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7 Tips For a Clean Closet and Essential Wardrobe

Do you ever walk into your closet and not see anything to wear? Let me share 7 points about easily cleaning your closet and rebuilding your wardrobe so that you’ll always find outfits to wear.

The other night I wasn’t sleepy or ready to go to bed. It was one of those quiet moments in the house when you know you won’t be interrupted and it’s time spent just for you. When I stepped into my closet I realized that I wasn’t wearing a lot of clothes that were hanging in there. And since lockdown, my dressing habits have changed because there wasn’t a need to dress up and go out. During lockdown I wore about three different rotating outfits in three months. I kid you not. It sure made doing the laundry easy! But there I stood, in the still of night, looking at all of my beautiful clothes that I just didn’t wear anymore.

Decluttering is the first step. Most people only wear 50% of their wardrobe that’s in their closet. Some studies have found that percentage may be as high as 80%! If you fall into that percentile, you might be ready to purge. There I was, ready to purge the clothes I didn’t wear anymore, that didn’t fit me perfectly and that I was keeping only because of an emotional attachment to it. I’m sure you understand what I mean by that. As women, we have emotional ties to our clothes. We will see something hanging there and immediately it’ll bring back a memory, a remembrance, of a wonderful time we had while we were wearing it.

I went through my clothes and I was trying to imagine how they would feel without that emotional tie. Maybe you’ve heard about cleaning out your closet by taking everything out and laying on the bed to go through each piece. You keep what brings you joy and let go of the pieces that don’t. It’s based on the Marie Kondo method. I recommend you doing this if you never have before. You keep what brings you joy.

There I stood with clothes that didn’t bring me joy anymore. Because I had gone through the Marie Kondo method already, I didn’t have to go through it step by step. I didn’t have to put all of my clothes from the closet and drawers out and lay them on the bed and go through each article of clothing and decide if it brought me joy or not. I knew immediately what pieces were just hanging there because they were either a memory or I thought I might feel better the next time I wear it, or I would hope that it would fit me better that next time I would wear it. Out they went and I happily released them to someone else who needed them and could utilize them.

Minimalistic closets, you know the kind, that have about eight pieces hanging very wide from each other and it looks so clean and pure and easy, is very appealing to me. That image also got me motivated to purge my closet. I like the idea of seeing everything, knowing every article that’s there at one glance. I don’t particularly like pushing clothes aside to take something off the hook.

Organizing what remains is the second step. I organize from darkest to lightest and in between I hang the prints. This is another way to identify your clothes quickly and easily. I do this with each section-dresses, blouses and pants-start with the darks on the left, prints in the middle and whites on the right. You can see your wardrobe so clearly and you can get an idea of what you need.

Third step is to buy the best quality that you can afford. If you do this then what you buy will last longer and you won’t have to replace it as quickly. In affect, you will be saving some money. Hopefully, you will be able to buy pieces that have durability and will last for you. Focus on quality not quantity.

Fourth step is to identify your essentials that you need. Essentials usually are a pair of slacks or jeans or leggings or whatever it is that your lifestyle deems necessary. Then, a classic jacket or whatever type you like whether it be your oversized boyfriend's jacket (which is really trending now in 2020) or a tailored wool jacket, some kind of hip bomber jacket with the zip up and hoodie. You get the idea— some upper part to your lower part! White t-shirts are great

or white button-down blouses are great, too, and are considered essential wardrobe pieces.

Fifth step---colors. You want to have your fundamental pieces be in black, white and maybe a khaki. Pieces near your face can have color that accentuate your cheek color, lip or eye color with scarves, accessories or a really nice blouse. Of course, you have to own a little black dress, otherwise known as a LBD. It could also be a black skirt with a black top, but it needs to give you a nice silhouette. When you are going to an event, it’s always nice to have this at the ready. It’s so classic you can keep it for years. When you find the right one, buy it even if there is no occasion planned. You’ll be ready when an occasion comes up and you eliminate the nervousness of having to get a LBD at the last minute.

Sixth step is figure out what piece or pieces you need in your wardrobe to build up the fundamentals. Don’t go out and buy it immediately. You might find you actually don’t need it. This eliminates any impulse buying or buying something because you were sure you needed it, only to bring it home and it hangs in your closet gathering dust. Buy it only after you’ve given it a week or so, maybe longer, to decide which type of style will go the best with everything else you have in your closet. Once you decide you really need it, then decide which type of style, fabric and color it should be so that you can wear with most everything else that you own. Be sure to hold out until you find exactly what it is that you’re visualizing in your mind. Everything starts with a thought, so think it out first and buy it only when it find the exact thing you want.

Last and final step is finding the right shoes. Oh how I love shoes! But, oh how I love comfortable feet! When I was younger I could wear heels all day. Now, I can only wear a 3” heel from the car to the restaurant and back again! Kitten heels are comfortable. Block heels are comfortable. But I’ve reached a point where comfort is paramount. Flat shoes might not be as glamorous as high heels but there are really nice fancy sneakers that are becoming more acceptable to be worn everywhere, not just at the gym. Even men are substituting their wing-tips for sneakers. As society ages, comfort and functionality over fashion is acceptable. Find yourself comfortable and stylish shoes. Dr. Scholl's have stylish flats. Check them out here.

Building a wardrobe takes effort and time and it is worth every second! Make your wardrobe a personal expression of who you are. Feel comfortable by how you look. Let's all make ourselves feel good with what we own and feel good when we go out in the world with what we’re wearing. I hope this helps you. I can’t wait to hear your comments!

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