Step 2: CategorizeNow you have clothes organized by those that you would like to keep and those (away from you so that you cannot pull things out of it and hoard them) that will either go to resale or will be donated. The next step is to further organize the clothes you are keeping into season. I really only change my closet out two times a year so I organize into Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter, but this depends on how many clothes you have and how big your closet space is. For explanation purposes, I'm going to stick with two rotations of clothing.
When you're organizing your piles, really think about what makes sense. Just because it's a sweater may not mean it's for Fall/Winter. You may also want to consider a pile that is year-round that will not change out with the seasons.
Now is a good time to take inventory. Look at the clothes you are choosing to keep. Did you get rid of all of your flats that go with brown? Do you need a new coat for Fall? Did you find a dress that you love but you need a belt for it? Even more importantly, did you get rid of an entire season's worth of clothing? Write all of this stuff down (and if you're really anal, ahem I mean organized, put it in a spreadsheet on your computer). You may even want to write down your entire closet inventory if you're getting really serious about this (note: I do not have my entire closet inventoried nor do I have a closet spreadsheet).
Here's a link to some crazy closet organization databases. I'm not sure that I will ever use these but hey, you could try it! http://www.instantfundas.com/2010/07/5-best-wardrobe-management-software-for.html
The clothes that you will not be showcasing in your closet for immediate use should be put in plastic bins with lids, vacuum bags or hanging bags. I use clear storage bins so that I can see what is in each box in case I need to access an item before I rotate the season. I try my best to keep like items together so that rotating my closet is easy because everything is already organized.
Before you put any clothes away for storage, make sure they're all clean. It's worth a trip to the dry cleaners to make sure your clothes don't ruin if you put them away dirty! I just looked up a dry cleaning guide to help you out on how often to dry clean your clothes but it appears there are many differing opinions. I am not a dry cleaning expert and don't want to give bad advice so I'll skip it :)
Back to organization. Let's say you're transitioning your clothes from Spring/Summer to Fall/Winter. You've put your summer clothes in boxes and you're left with your Fall/Winter wardrobe. Now divide your clothing by type. Look at what you have and really think about what makes sense in your closet. Do you want to fold some items and put them in dresser drawers? Would some things be more accessible in under-bed boxes? Where is the best place for your shoes? Only you can decide what works best for you. We only have one dresser for the two of us and our undergarments, socks, and pajamas fill the whole thing. It is necessary for us to use our closet for everything else!
One more note- often times more than just clothing may need to go in your closet- purses, luggage, toiletries and other extras. Also consider these things when you're thinking about where to place everything back in your space.
I think I'll end this post here. The next post will be a great compliment to helping you figure out what should go where!