Closet Cleanse 101

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With many of us hoping for a stress free and healthy kick to the New Year, taking a look at our closet is a great way to start a change. Everyone knows the feeling: too many clothes in the closet but nothing to put on. When your closet is full of many things that you no longer wear, it’s easy to miss out on those hidden items that you do enjoy but simply … cannot find. With the stream of sales in shops surrounding us, as well as Spring 2014 right around the corner, adding to closet clutter is definitely not a way to free ourselves of stress.

Our closet holds clues to who our inner fashionista is and who we may be at any given moment, which is why organizing them and parting with garments can be tricky. Many pieces can have sentimental value or even the tags still left on, but by shedding those older things we can make room for new trends that can amp up our existing style. Personally, I like to grab some trash bags, get in my closet and fill them up! Discarding pieces that I no longer wear makes me smile thinking of what is coming for the new season.

As a stylist, here are some other tips of mine to make your closet cleansing simple and easy: 

Define your style.
Are you classic, trendy, bohemian or preppy? Once you’ve established your sense of style, you may quickly see that there are many pieces that just don’t fit into your life anymore. Take those out. As you begin to purge your closet, make a list of those key pieces that you need to continue to build your current wardrobe around your preferred style.

Be honest with yourself.
What do you really wear and what do you leave on the hanger day after day? If you don’t love it or need it … toss it. This is easier said then done, but just because something was purchased on sale or given to you doesn’t meant that you have to keep it.

Create some rules.
Make sure that if you haven’t worn something in the past year it is time to purge. If something has sentimental value, try to create an area or designate another lesser used closet that can hold those pieces.

Make give away piles.
Once you have weeded through your closet, further separate pieces that can be for charity, friends, and consignment. This is easy to do and a great way to start the New Year on a giving note.

Find closet accessories.  
Next, take a look at your closet’s structure and figure out the best products that you can buy to keep it organized. For example,  I like to have uniform hangers in my closet to keep it simple, neat and tidy. Make the most of the space you have. Add storage to your closet floor by investing in shoe racks, or, if your closet is short on space, purchase sweater bins that you can easily hide underneath your bed.

Organize by color and type.
Lastly, arrange the pieces you are keeping by color and type. I like to hang all my blouses together and then coordinate them by color. I do the same for sweaters, dresses and basics. Again, make things visible and eye-level so that you can find them quickly. Remember, the more organized you are, the less stress you will have getting ready.

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Suzi began her career working with top athletes in the NBA and MLB before moving to television. She was the lead stylist for both the Women's Entertainment Network and Style Network before moving on to work with celebrities such as Kellan Lutz, Dianna Agron, Steve Martin and Melissa McCarthy. Suzi currently styles major ad campaigns ranging from Lugano Diamonds to Samsung.

6 COMMENTS
  • Anonymous October 4, 2017

    Great tips! Loved the article. Thank you!
    Also, you have a typo in the “Be honest with yourself” paragraph. In the last sentence, instead of “meant” I think you wanted to say “mean.”
    Thought you would like to know that 🙂

  • Hannah May 8, 2017

    One of the really helpful books that I’ve been reading is the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It has changed my wardrobe drastically, and I think people will find it an interesting as well as insightful read. Spark Joy is also another helpful book.

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  • Nidhi Anand January 15, 2014

    Great article! I am having such a hard time getting myself to get rid of the clutter. I had donated many of the “for sure” clothes I would never wear again, but some things I just can’t get myself to toss – even if I know I won’t wear them! I live in a tiny studio, and space is a huge issue.

    Also, with trends always evolving, some of my “old” clothes become hip a few years later, any remedy for this? I guess your comment about “finding your style” is probably going to be very useful when I give my closet another attempt. Thanks! 🙂

  • Terri Hungate January 9, 2014

    I have been doing this twice a year for such a long time! It really gives one the chance to ‘go shopping’ in one’s closet. It is amazing by keeping things organized, how one may come up with ‘new clothes’ without ever hitting the boutiques. Or if a visit to the boutique is in order, one has a list from which to shop. Much to my surprise (read horror), I found that I could wear a different outfit every day for a month without ever repeating a garment. Needless to say, I donated a huge pile out of shame!

  • lauren chorpening January 9, 2014

    I’ve been doing this the past few days. it’s amazing how much more appealing my clothes look with the excess gone, coordinated by type and color and all hanging on new wooden hangers. it feels like a boutique in my bedroom.

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