Clean Out Your Closet in 5 Easy Steps from the Stylist Way
The new year brings the promise of a brand new start. Whether it’s joining a gym or changing a diet, as cliché as it sounds, winter is the time for hitting reset on all your personal goals. Start with dressing for success by reviewing what does and does not spark joy your wardrobe.
If the thought of this seems overwhelming, not to fear! It is my goal, as a stylist, to help you feel a sense of relief when looking into your closet and mirror. What you see should be a reflection of your true self. Use my step-by-step guide below to consciously clean your closet and create space for more fulfillment.
5 Steps for a Conscious Closet Cleanse
Bad news? This is the hardest part. Good news? You can do it. Set aside at least three hours to do a deep dive into your closet. Depending on the size of your wardrobe, it may take multiple days to finish without burnout. Take as much time as you need, but don’t to stretch it so long that you end up putting it off. Phone a friend to keep you honest and to provide moral support!
You can start by category - e.g. pants, skirts, shirts, dresses, etc. - placing each item in a pile:
Reuse is for keepers.
Would you or do you wear it everyday? Yay! Put it here.
Reinvent is for maybes.
Love it, but the pocket is falling off? Put it here.
Recycle is for goodbyes.
Forgot you even had it? Don't even think about it. Put it here.
Take a moment to check out your hangers, shoe racks and accessory holders. Do they need attention as well? Do you have too many or not enough? You can pile them in the same way.
Make a detailed list of what you need for your wardrobe to feel complete. Before purchasing any items brand new, I recommend checking with your family, friends and local thrift stores first.
Start organizing the items by category and color. I prefer the order of lightest to darkest, but feel free to use whatever method makes the most sense to you. Also, take note of how you store your items. Most shirts, sweaters, jeans, pants and undergarments can be folded instead of hung. This can come in handy if hangers or space is limited - and, in some cases, can extend the life of your items.
You know that one shirt you wore so much that a button or two popped off? You know, the one that was hanging in your closet collecting dust because you lost all hope but won't dare let it go? Don't worry. I'm guilty of this too. Just grab a good ol' needle and thread and show it some TLC. You'll be surprised how adding an item you absolutely love back into your wardrobe can boost your style. If you're not an expert at mending, find someone who is and ask them teach you or share resources for you to do so. Don't let a ripped seam or unwanted hole get you down. Most clothing disasters can be transformed. Store this pile in the front of your closet or drawer for repair stat.
Never. Throw. Away. Your. Clothes. Ever. Yes, even your faded jeans from eras ago. Clothes dumped in the trash often end up sitting in landfills. Help improve the environment by choosing to donate. This is one of the many reasons why organizations like Seattle Goodwill exist. Items are either sold in the retail store to provide a second life or - if the textiles are not sellable - recycled or repurposed. In fact, just last year, 55 million pounds of items were saved. What an impact! Knowing this should make it easier to take your pile to nearby donation center and say goodbye.
The temptation to buy is constantly around us. If you catch yourself wanting to impulse shop, cut yourself some slack but remember to ask: "Do I need this in my closet? Is this something I will wear over and over again?" If you're honest, it will lead to smarter buying decisions and a stronger sense of style.
Feeling inspired? Let's connect! I am your resource for shopping and dressing your best this year. Send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website at www.thestylistway.com for details on upcoming events and styling packages.
JeLisa "JL" Marshall, owner of The Stylist Way, is helping make fashion a force for good by offering styling solutions to the conscious consumer. Shopping with intention and care has always been a part of her lifestyle. However, it wasn't until she began working in the fashion industy that its social and environmental issues were made blatantly apparent. It inspired her to become more informed and involved in lessening the harmful impacts on the planet. This includes volunteering with Goodwill and Remake and connecting with supporters of the sustainable fashion movement around the Pacific Northwest and world.