03/07/2012 09:03 EST | Updated 05/07/2012 05:12 EDT

Spring Closet Makeover

Ali de Bold

I don't know about you, but spring makes me want to reorganize and rejuvenate my living space and wardrobe. A year ago I bought a house with unfortunate closets. Very few, teeny tiny 100ish-year-old closets with nothing but a bar and, in some cases, a few shelves. I wasn't expecting to find walk-in closets in a house that age, but I knew there was no possibility of fitting all of my clothes into a space that size.

Behold my dilemma:

We did extensive renovations to the rest of the house, which turned out beautifully. Now the closets needed a makeover. We were limited by the size of the original closet, so the only choice was to install closet organizers. There are many companies that do this but we went with California Closets. They did an amazing job, wouldn't you agree?

Now, just because the space is nice, it doesn't mean you can ram everything in there. Especially if your closet does not have doors to hide the mess. There are certain things you can do to showcase your wardrobe each season in a way that makes you excited to get dressed in the morning.

Donate everything you haven't worn in two years

That's eight full seasons of neglect that someone else could benefit from, such as women looking for a fresh start at Dress for Success. Make sure the items you donate are washed or dry-cleaned.

Off to the dry cleaners

Some dry cleaners offer deals if you bring in multiple items at once. In Toronto, Gibsons Cleaners (Bloor West Village location) offers 25 per cent off when you bring in five items or more. Always discard the bags and hangers when you come home. Plastic bags don't look nice at all.

Take pictures of yourself wearing items you are on the fence about

Remember when your friend tagged you on Facebook wearing those white jeans that weren't as flattering as you thought? Exactly.

Use wooden hangers for all of your clothes

Wire hangers can often be returned to the dry cleaner and plastic hangers have no place in a respectable closet. You aren't doing this just for visual purposes; it's better for your clothes. Wooden hangers can be purchased cheaply from just about anywhere.

Organize your clothes by length and type

Longer hanging items should be hung together, and putting things like dress pants and jackets together in one section makes it more likely that you will wear everything you own because you don't have to hunt for it.

Organize your clothes from light to dark

Hanging clothes by colour not only looks tidy, it helps you see which items you are missing or have an over abundance of. Black, anyone?

Hang everything facing the same direction

Your tops don't need to have a conversation with each other. That looks cluttered and it isn't how you found them at the store, is it? Line them up facing one direction.

Folded items should be folded side out

You don't want to see your pant legs sticking out of the pile. Clearly I am no expert folder, but in my defence I've never worked at the Gap or Club Monaco where expert folders are born.

Limit your shoe collection

I know you weren't expecting that, but you didn't need to gasp out loud. No one needs 50 pairs of shoes. Keep only the ones that you actually wear, and that are in good condition. It's better to take an older pair of quality shoes that you love to the cobbler for new heels and a polish than to keep the cheepie ones that pinch your toes and give you blisters. Even you don't look hot while grimacing.

One thing in, one thing out

If you have a lot of clothes every time you buy something new, you should give something away. The new pair of jeans should replace the old. Don't hold onto clothes for sentimental reasons. Unless it's your wedding dress.

Make a list

Organizing your closet is a great opportunity to make note of things you are missing for your next shopping trip. It's better to shop with purpose for one or two things than be inspired/led astray by the sales at the mall. Do you really want to add to your over abundant black top collection? I didn't think so.