Round Two of my Closet Clean Out is today and we’re tackling the actual clothes. Last week I talked about going through your accessories. If you missed the post check it out here first! I intentionally broke this up into different steps so that you don’t do it all at once and feel overwhelmed. If you’d like to take a day or a weekend to tackle this, more power to you! Some people just need some time to make peace with getting rid of things. It can be hard and I never want to be the person that pushes someone way past their comfort zone- that usually creates regret. Regret, even with clothes, can be surprisingly detrimental to your general outlook. So take as much time as you need to accomplish this. After years of being a stylist I can tell you some people are immediate decision makers- they love to purge the old stuff. Others are very thoughtful about every decision and consider every option
I say all of this so you set realistic expectations. Tackle this all at once or do a few steps at a time- whatever you feel comfortable with. I always tell clients to start with 3 piles: Keep, Donate and Trash.
- Start off by getting rid of faded, stained, or worn out clothing.
- Next, get rid of anything with a boxy silhouette. If you notice, shirts from the 90’s were shorter and less tailored. A sure sign of age is the shape of the actual garment.
- Now look at the items left and ask yourself “did I wear this last year?” If not- is it because it needs repair or alterations? Didn’t have the specific occasion to wear it- for example, a fancy dress? If not, try it on and make the decision to keep or donate. Remind yourself that the fewer clothes you have- the easier it is to make outfits. (Trust me. Less is more.)
- The important question- does it fit? If it doesn’t and you have no plans on getting to that size again, get rid of them. If you do have plans (realistic ones) to fit back into those, put them in storage OUT of your closet. (More on this later in the series.)
- Assess each item. Does it go with more than one thing in your closet? The secret to a killer closet is a few amount of statement pieces and a LOT of neutrals and solids. Remember that.
- Get rid of anything that doesn’t fit, is broken, ripped or noticeably worn.
- Toss, donate or recycle shoes that are stuck in a decade (this gets a little tricky, but ask someone who knows you and loves you enough to be blunt).
- Assess what doesn’t fit your lifestyle. We don’t all dress the same in our teens, college, first job, early career/marriage, etc… so get rid of the stuff that doesn’t suit your CURRENT lifestyle. Also, if you have dressed the same for all of that- call me. I can help.
- Set the remaining pairs out where you can see them. Now, pull the pairs you wear weekly and put them back in your closet. Put the rest somewhere that you don’t see them- if you need to go get a pair to wear them, keep those and the original shoes in your closet. Set a calendar reminder to go re-assess those put away in a month. If they haven’t been used, be realistic about what you honestly need. Flip flops from Old Navy are NOT MEANT for multiple summers. Throw those away.
Donate, donate, donate. (Not a big fan of Goodwill? I’m not- it’s not charity. It’s a FOR profit company.) I prefer to donate to organizations that help women and children. Every city has domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, community and church organizations. Please donate to those instead. Your donation means more than you know.
We’ll discuss closet organization and what pieces you need in your wardrobe in later weeks, but this is just for the outlying items you know you need to get rid of. A well-rounded closet is continually edited down. I have some friends that do one item in = one item out. It saves on storage issues AND makes you more thoughtful when shopping. Just because you don’t get rid of something in this first pass, doesn’t mean you can’t change you mind in a week or a month.
This is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t get discouraged, we will tackle this together! If you have any questions during this clean out, let me know in the comments!