I’ve been a Professional Organizer for over 5 years now and I couldn’t even begin to count all of the closets that I’ve made over. Master bedroom, kids room, front closet, mud room – You name it, I’ve organized it. And I typically organize all closets the same way, save for a few minor adjustments depending on the family and their routines.
However, when my latest client came to me and told me that she had been diagnosed with ADHD and needed help with her closet, I knew immediately I wanted to tackle it in a unique way.
Normally, we organize all closets in the same manner and it looks something like this:
We sort by colour and style hanging all ‘like’ items together. But to someone with ADHD, I can understand how a closet like this could be overwhelming.
After talking with my client, she mentioned it could take her over half an hour sometimes just to make a decision about what to wear in the morning and get dressed. Her casual clothes were mixed in with her dress clothes, she wasn’t sure what actually fit her properly, she had clothes in multiple closets, etc.
We decided the best way to get her organized was to bundle clothes by outfit, not style.
The process started by having her trying on EVERYTHING. We went methodically through her wardrobe pairing pants with several tops and, when we hit on something we liked, we took a picture of it.
If the clothes didn’t fit, weren’t flattering, or were just plain wore out, we set them aside, either for trash or donation.
Once we had gone through all of the clothes, we hung everything up in the pairings, securing it with a hairband, like this:
Pants were hung on different hangers so they could be used as a bit of a marker.
The end result was that ALL of her clothes were hung in the same closet and matching outfits were now easy to identify based on their hairband grouping!
For homework, I asked her to upload all of the pictures of the outfits to online photo printing site like londondrugs.com which allows you to simply upload your pictures into a book making tool and it will create a photo book without you having to do any of the formatting.
But, to honest, the absolute BEST part of this process was watching my clients confidence soar with every piece of clothing that she tried on – She began focusing on the outfits that flattered her and caring less and less about what didn’t look good or didn’t fit because she began to understand that it wasn’t her body that wasn’t working for her, it was the clothes. Plus, she was on a complete high as it felt like she’d just gone on a major shopping spree. Now that she had so many outfit possibilities, it felt like we had tripled her wardrobe!
I can see how something like this would work for a lot of other clients, not just those with ADHD and I suspect I’ll be using this technique more and more in the future.