Is it a joy for you to get dressed in the mornings?
If it isn’t, it can be!
A wardrobe detox can turn cluttered closets into stylish order with this 4-step process of streamlining and organizing.
I highly recommend that you take several days to complete the process.
- Step 1: Define style (1 Day)
- Step 2: Plan your Pinterest wardrobe (over several days)
- Step 3: Purge your closet (dedicate at least 3-4 hours)
- Step 4: Organize (1 to several days)
STEP 1. DEFINE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE
True style is about feeling comfortable in what you’re wearing while looking gorgeous in it. Your style should say something about the real you and should work for your lifestyle.
If you don’t know your style, take the SheKnows style quiz or try either of these exercises:
a) Think about your aspirational self (the woman you want to be when you grow up)
Imagine her in an every day event…
- Commuting to work — to a job you love, of course!
- Walking into a fabulous restaurant to meet friends.
You’re confident and glowing and you look and feel great in what you’re wearing.
b) Take note of how you are moving in it.
- Are you wearing pants or skirt/dress?
- Is it tailored or flowing?
- What are the colors and the pattern (plaids, gingham, flowers, solids, a mix)?
- Are you wearing heels or flats?
c) How would you describe the style you visualized?
If it helps, use a real-life style icon to help you name your style.
- Nicole Richie – Chic Bohemian
- Rihanna – Eclectic Fashionista
- Marion Cotillard – Modern Classic
- Cara Delevingne – Sporty Rocker
Or, use a movie or TV character: Claire Underwood (House of Cards), Andy Sachs (Devil Wears Prada after her makeover), Olivia Pope (Scandal), Mindy Lahiri (The Mindy Project).
Or, find your own moniker for your style: “Sexy Boss Lady,” “Global Urban,” “Sweet Tart”
STEP 2. PLAN YOUR WARDROBE
As our friends over at Living Well Spending Less showed us in The 40-hanger closet, less options make getting dressed less chaotic.
Create Pinterest boards to represent your work and after-work wardrobe. The average 12-14 foot closet will hold approximately the following wardrobe count comfortably; keep this in mind as you decide how many of each piece to have in your streamlined closet:
- 3 jackets
- 2 – 3 jeans
- 5 – 6 dresses
- 7 – 8 skirts and pants
- 8-10 tops
- 2 pantsuits (if you’re the pantsuit type)
- 3 misc pieces (e.g. 1 jumpsuit, 2 rompers)
- Assorted accessories
STEP 3. HAVE A HEALTHY PURGE
Now that you’ve identified your style and planned your wardrobe, it’s time for the purge.
As you go into the purge process keep in mind that it can bring up real emotions. It’s natural to want to hold onto certain things but be strict with yourself as you create 3 sets of clothes, Yeses, Noes and Maybes.
The Yeses are items you LOVE and will wear NOW; leave those hanging in the closet.
Noes are items you haven’t worn in a while because they are 2 sizes too small, ruined, never did fit right, and doesn’t fit your new style. Pull and bag those for donating pronto!
What to do about the Maybes?
Shop the Maybes for your new wardrobe. Try things on to see if you can pair them with items you love to create new interesting combos. Ask yourself whether you can re-purpose pieces by shortening, tapering or tailoring. TIP: Hang items that need alternation outside your closet for up to 2 weeks as a reminder to see to it. Dispatch the other maybes.
- Sell clothes and use the money to buy pieces you’ll want to wear more.
- Store under the bed or somewhere else if you think you’ll love it again
- Have a clothes swap with friends; this way you get to keep a key piece in the “family” in case you want to borrow it in the future
STEP 4. ORGANIZE THE CLOSET
Tips to make your closet look inviting
PACK AWAY OUT-OF-SEASON CLOTHES
To make more space in your closet, always pack away out of season items. Either have your spring/summer or your winter/ fall wardrobe hanging, never both at once.
CREATE ORDER IN YOUR CLOSET
- Hang by length and type — Start with sleeveless tops, then tops with short sleeves, then long, followed by jackets, skirts and pants, and last, dresses.
- Arrange by color or by outfits.
- Ironing clothes before you hang them is a big time saver and it makes your closet look polished.
EXPAND YOUR CLOSET
If you can, install an additional rail or two at different heights for shorter items such as skirts, t-shirts, and tops.
The secret to staying organized is the setup and consistency. Join us in the next installments as we bring you tips to doing both. Got a tip or question for us? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Kjerstin Bjerga is a blogger and freelance designer living in Dallas, Texas. She spends her free time outdoors and enjoys thrifting at local shops and flea markets.