With it being 2023 now, most of us have probably set new goals + resolutions.
And a good old closet purging is probably on that list.
Am I right?!
So many of us have closets stuffed with clothes we haven’t touched in ages, but we hang onto them because “maybe someday” we’ll wear them.
But how many of us have actually followed through with that?
So even though, it can be hard to let go of the old, we are gonna challenge you to set a different tone for your new year...and actually clean out your closet.
And before we do anything, it's really important to face the question as to why we struggle to get rid of clothes....especially ones that aren't even really doing anything for us in the first place!
Common excuses are,
"they are for inspiration" for when I lose weight, go back to work, start my business...
"there's a story / memory", "reminds me of someone", "it was a gift"...
"I'm sure I'll wear it someday"...(but we know that day never comes...
Be very honest with yourself as to whether you have used any of these excuses.
And remind yourself that they are exactly that....excuses.
And you aren't doing yourself any good in believing them.
So let's move on to that newly organized closet...and the how.
Start by setting aside a good chunk of undistracted time. Maybe even something around 3-4 hours, where you can jack up the music, hang out in your undies, change in + out of clothes freely and no one will be watching you as you go through + put on every.single.item in that closet. Meaning you don't want your partner, your kids or your roommate interrupting your flow and saying stupid shit like, "ew, you actually own that pink polka dot dress"....?! Because comments like that disrupt, distract and totally get you out of your own personal flow + zone of creating a wardrobe that YOU vibe with. Not one for that cruel roommate of yours.
Get yourself 5 large bags or bins. These are going to be for your five separate piles of Keep, Donate, Store, Fix and Trash. And these are the "guidelines" you gotta promise to follow. Keep: You LOVE these items and are so happy that they are yours. You couldn't imagine parting with them. They make you feel the feels --- happy, energetic, bold, empowered, fun, sexy or sassy. You know absolutely that they belong in your wardrobe. Donate: These are items that may have some good use left in them, but seem to be either outdated (for your taste) or don't fit anymore (for the size you are right now...not the size you were or want to be. It may take some time to get to the size you want to be - that's down the road - in the meantime, you need to still be wearing clothes, so donate anything that does.not.fit.right.now.) Store: This category is more for giving your closet some space, orgaization and breathing room. It's an especially good tactic for those who have a small closet or not a lot of wardrobe space. Use this for setting seasonal items aside (like bulky sweaters, fall jackets or leg warmers), not for keeping items that should really be donated or trashed. Don't try to cheat yourself. Fix: Probably many of us have clothes that we would like to wear more often, but it's missing a button or needs a hem. And because we have busy weeks, we never really actually get to fixing it. So set those items in your Fix Pile and either schedule another few hours THAT WEEK to do all the fixing...or just pay the small amount for someone like a seamstress to get it all done for you. And believe me, it's worth it. If the "fix" may be too big to handle, move it to the Trash pile. Trash: This is the pile where if it's holey, stained, stretched out, dingy, musty/smelly, ripped, faded - (you get the point, right?) - it gets tossed here. And note to self, do not put this aside as "cleaning rags" because they just might end up back in your closet. Trust me, been there, done that. Like if clothing had puppy dog eyes and was begging me to not throw it out!
3. Take everything out of your closet/shelves/drawers and toss onto your bed. Now go through each items - trying them on one by one - and go with your initial gut feeling about each item. So, if you pick it up like you practically want to hug it and say "thank you for being my friend"....put it in the keep pile. If it's still got a tag on it - especially from a store that isn't even around anymore - put it in the Donate pile.....there's a reason why you haven't worn it still to this day. You don't LOVE it. (But see the Tips below.) Do this for every item you own. Speed things up if you are feeling like you are becoming indecisive.
4. When you have finished sorted through,
Take all your items from your Keep pile and PROUDLY place them back on a hanger in your closet or in your drawers.
Take your Donate pile and put them in your vehicle or near your front door as a reminder to take them out.
Put your Store Pile in their spot, whether that's a basement, an attic or under your bed.
Schedule a time for the items in the Fix pile to actually be fixed. And put these near your front door too if they are headed out to someone.
Walk your Trash Pile directly to your trash outside. And do not feel bad or guilty about this.
5. Look at what was put back into your closet (from the Keep Pile). Just take a minute to see if any items may need just a quick steaming or the like. This way, the next time you reach for something, there are no hold ups. And this means less time in getting ready + out the door.
6. Now it's the fun time to get it all organized!! And this, is a personal choice. You know how you do things best, so go and do that. But if you are looking for options, you can arrange the clothing by category (dresses, skirts, tops etc), by color (black, brown, blue, green, etc) or by both (each category has its specific items arranged by color). That's how I do it. But I also have by length.
This is because I have a shoe rack on one side of the closet and don't want clothes hanging in front of it. So I actually have Long Dresses/Long Skirts/Pants, then "Regular Length" Dresses, Skirts, Tops (Long Sleeve, then Short Sleeve), Camis and Blazers.
7. It's now time to step back and admire your new wardrobe! Congratulations on all your hard work!!! There really isn't much better than waking up to a well organized wardrobe, filled with items that you are actually excited to put together.
It makes such a difference to how you end up rocking your day!
Don't mistake some of your "go-to's" for the Keep pile. Just because you default to them (whether because of lack of time, lack of styling know how or fear), if they are too well-loved (ie., looking more like they belong in the Donate or Trash pile) or don't really seem to flatter you, then you may need to move them into their real home (and not the Keep pile)
If you see an abundance of one color --- usually black or browns, these may be some of the previously mentioned "go-to's" in a pile, secretly hoping you will just keep them. Stay strong mama. Be very discerning with items that you are keeping.
Be sure that the items in your Stored pile are actually clean before putting these away. Fold or roll everything up nicely so those items will be ready to go when you are.
Set aside regular ironing/steaming time. Whether that is a little of additional time right after doing laundry or another day, this will help with you being able to really use all the items in your wardrobe and not having to NOT wear an item because it needs some steaming and you just don't have the time in the morning.
Don't fear getting rid of items because you spent money on them already....or you are in a situation where you can't necessarily afford to replace with new items. Remember not only will you be almost "over-rocking" items from your Keep Pile (because you love them so much), but ReWilde can + will show you how to mix and match so that you extend your wardrobe. Even with a minimal number of items.
I'm not totally cringe in making you give everything away. If there is an item that you really do love, but it doesn't fit you - and you are actively working on your health and it could possibly fit in say, 6 months or so - then sure, keep it. And display it somewhere you'll see it daily and use it as an inspiration item, not a "fear of giving it up" item.
And I get it. Some items, especially those that still have tags on, may be something that you do really like and does fit you...but you aren't sure exactly how to wear it, pair it or rock it. That's when I suggest you call up ReWilde and have one of our stylists help you. You can also ask us about getting your hands on our Style Guide and/or ask about getting your own Personal Stylist here at ReWilde. We can show you what colors and styles flatter you the most, how to mix and match and how to shop for your body and your own unique personality.
Maybe you might be so proud of your Closet Clean out that you wanna show me a before and after? If so, you can absolutely post it to FB or IG and tag @rewildestore
Or, maybe after reading all this, you feel like you'd really like to have a "neutral party" there with the assist? I would gladly second this, especially since sometimes a close friend isn't entirely "subjective" and you want to be sure you are true to your own vibe, not what your friend likes or does not like.
ReWilde offers Closet Clean Outs, where a stylist can help you with quickly + fiercely going through your closet with the aim of "remove to improve"...and then help you organize it back. You can message the store to schedule this.
And here is a cheatsheet if you need help with deciding whether to keep an item or not.
ps. I love how sassy the sheet is, with all it's "comebacks", lol
The ReWilde Team