Cleaning out our closets are necessary from time to time. It could be for the change in season. Or you moved and don’t have as much closet space. Perhaps you needed to revamp your style or got a new job. Whatever your reason this task has to be done. Cleaning out your closet can be a tedious and time heavy process. But it doesn’t have to be.
Over the years I developed a process to help keep my closet full of items that I love and work seamlessly into my everyday life. Oh, I’m sharing. It’s helped me to enjoy going through my closet and make the process quicker every time.
Here are 5 steps to purging your closet that will make the process easier and leave you with a more functional outcome. These are not the typical steps that will just tell you to throw out anything you haven’t worn in a month. This steps will help you get to the why. In the end, you will have a more tailored closet that speaks to your personal fashion sense and lifestyle.
1| Define a Purpose
Any transition in life is defined by a purpose. The same rings true for your closet. Before you go all Van Hansel on your current wardrobe situation, take a step back. Then write down three ways your closet doesn’t work for you and three ways it does. After, write down three ways you want your clothing to work better for you. This gives you a clear plan and guidelines. So when you get to an item you can’t quite decide what to do with, refer back to this plan. You can see my lists below.
My 3 Ways List
- Lacking some key basics like white tees, more turtlenecks
- Not enough winter footwear
- Not having a staple everyday bag in a neutral color
- My denim. They are all great quality, fit well & do double duty.
- My Jackets. I have a good range for each season & they’re all very versatile
- The fit. All my items fit really well, they hug me comfortably in all the right places
- Tops selections. I never feel like I have a good range of tops ever. This has been a constant issue for me that I intend to resolve this year
- I have a little bin of belts but most are completely useless for everyday use
- More color.
2| Pick out your favorite/most worn items
Once you pick out your favorite and most worn items.Make three piles. One for your favorite items, one for your most worn items and one for items that fit both. The reason for this? Sometimes you have a piece that’s your favorite but you don’t wear it as often as you like. It could be something you tend to only wear on special occasions or out to dinner. You may have items you get a lot of wear out of because they’re comfortable or they fit you okay. However, these pieces may not be ones you love or complement your body best.
Analyze them. Why are they your favorite? Is it the material? The style? The color? Maybe you’re able to wear it in multiple ways and across multiple settings. I really find this part helpful because it starts to identify your shopping habits and what you gravitate towards. This all leads to helping to cultivate and hone it on your personal style. These will also be the pieces you’ll most likely keep and measure the rest of wardrobe against.
3| Check for items that can be fixed/repurposed
We have a lot of pieces we count out because they need a little TLC. It could an item continue to work for you if you took it to a tailor. Could a pair of shoes be picked up by getting the bottoms resoled or a pair of jeans turned into shorts? Maybe a white top could be saved with a little oxy clean? Take the extra minute to see if you’d love to keep the item if you made a small tweak.
4| Create or Visualize Outfits
This is my favorite part. I love creating outfits and visualizing. It makes it easy to see what I am missing from my wardrobe, what pieces I’m struggling to style or what pieces are doing double duty. For example, I have this trench style sleeveless vest by Trouve that I have a million ideas for how to wear. On the flip side, I have this beautiful beaded white top that I’m never drawn to wear. The top is beautiful, fits well but I know it just doesn’t belong in my closet.
You can even take the time to pin a few favorite looks or flip through a magazine or check out your favorite influencers Instagram for inspiration. If you need help in this area call up your best girlfriend or even seek out a personal stylist.
5| Forgotten Gem, Hidden Potential or donate?
Now that you’ve made a plan, picked out your favorite pieces and created a few ideal outfits. Use those as a guide to finish cleaning out your closet.
Make three piles:
The Forgotten gem: Pieces you forgot you had but still love and have 3 three ways you could wear it
Hidden Potential: Pieces you’re on the fence about. Sometimes we need a bit more time to make a decision. Plan to give yourself the next month to wear it and if not get rid of it for good.
Donate/Sell: These are items that just don’t work for you and you need to give a new home. You can decide to donate to a local shelter, church or The Salvation Army. Or you can decide to sell items to a consignment shop or on an app like Poshmark.