It’s finally here! Doing a closet clean out with you guys has been a wish of mine for such a long time and I couldn’t be more excited. The goal is for you to feel less overwhelmed in the morning when you get dressed, and the secret to that is fewer clothes. I know that sounds counter to what you would assume, but the more clothes (read: clutter) in your closet the harder it is to actually see what you have in order to create outfits. The goal is not only to organize but to pare down and do more with less. (If you remember, “simplicity” is one of my New Years resolutions.)

I haven’t done a closet clean out since Alexander was born. YIKES! Since then, I have retired from politics, embraced full-time mommyhood (and the wardrobe to match it), and now have a job as an associate producer in a film studio part time. My wardrobe is a mess. Suits and work dresses litter my closet as ghosts of a once political past, while comfortable (loose) shirts have become a staple to hide my post-baby body. I’ve crammed the new in with the old instead of thoughtfully going through everything and deciding what I want to keep and what needs to go.

So we’re in this together. I got a head start last week by looking at my shoes and giving the ones that are still in good condition but never get any use to a friend and her amazing daughters. I still loved all of those shoes, but the key to simplified style is doing more with less. That means the shoes had to go. I’ve created a checklist for you to go through over the next week, and before we tackle the clothes, I’m going to ask you to look at the accessories. We do this first because I want to free up some space and then we do a final pass after we’ve looked over the rest of your closet. Think of this first exercise as a rough draft of your final wardrobe.

Do To List:

  • Look through all belts and get rid of those too short, too worn (this includes leather and plastic that is fraying on the sides) or too old. If you haven’t worn something in 5 years- it automatically goes.
  • Assess your scarves. Keep 6 max for spring/summer and 6 for fall/winter. Be thoughtful about colors and what is timeless. Crazy prints or weave patterns can easily date a scarf- so keep ones that are staples. (Solids are always better than patterns.)
  • Tackle your jewelry next. If you haven’t worn something in 2 years, donate it. This is one odd area I see a lot of clients struggle with, and needs to be addressed. Have a friend come over if you need some support or another set of eyes to help determine what should stay.
  • Hats, gloves, and socks are last. Use a realistic eye to figure out what you actually wear vs. what you’re just keeping “in case.” Throw away all single, unpaired, or worn out socks and only keep a few pairs of gloves/mittens. The same goes with hats. If you aren’t wearing it, donate.

I know there are things that hold sentimental value. I get that, but you cannot keep this stuff. I tell people they get one file sized box of sentimental items. T-shirts, hoodies, shoes, etc. That’s it. Life isn’t about the “stuff,” it’s about the life we live. Stuff can create a toxic and paralyzing relationship with getting ready in the morning and that almost always translates to your day and how you treat yourself and those around you. An uncluttered closet helps keep an uncluttered mind. Trust me on this. So allow yourself one box of sentimentality. Otherwise, donate it to a charity.

I always start with accessories first because those are the easiest to sort through. Next week we’ll tackle your actual clothes and shoes. Good luck! I’d love for you to show me your progress on Instagram: @StyleAssisted with the tag #SACleanout

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Adriele