by Silk Allen
(Plain Press, September 2018) An inexpensive way to refine your style, make your morning routine simpler and have a closet full of pieces that you love can be achieved by closet editing. We only wear about 20 percent of our clothing 80 percent of the time and the rest of the stuff is just taking up space and making you feel bad.
Choose an evening to set aside about two or three hours, turn on some music, grab a friend or family member (you can do this on your own but you have to be brutally honest) and a few snacks and beverages to get you through. You will need hangers, plastic garbage bags or bins to separate your piles and to toss your unwanted clothes in.
Do your Laundry
This exercise will only work if you have access to all of your clothes. Wash, dry and fold everything before you get started, but instead of placing them back in your drawers or hanging in your closet, lay them all on your bed in piles: tops, bottoms, dresses, etc. adding your clean clothes into the mix as well.
Sort and pile
Edit the piles one by one and keep only the clothes that you have worn in the last year, clothes that fit you well, have no rips, stains or missing buttons, are a great color on you and not a duplicate of what you already have (unless it’s several pairs of great fitting jeans- you can never have enough).
Anything that is left over needs to go into bins or plastic bags that are marked: Sell, Donate and Toss. The rest of the items can go back into your closet and you can organize them by color, style, length or outfit.
Toss ill-fitting clothes, pieces that you never really liked or are not flattering, faded tees, styles that you have outgrown and anything else that does not make you look and feel fabulous into your donation bin. Needs Cleveland will pick up your unwanted clothing items and give them to families in need, free of charge. You can also donate to thrift stores of your choice, but women’s shelters and churches are also a great option that many people overlook. Only donate items that are in good shape. No one wants clothes with holes and stains that won’t come out. If you would not pass it down to your little cousin, or let your friend borrow it, throw it away!
Sometimes we don’t want to let something go, not because we love it, but because it was expensive so we keep it- even though we have no intentions of wearing it. You can sell your new and gently used items at a consignment shop, online marketplaces, (Ebay, Poshmark, ThreadUp) through social media (Facebook Buy and Sell groups are perfect!) or have your own yard sale- aka a “popup shop”.
Places like Plato’s Closet and a few online marketplaces will allow you to trade your old clothes for new ones, but a fun way to get new pieces for your wardrobe is to host a clothing swap with several of your friends! Everybody can bring about five or ten clothing items and accessories including bags and shoes and go home with something brand new to them while getting rid of items that were taking up space. Donate whatever is left to an organization of your choice.
Now that you have removed all the bad seeds from your closet, it’s time to shop! But before you do, make a list of basics that you are missing and need to purchase for a well-rounded wardrobe. If all of your tees were old and ratty, don’t even think about buying those trendy new floral boots before you buy staples like tees, blouses and tunics to replace the items that you just tossed. If you work in an office setting and you just got rid of that boxy blazer that you purchased a decade ago- don’t buy any jeans until you have the perfect blazer that can be worn to work with your separates.
Decluttering is the key to life! If you put in a few hours for one day, you will save time the rest of the season by knowing everything in your closet fits you, makes you look good and feel even better and you have all the items you need for a cohesive wardrobe. I know all this can be overwhelming so, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
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