It’s already 90 degrees outside and it’s not even officially summer yet. Time to officially switch over to your summer wardrobe! Since you are spending a few minutes in the closet, why not do a little editing while you’re there? I had the chance to shoot a quick tip video with Rebecca Spera for her ABC13 Five to Fab series on how to edit your closet like a pro.
Though it was shot a while back, it’s still 100% relevant and helpful if you find yourself with some time to reclaim control of your closet. This is going to take more than five minutes to do but less than five minutes to show you the process and hopefully inspire you to get busy.
How to Edit Your Closet Like a Pro
You get dressed every day, let’s make it an easy process! Here are some closet purging and organization tips to help you have a closet you love and can breathe in.
View the video here. All the tips and tricks below!
The Purging Process
This can be the hardest. We all have some emotional attachment to our clothes. We know how much we paid, we know when we wore it, and/or we know who gave it to us. BUT if it’s not serving you well now, it needs to go. Trust me on this, it’s served its purpose and can move on. We don’t need hangers-on dragging us down in our closet or in our lives for that matter!
Here are four questions to ask yourself about EVERY PIECE you choose to keep in your closet:
The Keep Criteria
Does is fit and look good on you??
Obvious question but one that must be asked. Because sometimes we flick past a piece and say yes but need to try it on and take a look in the mirror again.
I have clients try on several pieces (sometimes MANY) as we go through their closet. You never know, hangers lie. And if it’s something you haven’t worn in a while the reason you love or hate it may have changed.
Do you love it?
Is it a piece you actually like? Do you feel great when you put it on? Or does it remind you of a horrible ex-boyfriend or a season in your life that doesn’t need any memories? Give yourself the freedom to have a closet full of 100s. To let go of second best so the fantastic pieces get more air time.
Do you have too many of the same things?
You know what I’m talking about. How many white t-shirts can a person possibly own AND USE? Or distressed denim? Usually when I see a section of a closet that has an excessive number of the same type of thing, it means two things: one, that style is worn a lot which requires more than the usual one or two of the piece; and two, the person kept buying options trying to find the perfect piece because there is something about the predecessors that just isn’t quite right.
A helpful technique for pairing this category down is this: You have to leave in five minutes. You’re throwing on a white tee, your favorite camo skinnies, and a killer pair of heels. Which tee do you throw on? Start there with a keep pile. All others are on the chopping block unless they can prove the fill a hole the others don’t. For instance, one loose, one fitted; one silk; one cold-shoulder option, etc.
I’m not going to give you a number of how many of each specific piece (black skirts, white t-shirts, dark denim, etc) you should own but I guarantee you, there is at least one you can get rid of if you have more than a few of a particular style!
Is it wearable?
In addition to asking the questions above, everything that’s left needs to be in wearable condition! No stapled hems (have absolutely been guilty of this in the past!), frayed collars, missing buttons, stained silk, broken zippers, bleaching/fading, pilling, tears, and/or ripped seams.
If it’s salvageable, put in a pile OUT OF THE CLOSET and make a plan to take it to alterations or the dry cleaners the next chance you get. Those are pieces you’ve invested in that are just sitting there unusable!
The In-Between Times
If you are in the dreaded “in-between” and still want to edit your closet here it what I recommend for the too big and too small pieces your wardrobe! If you have a set of clothing that are too small currently but you are either in the pregnancy weight life cycle or are actively losing weight to get back in them, move them to another closet or some kind of storage. They need to be out of your daily line-of-sight so you make a decision on what to wear in a given day faster.
If they are too small and most likely will either not be stylish when you can fit into them again or was your size right before your wedding 10 yrs ago… they can move on. ;-) Spare yourself the aggravation.
People are often afraid of letting go of the small pieces for fear that it means they are giving up and will be their current size forever. I beg to differ and have seen plenty of evidence to the contrary. I won’t go into a long-winded breakdown of the psychological aspects of seeing daily negative reminders (very few are actually motivated by the two-sizes-too-small dress) and allowing yourself to be ok with who you are today but just trust me. Many clients actually lose weight after I edit their closet. Plus, who doesn’t want to go shopping to celebrate their accomplishment when they are able to lose??!
If you have pieces that are too big, unless you are planning to be pregnant or gain enough weight to fit in them again, kick them to the curb! It takes a few days of wearing pants that are a little too small to remember to eat less candy. < that candy bit was for me. If you are also a fellow sugar fiend, I just want you to know you’re not alone. ;-)
The key is to only keep what fits in your direct line-of-sight!
Now that you have a closet full of amazingness, it’s time to organize.
Organizing the Good
A full post on how to organize your closet like a pro is here (url) but two quick suggestions that will get you well on your way.
Organize in the way you get dressed. Tops on top, pants and skirts on bottoms. Cardigans, sweaters, jackets, and all layering pieces in one section as well.
Within each category – tops for instance – organize by sleeve length (you would be amazed how many beautiful sleeveless shells are unearthed during a closet session!) then by color
The One Organizing Item You MUST have
Matching hangers! Until you’ve done it you have no idea how much it aggravates your eyes to see mismatched hangers. The brain has to sort through perceived clutter to get to the reason it’s actually there – finding something to wear. Having matching hangers removes a visual obstacle for your brain and allows it to move right on to the business of selecting something wonderful for you to wear today.
A word of money-saving advice – wait until you have purged your closet before you buy hangers and other organizing supplies! It’s so easy to overbuy but if you wait until you know exactly what’s staying, you’ll buy exactly what you need and no more.
Your New, Beautiful Closet
Whew. How did it go?
Probably took a while but you should now have a closet of perfection. How satisfying will it be to walk into your closet tomorrow and not have to remember what fits and what doesn’t? What can’t be worn right now because it’s damaged or stained? Or just plain not being able to find what you are looking for?
You are an important person. You have things to do, lives to impact, projects to run, tasks to cross off the list. No sense wasting time or sacrificing a stylishly look before you even get started with your day.
And if this list just makes you want to curl under the covers and forget the whole closet even exists. Or you rolled your eyes at least once while reading and muttered, “Seriously Natalie? You’re joking. You think I have time to do all of this??!” Give me a call. I can have most if not all of it knocked out in under three hours. 😉