
For clothing items that need attention or repairs to be wearable, Geralyn refers to them as "MIA's", meaning mending, ironing, alterations, or stain-removal. These items need their own spot in your closet too.
There also needs to be a system for your dirty and clean laundry. Will you launder your own clothing or have it sent out? Do you prefer to hang or fold your clothing? Do you want to organize by color, function, or season?