It’s 7:00am, you’re in a rush to meet with that new prospective client, and you couldn’t have been bothered to pull an outfit out of a crowded closet the night before. As your pulling out racks of dresses you haven’t worn since you were single (10 years ago) a box that has been propped up on the above shelf falls on your head. You end up hastily shoving everything onto a shelf and pull out your least favorite dress because it makes you look pregnant, but you don’t have time to put too much thought into it and settle. The shoes you pull out from under the bottom rack are now scuffed up because you didn’t have room on your crowded shoe shelf because it’s a catch-all for everything else. You put them on anyway, and grab a handbag that doesn’t match but you now don’t have time to do an edit. You leave the house feeling like a hot mess and not your most confident self.
Does this sound familiar?
If it does, your life is probably as cluttered as your closet, and you probably are settling in other areas, too! You need a closet intervention!
Think of your closet representing your subconscious mind. if your closet is a disheveled mess, how can you expect the Universe or anything to deliver easily? Your frazzled and only half of what you can be.
Create a happy closet!
You can chant Ommmmm when you think about the ease a well organized and edited wardrobe affords you, but the opposite can be said about a messy, non edited, hot mess.
Messiness represents energy blockages.
Bad decisions that haunt you when they hang unworn; That strapless dress you bought because you thought you’d lose the baby fat by now but you actually gained more weight and you broke the zipper trying to pull it up over your hips; the shirt your sister bought you that you really don’t like but you feel so guilty you let it hang there with the price tags still on; the dress you wore to that event but someone dropped a glass of wine on it, the dry cleaner couldn’t remove the stain but you paid a fortune for it so back in the closet it stays.
Think about it. We always want more in life, but if your closet is a mess, how can you expect the Universe to deliver anything more? There is no space for more!
Well, it’s time for more! You deserve it! Grab someone you can trust to be a gently honest but brutal fashion editor, get hopped up on coffee (and later, wine) and get in that closet!
Creating A Happy Place
This is the phase when you look at everything in your closet and think “You’re rehired” or “you’re retired!” Think of this exercise as a closet cleanse, and after you’ve finished, your closet will be lighter and brighter with a clean, healthy glow.
You can start section by section. Maybe take a look at all the pieces hanging, and then move on to your drawers, and then shoes. For every piece you pull out to evaluate, you will give it a yes, no, or maybe rating. You can start these piles on your bed or floor while you move through this stage.
YES: A yes item is something that doesn’t make you hesitate. It is most likely a piece that you wear often or has some sentimental value and looks great on you! It feels good to recognize the pieces you know and love in your wardrobe, but take care to be honest with yourself about how often you actually wear them. Let your friend see you in the item and see if you feel the same after she/ he photographs you in it.
NO: Saying no can be hard at first, and this is why I recommend you have a friend there with you who can give trusted and honest feedback. If you hesitate or are hard-pressed to remember the last time you wore the piece, it might be a no. If the piece still has the hangtag, has never been worn, and has been sitting in your closet for over a year, it is not for you. Let it go. If you pull out pieces that are ripped (unintentionally) and have wear and tear beyond repair, they are to be retired. Retired should be cleared out of your space entirely and can be donated to Goodwill and local thrift stores or placed in a clothing collection bin. If you do feel that some of the pieces in your no pile warrant a price (like quality designer goods), you can sell them through consignment shops, online, or enter them in clothing swaps.
MAYBE: The grey area. That is what this maybe pile is for.
The maybe pile is a safe space for a second evaluation. A skirt that you never found the right top for, the dress with extra long straps that has a weird bump in the back. If you have a piece that was expensive or a gift and you don’t really wear it but you’re not sure you are ready to cut it loose, the maybe pile is a good holding place.
Pretty much anything that is not a for-sure yes but you are unsure about straight-up getting rid of should go into this pile. Can it be altered with a seamstress? If yes, do you like it enough to commit to taking it in and doing a quick fitting?
Side Note: You’d be surprised at how reluctant people are to altering an item. They miss out on wearing great pieces just because no one told them that clothing manufacturers at all ends of the price spectrum are not creating clothing that is custom made. There are no universal fits. Become good friends with a trusted seamstress. Many more fashion opportunities will open up to you.
I tell my clients to make a maybe pile that they store and will reevaluate in three to six months’ time. If it is still a maybe and you don’t pull it out of the pile to wear it after not seeing it for a few months, you can confidently move it to the retire pile.
DONATE: Perhaps the easiest way to discard old clothing you no longer want is to take it to a Goodwill store or a Community Drop Off Center and donate it. Simply check their drop-off days and times and then make a trip.
There are numerous consignment shops in every community, so do a simple Google search. Additionally, there are quite a few successful online platforms you can list and sell on. Why not make a little cash back or make someone happy by gifting the item to them? It should be noted that it’s down right immoral to hold onto something that can be bringing joy to someone else. I love giving friends pieces I know they will treasure. Why not?
RECYCLE: Sometimes the pieces you are throwing out are no longer suitable for you or anyone else to wear, but that doesn’t mean that they should go to the landfill. More and more textile recycling companies and resources are popping up to offer a more responsible way to discard “end of life” clothing. There are a number of sites you can find online to list items. My daughter has a friend that is designing a fashion line and gives my discarded items for her to repurpose. How cool is that?
Now it’s time to organize that closet!
A happy closet is one where you become inspired from walking in. Summer shoes are front and center and on display on their shelves. Long dresses flow freely from their shorter counterparts. Jackets, pants, skirts, and shirts are in a tidy row. Some people like to color coordinate. As long as your space is well edited and filled with only things you will wear. I like to organize by category and then like colors. If you put all of your whites together than that side of the closet will look like a blur of white, so I prefer to break it up by like category and then colors from the same spectrum. Also, I like to transition my wardrobe during Fall, and by the time it’s Winter, to have my light breezy items stored away and not competing with my Winter wardrobe. (If you have space then you can have a Summer drawer with bikinis, etc. In case you go on a trip to a warmer climate!)Another good tip is to invest in a steamer for clothing that gets wrinkled and a clothing rack that you can roll out. When you plan your wardrobe, it’s easier if you put them on the rack a day or two before. You’ll be surprised at how much style status starts flowing your way when you pre-plan your wardrobe. Style evolution!
Hang pictures, occasionally put a vase of flowers, and have pieces of art that makes you happy when you walk in to your space!
I prefer to store bags in dust bags because dirt breaks down fabric and leather overtime, and a good purse can last a lifetime, but I get why someone wants to display the purse as you see it in the stores (amateur!)
Shoes should be uncrowded on shelves. I tell clients that it’s ok to take them out of boxes. Shoes do not have the same shelf life as purses, for obvious reasons. It’s hard on items worn on feet and most of the heels we buy become the wrong style and heel in a few seasons. Brogues, and flats are different and can be resoled at a local cobbler. I always take my shoes in for extra soles because it makes them last longer. I have a local guy that can makes them any color you want. I prefer black or tan.
Never keep shoes that are torn up or are visibly traumatized and beyond a cobbler’s RX. You won’t feel your best and people do notice your shoes.
I prefer good jewelry to be stored in the safe but I do approve of drawers that are lined and in a discreet place. I know there is a trend to hang necklaces on jewelry trees but dust collects more easily on them and ruins plated jewelry quicker, not to mention items get tangled easily. Velvet lined drawers are better and easier to find when everything has its own compartment. I also like to put finer jewelry in their dust bags. It keeps them from oxidizing.
Belts can be put on a belt hook on the wall or wrapped and put in dust bags if they are very precious, and tucked in their own drawer. Scarves and shawls can be folded and put in drawers. I have put them on hooks, but again they can get dusty quicker by being out.
Don’t hold onto anything that doesn’t make you feel good wearing it. I can’t say this enough. Judge your wardrobe harshly. If something feels a little wonky while wearing it, purge it. Put outfits together and make a personal look book so you don’t forget how great things go together. It’s time consuming, but in the long run you can always have more time to think about meetings and other things and less about looking great.
Remember; When you have a clear and strong sense of your style you make fewer fashion mistakes with your wardrobe, and that saves you time, money, and energy!
And the Universe will provide for you more readily!
***If you need help with your wardrobe you can message me. I have a few people that can help you get organized and feel good about it!