How to Love the Clothes in Your Closet

Did you know the research shows the average woman only wears 20% of the clothes in her closet – this means 80% are simply clutter.

So, why not pare your closet down to the 20% that you wear?

You might have some things that you rarely wear, clothing for special events, weddings, funerals, graduations, black tie affairs, ski trips, etc. I’m not talking about these items. I’m interested in the rest of the things hanging in your closet and falling out of your overstuffed drawers.

For most of my life, my closet was a big, fat mess, overflowing with clothes that I seldom wore. There were piles on the floor of items that I went through that morning because I couldn’t figure out what to wear.

Sound familiar?

Just thinking about it makes my heart race like loud banging music that won’t stop. But now my closet is like a beautiful soft melody.

With a bit of organization and intentional thought, now all of my hangers match. I have a lovely overhead light that is bright enough, but not too bright. All my clothes are hung by type and color. I only have the current season and only the clothes that currently fit me in my closet. It is a place I like to be. My accessories are accessible. My shoes stacked neatly.

What about you?

Even if you have a well organized closet, I recommend reviewing everything you own twice a year. I do it in the transition from winter to spring and summer to fall. I touch everything. I have an intimate relationship with my clothes. We are on a first name basis. I know what’s there and when I wore each item last.

Can you do this???

I recommend you go through everything you own and

Ask yourself
Do I wear this item?
If yes,
Does it still fit me well?
Is it still in good shape?
Is it outdated?
Do I love it?

If no,
Is it because it’s an orphan (an item with nothing that matches)?
That is the only reason to keep it – in which case you should plan to shop with the intention of completing a few Looks that you love with that item. Otherwise it’s time to let it go.

You really should only have things in your closet that you love, that look amazing on you, that tell the story of who you are, and complement your features.

It’s not uncommon to wear things that don’t meet these criteria and it’s not uncommon to have beautiful items in your closet that you don’t wear because you didn’t finish the process to make a complete outfit with that item.

Let’s face it. We are creatures of habit. Our whole life is built around thousands of tiny habits. Perhaps we are just habituated not to wear many of the clothes in our closet.

We get up at the same time, to the same alarm clock and the same sound, we either walk to our scale or the bathroom or the sink to brush our teeth, then to the shower or the coffee pot, or our closet and we wear our favorite jeans, slacks, dress, with our favorite jewelry and shoes and the day continues like this. It’s how we’re built.

If we want to break a habit or create a new one. We need to be intentional about it. There are lots of ways to do this, but it starts with an audit. I recommend these steps:

  • Get comfortable and set aside a few hours to focus on you and your wardrobe.
  • It’s best to do this when you feel good about how you look, put on make-up do your hair so when you look in the mirror you like the reflection you see.
  • Plan to touch every item in your closet. If you don’t have time to do it all. Start with the high value pieces and focus on the current season. Make sure you evaluate the pants, dresses, skirts, tops, shoes, belts, scarves, and jewelry that you think you would wear in the next 90 days.
  • Try everything on. Ask yourself if you were trying that item on for the first time in a store, would you buy it? If not, why would you keep it? You deserve to feel beautiful, stunning, your best, everyday!
  • Check out the condition of each item. If it is pilling, stained, ripped or worn, it’s time to let it go.
  • If it is dated and reminds you of a time from your past, it’s likely a statement about times gone by. Let it go.
  • If you love it, put in on the shelf, or the drawer or the hanger. If you don’t love it, decide if it should be donated to someone less fortunate or potentially sold at a consignment shop to reap a small return on your investment.
  • If the item is not something you would wear this season but you still love it, pack it up and store it for when the weather changes. Even if you love it, if you won’t wear it soon, it is clutter. It is something you will need to weed through to get to the items you will wear.

Yes, it takes a time commitment to do this work. But when your closet is organized, clean and tidy, it will be a place you want to be. You will feel inspired to create outfits and you will leave feeling great about yourself.

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