Now that you have assessed your personal style and found out what kind of items make sense with your lifestyle, it’s time to step into that overstuffed closet and purge, purge, purge! So grab the best-looking mirror you have and maybe an honest friend or family member to get you through these few uninterrupted hours of cleansing.
If you haven’t read part one to this series, click here.
| During the audit |
Designate spaces for keep, donate, consign, throw away.
Right before you begin, map out certain places in your room/home where you will organize your clothing. The most important thing about cleaning out your closet is to make sure you keep everything organized…or otherwise WWII just began in your home. Designate areas for keeping, donating, consigning or simply throwing away.
Focus on one section of your closet at a time.
You will get overwhelmed if you just begin by pulling things out of your closet. Have a sense of order, and focus on just bottoms or a specific season.
Try everything on and ask yourself these questions.
I know one can get tired of trying on every piece of clothing, but this is a marathon, not a sprint! If there are items that you wear religiously, you can set those aside as “keepers.” But, this is definitely the way to find out whether you should toss or keep an item.
When trying on each item, ask yourself:
–Do I absolutely love it? Do I feel comfortable/great in it?
Overused excuse: Maybe I used to love it…but now I don’t.”
–Does it fit well?
Overused excuse: “It used to fit me like four years ago before I had my first child. But if I can just lose those 10 pounds, it will fit like a glove.”
If it does not fit you now, give it away. Love your body as it is and work toward a goal that is realistic for you. More often than not, tight clothes that collect dust in our closet give us more doubt than motivation.
–Does it work with my lifestyle?
Overused excuse: “But what if I go back to work again one day? I’ll need these 10 pairs of trousers!”
Your lifestyle may change, but that doesn’t mean you should hoard items you won’t ever wear! We encounter “what ifs” every day, so make the hard decision to part with items that you aren’t wearing.
–Is it flattering on me? Does the color look good with my skin tone?
Overused excuse: “It’s just a little tight in the arms, but it looks good, so I can bear through it!”
OK, really? You want to be uncomfortable at a nice dinner with your boyfriend and every time you reach for your glass of wine, you’re constricted in your own shirt? C’mon, I don’t believe you. As for ideal colors with skin tone, I think you should wear whatever colors you like. Wear what makes you happy and confident.
–Is the item age-appropriate?
Overused excuse: “But it makes me feel young and sexy! I’m young at heart and I want to dress like it too.”
That may be true…but is that really how you want others to see you? We should not worry about what others think for a lot of things, but wearing a miniskirt or tube top when you’re 50 years old is not one of them. Less is more in this situation. You can still look and feel sexy in an outfit that is not super revealing.
–Have I worn it in the last year or will I ever wear it again?
Overused excuse: “But it was really expensive! I wore this item to a really nice event and think I’ll wear it again.”
No, you probably won’t. In fact, you’ll probably want something new when you have an upcoming event. Holding on to things for memories or just because it costs a pretty penny doesn’t mean the item is a keeper.
-And the No. 1 question that will help you decide… Would I buy this item today?
If you are still undecided about whether to toss or keep an item, this question works 99 percent of the time because it really puts things in perspective. If you have used any of these excuses when trying on clothes, consider letting the items go.
And if you do decide to tackle shoes and accessories, ask yourself the same questions!
Establish order and consistency in your new closet.
When you finish the closet purge, hang things together in categories (pants, skirts, dresses, blouses, shirts etc.) and then organize by color in each group. In the future, this will make it easier to get dressed every day.
You can now stroll into your closet each day with confidence and know that every piece in there works for you and your day-to-day life! I’ll admit, auditing a closet is a big undertaking and can be overwhelming. But when you see the end result, you’ll feel amazing and truly appreciate everything item of clothing you have.
Be on the look out for Part III next week where I’ll give you tips on how to donate/make money on your clothes and how to reinvent new looks with your revived wardrobe!
*Some of this information came from Cabi’s Auditing your Closet guide!