It’s that time of year! With fall on the horizon, it’s time to think about cleaning out your closet! Many women get frustrated because they have ‘plenty of clothes’, but the truth is that they don’t have the right clothes. They struggle to make outfits with random items but there is no strategy, no plan. Just lots and lots of clothes.
This was the case for our recent client, Carol. Carol always looked put together, but she struggled when she got into her closet for the same reason so many other women do. She had too many clothes, and many of them she wasn’t even wearing.
When we got into Carol’s closet she knew that she had kept some things way too long (like, 20 years!), and she was able to release many of her clothes with ease even though she thought she would be too emotionally attached. We debated over several items, but as our Style Coach, Kirsten, and I informed her that the color or the fit wasn’t right, she gladly handed it over.
As we had gone through about a quarter of her closet and she began to see space between the hangers that had been jam-packed in there, she was giddy! She noted how she was feeling lighter and freer, which is not uncommon during a Closet Clarity session. It’s almost like losing weight – you’re releasing things that you’re ready to let go of, that were just dragging you down, and it feels exhilarating!
We took out close to half of Carol’s wardrobe, but a few hours after our session she sent me a note and told me she felt like she had more to wear! I’ve heard this from many clients over the years, and it’s no surprise. Once you take away what you’re not wearing, you can more easily see what you love – and even some things you forgot you had!
The best part? She doesn’t feel weighed down by those items she felt like she ‘should’ wear, but was never actually wearing. Anything that had a tag still on had to go. She also realized she liked to purchase the same thing over and over (such as white tanks and black turtlenecks), and that she had far too many than she needed. Again, not an uncommon mistake.
The next day I got this wonderful note from Carol:
“What a wonderful experience I had clearing my closet of unnecessary items today. I had clothes that I had owned for at LEAST 20 years that I was emotionally attached to for some reason that I didn’t wear OR love, but I kept anyway. There were clothes that were worn and worn and worn, and needed to GO, but for some reason, I didn’t notice. You showed me that it’s okay to let go of items that just don’t work for me! I can walk into my closet now (which, by the way, I have done SEVERAL times just to stare) and SEE what I have and know that my clothes fit, are the right tones for me, that I love and can quickly pick out and outfit I WANT to wear. I feel lighter! Thank you SO much for helping me through this journey. You are a bright light in our world!”
How to Clean Out Your Own Closet
Many of my clients come to me with a closet filled with clothes, yet no plan. Year after year they add to their wardrobes without any real thought on how all the pieces will fit together. They spend hundreds and thousands of dollars, but come away from their closet feeling desperate and depressed. This, of course, leads to more shopping, which really only exacerbates the problem. So how to you get off the wardrobe hamster wheel? Here’s how:
1/ Take stock
No matter how busy you are, carve out some time whether it’s a few minutes each day for a week or a few hours one evening. This is your uninterrupted time to get up close and personal with your wardrobe. Go through each item and assess whether or not to keep it. Read my 5 F’s of Shopping if you’re not sure. If the answer is no, then purge it from your closet immediately.
2/ The Replacements
If it turns out that a well-loved favorite is now pilled, has stains or no longer fits you, ditch it and begin to look for a replacement. These will be some of the first items to put on your list, and chances are some of the most worn. Buy the best you can afford because these will be some of your go-to staples. If you feel inclined, buy two.
3/ The Staples
What core items are you missing? If you don’t have a favorite pair of jeans, are in need of some cardigans to layer, or a few separates to stretch your work wardrobe would make a difference for you, put these on your list. You want to choose items that go with at least 3 items you already own.
4/ The Spice
Now, ask yourself what you really want to wear. This could be anything from the latest colors to a beautiful pair of boots or a pretty top. Think of items that bring your look current and you can’t wait to wear. This is the fun stuff, and what gives your look your own personal touch.
5/ What’s Now, What’s Next
As you make your list, ask yourself what items will work for you now, and what will work for you next season. A little planning and strategizing now will make a big difference for you in the coming months, and will also help you to view your wardrobe as a unified whole that will take you in and out of seasons for the next few years.
So make your own shopping list, and check it twice. Go back to it as often as needed, and add to it what you desire. This ‘work in progress’ is something that you can keep going continually so that you always know what you need. And when you go out shopping with a goal in mind, it makes it much easier to shop!
Need help in your closet? Our StyleFinder Certified Style Coaches will come to your home and go through your closet.
Give us a call at 919-454-3068 and gain clarity in your closet today!