As the saying goes: you’re not a real fashun blogger until you’ve done a closet inventory. Or something like that.

It is time. Random and arbitrary decision having been made, I used the prospect of this post as much-needed impetus to actually organize my closet. Again. My closet goes through cycles of being organized, growing, getting weeded, growing again, and needing to be organized, again. It’s been in dire straits since last fall, when my daughter was born, we “lost” the spare bedroom and, as a result, I had to concede a third of the master closet to my husband. Oh, the horrors!

(Before you ask, our previous arrangement was totally fair, because my husband had not only the spare bedroom closet, but also the garage as his storage domain. He doesn’t have a lot of clothes, but he does have an enormous amount of tools, so this worked in his favour.)

I hate spending money on practical things, so closet organization has always been a haphazard thing in my world. After seeing Fran’s closet inventory post, I finally did the grown-up thing and paid for decent hangers. To absolutely no surprise, they make a huge difference in the appearance of my closet.

closet inventory; closet organization
Before and after

There is no difference between the before and after except for the hangers, but everything looks neater, and there is more space. I bought mine at HomeSense in packs of 25 for $17 each (roughly $0.70 per hanger, a decent deal … I think?).

I should mention that this is not my entire wardrobe. Most of my work clothes, plus special occasion dresses, are in an “overflow/out-of-season” closet in the basement. They used to all fit in the master closet … back when I had sole custody of it. I actually find it useful to segregate in-season and out-of-season clothes, though, so it all works out.

Here’s where everything is:

closet inventory; closet organization
Where everything goes …

My t-shirts, sweaters, and scarves are actually in one of these IKEA folding shelving thingies, which you can’t quite see – but trust it looks like this:

IKEA Skubb; closet organization; closet tour; closet inventory
IKEA Skubb (the two bottom shelves have drawers put in, for extra jewelry storage)

On the opposite wall is another IKEA wall-mounted unit, originally intended for shoe storage (I think), which I use for socks, tights, and unmentionables. It looks like this:

IKEA Hemnes shoe storage unit; closet organization; closet tour; closet inventory
IKEA Hemnes Shoe Storage Unit

Above it is where most of my jewelry is laid out:

closet inventory; closet tour; jewelry inventory
Mah joolz

This part of the closet used to be overflowing – because, hello, I have a slight addiction to shiny things – but I recently caved and got one of these things:

closet organization; closet tour; closet inventory; jewelry storage; jewelry organizer
Hanging jewelry organizer thingamagig

It helps a lot, even though I tend to forget what’s in there, as the whole thing is tucked behind my dresses. Ahem. Last but not least, there is the nail polish rack behind the door. My husband made it (all those tools come in handy) and it’s really awesome. I’ve drastically downsized my polish collection this year, so it now all fits on the wall rack. Yes, I used to have more. It’s ok, I’ll wait while your mind boggles.

nail polish storage; closet inventory; closet tour; closet organization
Nail polish wall!

So, at this point you’re probably wondering when I’ll finally get to the inventory part. Fine. You want numbers, I’ve got numbers for ya. Behold:

Tops: 23

Shirts: 12

Sweaters & cardigans: 24

Pants & shorts: 17

Skirts: 17

Dresses: 36

Blazers & jackets: 14

Outerwear: 7

Shoes: 46

Bags: 24

TOTAL: 256 (186 without bags + shoes)*

Honestly … it could be worse. It probably is worse by the time you’re reading this. For a person who writes a style blog (by definition, someone with more than a passing interest in clothes), I think it’s not bad. You guys know I’m not a minimalist. I have a vague goal of keeping the overall number at about 150 (not including bags and shoes), but I’m not super committed to it. Obviously. I truly love what’s in my closet right now, and other than a few seasonal pieces I’ll likely need to replace next year, I don’t see myself doing any major overhauls in the foreseeable future.

But never say never. There will always be more cute things to buy.

31 Comments on Closet Inventory, pt. 1

  1. HOLY SHIT that nail polish collection! Are you kidding?! Wow, anyway I like these kinds of posts. The proper hangers seem to have made a real difference. I’d be too ashamed to count all my clothes. Tops would run into the hundreds for a start… Maybe if I have time I SHOULD shame myself.

    • Haha, do it! I want to read it.
      And yes, I used to have a slight nail polish problem. Past tense, believe it or not. My collection used to be at least twice as large, but I’ve been paring down, and buying very very few in the last year.

  2. LOL. I have less than 40 pieces of clothing hanging in my closet right now, and that doesn’t include fall/winter clothes, shoes (maybe 10 pairs?), and bags (3). Our twin days are OVER.

    • I haven’t finished a bottle yet. I think other bloggers have calculated it to be around 25 or so manicures per bottle.
      I believe nail polish can last decades. There are some 20-year old Chanel (and other) nail polishes that routinely sell for hundreds of dollars on eBay. Yep, HUNDREDS.

  3. Your numbers actually don’t look that bad to me. I feel like I’ve seen worse on other sites. I haven’t done a full inventory, but I did an overhaul on my sweaters and cardigans last year and went from 50 to 32.

    The nail polish – that is impressive. I feel like that’s more than I’ve seen in some salons!

    • Thanks! I wear nail polish a lot – it’s an easy pick-me-up.
      I don’t think my closet numbers are bad by blogger standards, for sure. For a regular person, they probably fall on the high side of average, but not at, like, the shopaholic extreme πŸ˜‰

  4. I love reading these! I really expected my number to be much higher, so I was relieved when I came out under 300. But I’m not a “real fancy FASHUN blogger,” so you know, I wear the same things over and over again for years. I was thinking I should do a second inventory and add up all my jewelry and purses, etc. But I don’t know. Seems like a lot of work.

  5. i need to bite the bullet and buy the nice grown up lady hangers. i’ve just accumulated so many fun-colored plastic target hangers that i’d be sad to give them up. maybe i can give them to a new college kid who is trying to leave the ugly clear plastic hangers at home and bring the fancy plastic target hangers to the dorm.

    ack, got distracted by hangers. i need to update my closet inventory. i did it in the winter with my winter clothes, most of which probably don’t fit now, but i need one for summer/fall clothes now that i’ve overhauled and replaced a lot.

    okay, one more thing about hangers: did you buy the velvety ones? or are they wooden? i couldn’t tell in the photos, and wondered what the official preference was.

  6. Seeing the difference it made in your closet is making me seriously consider decent hangers for the first time ever. Usually I’m just cheap when I can be, but for that kind of difference, it might be worth it to spend a little more.

    • I am (was) totally with you on that, but they really do make a difference. Plus, seeing my closet look neat and tidy forces me to put away my clothes nicely … for once. About time.

  7. Wow, I am so jealous! I think I probably only have about 75 pieces total, including shoes and bags! But I’ve been doing the capsule wardrobe for years; for summer I alternate between about 10 dresses and 3 pairs of sandals. Winter is more complicated because I tend to wear separates as I hate tights, and I wear cardigans a lot. I’ve owned more stuff but I just get so overwhelmed! I love all your organizers too. Believe it or not, I think my brother might own more nail polish than you! He’s a construction superintendent but loves doing nails, so right now he has around 175 bottles and all sorts of accessories for designs and whatnot. He wants to do it professionally but he’d have to go to cosmetology school and learn hair, waxing, and all sorts of extra stuff he doesn’t care about. So he does it as a side job on evenings and weekends. And he stores them all two canvas bags from Duluth Trading Company, which cracks me up to no end.

    Oh, and I have a hanger tip! I switched to the velvety kind a few years ago and love them because they don’t leave dents in the shoulders of my clothing. But you can get them 2/$1 at Dollar Tree! They also have them at Walmart for around 5/$3. The dollar store ones don’t have swivel heads and tend to break if you tug super hard on them (ahem, like if you’re running late and grabbing at stuff like a maniac) but if you don’t do that and don’t mind the head being stationery, they are just as nice as the Walmart kind! And they really do save so much space and look so pretty. I just bought ten this weekend at the dollar store so I could phase out some old wooden and plastic ones that were lingering in my closet.

    I did not know that old nail polishes sell for hundreds on Ebay, but I would probably drop that on a bottle of Chanel Vamp if I had the dough. I saved up for a month to get a $15 bottle in 1997, after I got my first job making $5.25 an hour at a fast food joint. That polish was my Holy Grail. To this day I like getting deep, dark reds on my toes. I’m not sure if Chanel still makes Vamp, but there are a million versions now so I’m not lacking. I am still attached to that color though, it seemed like the height of sexiness and class when I was in high school!

    • Your brother sounds like the kind of brother I’d like to have. We could trade nail polishes!! He could try nail art on me! The possibilities are endless. So, now I’m jealous.
      (By the way, Chanel still makes Vamp, but it’s now called Rouge Noir. It’s $28 per bottle these days. Inflation, hey? Speaking of Vamp, I also had a huge lust for it back in the day. I didn’t have money for it, so I made do with a Revlon dupe, which wasn’t nearly as cool. When I got into nail polish a few years ago, Rouge Noir was one of the first ones I bought.)
      Thanks for the tip re Walmart hangers. I actually want to buy a few more, so I will definitely check those out. I prefer the ones with a swiveling head, only because I’m too lazy to pay attention to how I’m hanging up my clothes, but I also like to have everything face the same way. Ridiculous, I know.

      • Oh, and since we were on the topic, and I’m still a polish nerd at heart … Chanel also made a different polish called Vamp, sometime in the 2000s, which was different from the original. Not to be confused. Both original Vamp and Rouge Noir are labeled “18” (most Chanel polishes, except certain limited editions, are numbered), which makes it easier to know what you’re looking at.

        And now you know more than you ever wanted to know πŸ˜‰

  8. We have similar nail polish collections! I really want a wall display as they are currently all dumped in a box and its pretty difficult to find a certain color when I want it. My clothes however, are a different story. I only very recently (like, the past year or so I think) adopted the very basic rule of do not buy an item of clothing without trying it on first. So ridiculously simple but my whole life my closet would look “full” while I’m only wearing the same 7-10 outfits because the things I bought didn’t fit quite right. I don’t want to think how much money has been wasted like that! I’m very slowly trying to build up my closet so I have more clothes to actually wear but its taking its sweet time (mainly due to money, partially due to me being a 12/14 and there’s no selection for that).

    I’ll wrap up this novel to say that those hangers made a serious difference! I’ll add that to my list of closet things to-do.

    • I definitely find the wall display useful – if I don’t see what polishes I have, it’s easy to forget, plus I just tend to wear the same colours over and over.

      Buying things without trying them on can be really tricky; I’ve done it a few times on eBay, but with mixed results. I hope you are able to find things you really love now πŸ™‚

  9. OMGOMGOMG I’m asking my fiance to make me one of those nail polish holders! (albeit slightly smaller)

    Thank you for this, it’s given me some inspiration for tidying things up in my closet this weekend πŸ˜€

  10. I don’t know what’s acceptable by blogger standards, but I think that you have a very nice and well controlled clothing collection. I love how organized everything is and I’m so changing hangers to velvety-ones.
    Said all that, I have two questions:
    a) What are blogger standards when it comes to clothes?
    b) Can I pretend to be a blogger?

    • 1) A lot of them. Just masses and masses. That’s what I tell myself when I want to feel virtuous-by-comparison.
      2) If I can, I don’t see why you couldn’t πŸ˜‰

  11. Is there a method to the nail polish organization, besides brand? I see Butter London at the top and Essie at the bottom. I like Essie for fun toe colours that i wouldn’t do on my fingers and Butter London is my fingernail colour go-tos, so the placement made me wonder!

    • LOL! It’s actually based on personal preference. I like to keep my favourite brands (and the ones I use most often) at eye level, or as close to as possible. Hence, the middle-ish rows are Chanel. I actually should move the Essies back up, because I’ve starting using them a lot more often, again, and my OPIs a lot less. Essie was my old go-to brand, back in the days before I became a polish-aholic. The quality is excellent, and they have really wearable colours; as I get older, I’m starting to prefer them to really wild/sparkly/out there polishes. And Chanel has been putting out really boring polishes lately …