Tips for the closet edit
The new year always feels like the perfect time for a closet edit. It's a time of year where look ahead to new possibilities, or to perhaps make some small improvements in our lives. You'd be surprised what a difference something as simple as an organized closet can make in how we start each day.
As you know, I've spent a lot of time helping people sort through their closets so I have a few tips to share.
Set aside a chunk of time:
If done properly, this isn't a task that you will able to do quickly. I would recommend trying to get through all of your Fall/Winter clothes during this edit and then make time in the next couple of months to look at Spring/Summer. That being said, there will be pieces that remain in your closet year-round so feel free to go through those now. Make sure you have at least a couple of hours to dedicate to the edit.
Believe it or not, a closet edit can actually be really fun - if you approach it the right way. Why not put together a playlist of your favouirte songs to help keep you motivated? Make sure you are armed with refreshments (depending on the time of day, I find both coffee and wine work very well). Keep water on hand. Snacks can also help keep you fueled. This is something you may choose to do alone, or invite a friend to join you (or your local stylist - I am always happy to help!).
Throughout the process you will be sorting garments into piles. The keepers will be making their way back into the closet (I also have suggestions for how that should be done - read on...). Pieces that are in good condition (but that you no longer wear) you may choose to consign. Have a bin/basket ready to collect those items. Note: this could be the perfect time to download the app myWardrobe online and start to upload some of these items. Some that are no longer serving you well may not be appropriate for consignment. Have a bag or bin ready to collect these garments for donation. Lastly, some pieces may require a small alteration or some tailoring before being placed back in the closet. Have an area designated for these items. I recommend leaving them in a place where you won't forget about them - the sooner you get the clothing altered, the sooner it will be back in your closet being part of some fabulous outfits!
Once the stage is set, start at one end of the closet and go through each item piece by piece. Take it off the rack and have a good look at it and ask yourself the following questions:
1) Does it fit and flatter? If you aren't sure, take the time to try it on! Keep in mind if it fits in terms of size, silhouette and if the colour flatters your skin tone.
2) Is this something I have worn within the last year? If not, why not?
3) Does it suit my lifestyle?
4) Do I love it?
5) Does it connect to my personality?
6) Is it in good condition, or has it been loved to death?
7) Am I able to style it at least 3 ways? Note: if you have a piece that meets most of the criteria, but you aren't sure how to style it 3 ways, hang on to it and then feel free to reach out. I'd love to help you find more ways to make garments work multiple ways in your closet.
Remember to also go through your drawers (T-shirts, athletic wear etc.) and be sure to include footwear and outerwear as part of this process.
Once you have gone through this process and determined what to keep, it is important arrange everything in an organized manner. Not only will this make your wardrobe more pleasing to the eye, but will give you a better idea of what you have; as well as any gaps you may have in your wardrobe. These gaps will become your future shopping list.
Group all like items together: pants, dresses, skirts, long sleeved tops, short sleeved tops, tank tops etc. Within each grouping arrange from darkest to lightest. This way, at a quick glance you can see what you have and items will be easy to locate. Once you've done this you might see you have a huge block of black tops - that is a sign that you don't need to purchase another! Maybe you will notice there isn't much colour in the closet once you have reorganized garments (or print), this could also be something to consider for future shopping excursions. Take note of anything you removed from the closet to see if you may need to replace that item. Perhaps your go-to pencil skirt is worn beyond repair. Maybe you need a new pair of black jeans - you see where I am going with this...
Above is a picture from my closet. You will see that I have the items grouped and arranged by colour. It is clear from this that I love colour and print and that if I am going to add anything to my shopping list - maybe it will be a couple of more basics to serve as outfit building blocks.
Uniform hangers are another helpful tool for closet organization. I love the velvet ones as they are non-slip and pieces compact together easily. They will offer you so much more space in your closet. You will see from the photo above that a random plastic one has worked it's way into my wardrobe - perhaps I am also due for another edit...
Over the next few months I will be sharing strategies for shopping the closet to create new outfits. The goal is to look into our wardrobes and see them filled with outfits rather than closets stuffed with clothes. We've all heard the expression, "I have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear". I'd like to help with that.
Knowing how to create outfits with what's already there will improve the likelihood that what those pieces hanging there will get worn more frequently. It will lessen time spent in the morning wondering what to wear and, hopefully, decrease any frustrations or anxieties around getting dressed.
I will also be hi-lighting key pieces for a well balanced wardrobe. This could also come in handy when considering future purchases.
Best of luck with this task and please keep me posted on how it goes and reach out if you have any questions. Feel free to use this checklist for reference.
PS: I have been watching Marie Kondo's Netflix series on tidying up. If you didn't get a chance to read my post on Sparking Joy and the Closet Edit you can read it here.