We’ve heard it a million times: So many clothes, but nothing to wear. Right?!
Clutter, excess, overabundance = words that haunted me as I grew my business as a fashion major at UT, dressing up on the daily for my job in retail at Kendra Scott HQ, and scavenging the racks of Zara for blog shoots on Sunday. There’s something about all that mess of a closet that makes your eyes glaze over and has you turning away from all of the pieces you keep on spending money on. Again it’s that “so many clothes, yet nothing to wear” syndrome.
Fast forward a year or two and I’m excited to be the one known for the cleanest closet out of all of my friends (not bragging, but kind of bragging because that’s #talent). When we look into our closets, we should feel inspired. We should have clarity into our personal style and what makes us feel good, and we should feel blessed – not overwhelmed.
After publishing this post about what I’m currently working on, I got so many requests to write a post on cleaning out your closet (literally) that it was only necessary to share with you guys how I maintain a fresh wardrobe that keeps me coming back for more. So I’m going to share with you the process that I’ve been working on in hopes of reducing excess in my wardrobe. This may not work for everyone (I have more clothes than the status quo, of course) but I do believe that it takes a rigid process to get the job done.
Step 1: Mind over matter (literally) – Prepare yourself mentally. Be ruthless. Grab a glass of wine if you need to, or a bestie (they will be honest – if you’re not).
Step 2: Focus on the present – I clean my closet by seasons and phases. In today’s case (August) – I would suggest focusing on summer and pre-fall clothes ONLY. You can then repeat this process for your fall and winter clothes when the time comes. Don’t’ rush the process, it takes time and it comes in phases.
Step 3: The questionnaire. Reach for your first piece and go! – If you get a no – let it go and stop right there. Toss it in the giveaway pile. If you get a yes, keep going through the Q’s until you reach the finish line.
- If I were shopping right now would I buy this?
Our styles develop and change. Sometimes we hold on to things just because we’ve seen someone else rock it well – BUT it’s time to be true to yourself and honest with your own style. This is where you are given the chance to be unique; our personalities, character, style of expression, and phases of life are always changing, and with that – your wardrobe does too!
- Is it comfortable?
Oftentimes clothes look good and fit well, but they’re incredibly uncomfortable – so we hang on to them for the “idea” of what-we-will-look-like in that piece. Comfort = confidence. So if you’re not comfortable – say sayonara.
- Have I worn this in the last 3 months?
In my mind, I’m going “oh, but I’ll for sure wear it eventually,” when I know I won’t. You can also re-word this question to: if I only had a wardrobe of 7 things, would I want to wear this piece, this week, if the occasion arose. Make to sure to be honest with yourself and make sure you’re not tempted to keep something just because there is a memory tied to it. Memories are wonderful because they last forever, but clothes don’t. Ready set: Grab that glass of wine, inhale memory (this is where you smile, reminisce, or maybe even tear up a bit about whatever cheesy moment you had in your ole LBD) and now exhale. Now try this: think of that piece of clothing perfectly fitting someone in need. And let go.
If you got a “no” in any of the last 3 steps, it’s time to say bye, Felicia. If you got a yes – hang on to it! You’re one clothing piece closer to reinventing your staple wardrobe.
Step 4: What to do with all the no’s. – This is important. If you’re not careful, the excess can also live on in your home, even if it’s not in your closet. Be sure to get it out right away before it haunts you in other ways.
- Give it away. To be honest – this is the most fulfilling reason to clean out your closet. Giving back to the community will always feel more purposeful than glorifying your own needs, so this is an exciting one. My family always donates to Goodwill or a church food/clothing pantry… but do your research and find a local way to stay involved by giving back to the community.
- If it’s designer and you want to make some $$$ – sell it! Poshmark is my favorite online selling platform (super easy to use), and Plato’s Closet, and Buffalo Exchange are great brick-and-mortar stores.
- If it’s un-commisionable and too old or worn out to donate – trash it! You don’t want purposeless items laying around.
What are some of your favorite tips for cleaning out your closet? Would love to hear from you below… XOXO