Has Marie Kondo’s Netflix series gotten you all revved up and ready to spruce up your space? Intimidated by the process and unsure where to start? Don’t worry - I’ve got a simple formula for your own DIY WARDROBE DETOX.
As a personal stylist, I’ve helped clients do exactly that for the past 10 years. Believe it or not, when it comes to your wardrobe less really IS more, and the fewer items you have to choose from the simpler it becomes to get dressed. Just imagine opening your closet and seeing ONLY things you love, instead of having to dig through dozens of mediocre options only to land on something … mediocre. Whether shopping for my clients or cleaning out their current wardrobes; my motto is always “love or bust, not lust.”
“LOVE OR BUST, NOT LUST!”
Meaning there is no space for “maybe this could be sort of cute for that one obscure occasion if I loose a few pounds and find the right pant for it and, and, and …” Nor is there room for the “it was a gift so I feel guilty, but I couldn’t hate it more” or the “it’s not actually cute or flattering, but it’s designer!”
My rule of thumb? In order to earn it’s spot in the closet, an item must either bring you joy or be foundational (meaning a truly useful basic).
Still unsure? Check out these definitive guidelines and my 3 step process below!
WHAT TO KEEP
Functional wardrobe staples that you ACTUALLY use. Don't keep a black pencil skirt just because you think everyone should own one, unless you actually wear it.
Things You Love
Things that make you feel confident and beautiful, regardless of whether or not they’re trendy. Again, the key here is keeping things that you actually wear, not what you love from afar...
If it doesn't fit one of those two categories, it's not worth the closet space!
WHAT TO DITCH
Anything stained, worn out or irreparably damaged.
Sentimental styles that you no longer wear. If you absolutely can't get rid of the sweater you wore when you got engaged, put it in storage. Having it in your closet only creates clutter and blocks your more wearable items.
Clothes that are too small, and won't fit within the next 2-3 months. If you're actively losing weight and plan to return to a certain size within 2-3 months, it's worth keeping something you love, assuming that it will be seasonally appropriate by then. Otherwise, assume that by next season you'll be ready for an update regardless of size.
Clothes that are ill fitted and either unable or difficult to be altered. No style is worth keeping if it doesn’t actually look good on YOU.
Especially shoes that are too uncomfortable to wear. If you know you can't realistically wear them, regardless of how great they look on your shelf - they've gotta go. Make room for a pair that's gorgeous AND wearable!
3 STEPS TO SANITY
1. Get Ready
Clear your schedule for a couple of hours without distraction. Put on some tunes to get you in the mood and prep a few big trash bags to fill with anything you decide to ditch. The sooner out of sight, the sooner out of mind.
Evaluate each item of clothing according to the criteria above, and split into 3 piles: “KEEP” “GO” and “MAYBE”. Maybe should be a small pile, mostly of things that just need to be tried on at the end to evaluate clearly.
As a general rule, if you need to think too long and hard about whether or not something should go, chances are - it should!
Toss the “GO” items into a trash bag, never to be revisited (resist the temptation!) Neatly re-organize everything that you’re keeping so that you can see everything clearly in your closet. Try the “maybe’s” again at the end of the process and decide where they belong.
what to do now?
SELL OR DONATE
Once you've done the dirty work, donate unwanted items to charity and collect the tax write off if it’s helpful. For higher ticket items, these online consignment stores are available to anyone in the country, and are a great way to earn cash for your cast offs:
Thread Up: Consignment with the option to keep the proceeds or donate to a charity of your choice.
Poshmark: Like an Ebay listing that’s easier to upload and never expires, this community based app requires a little social interaction to gain attention but provides the biggest margins.
Rebagg: Cash for handbags.
Luxury Garage Sale: Online consignment for clothing and accessories
Wait a week before shopping
Before you get too excited about the newfound space in your closet, take at least a week or more to see what life is like with a more minimal wardrobe. This will help you focus on finding the items you actually need.
Still having trouble? If you’d like someone to help make the tough decisions and efficiently refill your wardrobe in a thoughtful way - email me. :-)