“We Should Be Choosing What We Keep – Not What We Get Rid Of” – Marie Kondo
I know that I just pulled out the big dog of organizing on you here, but I’m hoping that the thought that she presents, that you’re going to choose WHAT YOU KEEP, and not what you get rid of, will guide you through this week’s challenge steps.
It’s Week 3. If you’re just jumping onto the Wardrobe Challenge or need to catch up, no stress. You can find instructions for Week 1 and Week 2 here. Join us in the Facebook group to watch the explainer videos, get some encouragement, and see how other women are tackling this same challenge right now.
And that community of support and laughter might be helpful because this is where stuff can get hard. And messy.
Like, literally, stuff-everywhere-messy.
But this is also the week when you clean out the dust bunnies, see your refreshed space, and maybe find that bag of chocolate that you hid from your kids and your spouse back in March 2020.
(Listen, in March of 2020 you deserved alllll of the chocolate. IYKWIM )
Also, I’m doing this closet clean-out exercise along with you, and I’m really hoping for that bonus chocolate discovery, too.
The Big Edit
Last week, you did a small edit on your closet, clearing out the obvious pieces of clothing that needed to move along. You should have removed anything stained, torn, obviously out of style or unworn, and anything else that is not serving the style for the YOU of 2023.
I finally ditched a pair of sandals that were cute, but worn beyond repair, a white shirt that just didn’t flatter me, and loose-fitting jeans that I bought last year, but never fell in love with.
And yet, those jeans were still hanging in my closet taking up valuable real estate and crowding my view of what I actually could wear.
What did you pull out?
I heard from some participants that moving pieces out of their closets was freeing and they’re already feeling better about the state of their wardrobes.
By clearing out the troubled pieces, participants can more clearly see the gaps in their wardrobes that prevent easy outfit creation when they’re getting dressed in the morning.
Did you find that as well?
This week, you’re going to take EVERYTHING out of your closet.
I know. I said it. EVERYTHING.
It will be worth it. I pinky-swear promise!
Take everything out and then clean.
Wipe down the shelves (including that one up high), vacuum the carpet, including those dark corners, and wipe down the top of your hanging rods. It’s always amazed me how much dust accumulates on the rod itself.
Now, stand back and look at your sparkling clean, and beautiful empty closet.
(Don’t turn around and look at the stacks of clothes on your bed or shoes on your floor, just stare at your beautiful, cleaned-out closet. )
A few things you can do to help make your closet more functional and organized:
- This is the ideal time to switch out your hangers to 3 kinds that are best for your clothes. I’ve experimented with lots of different sizes, shapes, and materials of hangers over the years, and these are the best, the ones that I recommend to my clients, and that are hanging in my closet today.
- Velvet flocked hangers for pants, shirts, and dresses
- Velvet clip hangers for skirts
- Wide padded hangers for cardigans, sweaters, or heavy dresses
- If you hate velvet hangers, you might like these rubberized hangers. My friend Lisa at The Designer Organizer recommends them to all of her clients, and I’m giving them a try. So far so good!
- Shelf dividers/organizers to help maintain folded sweaters and sweatshirts. I like these because they’re clear, so they don’t take up visual space, and they fit easily onto your shelves.
- Here’s a link to several other tools that I use and recommend to my clients to help with wardrobe organization and caring for your clothes.
Restocking your closet, leading with your style in mind
“If it’s not a Hell yes, then it’s a Hell no.”
Last week you went through your clothes and sorted them into 3 categories:
- Removed from your closet
- Damaged/stained/beyond repair – ready to donate
- Doesn’t fit your TODAY body
- Needs to be altered or repaired
- Sentimental pieces
- On the portable hanging rack (or thrown on your bed🤣)
- Pieces that fit your body, but maybe are not quite a match for your style inspo board
- In your closet are the clothes that meet these requirements
- They fit the body size and shape that you are today
- They match the vision you see on your style inspo board
- You love to wear them because they make you feel beautiful and confident
The Number 3 category? That’s the “Hell Yes!” of your wardrobe. Those are your keepers and the seeds of the style that you are curating. Those can go back into your newly cleaned closet.
Let’s revisit the Number 2 category because these are the pesky pieces and they weren’t “Hell Yes”, which probably means they’re “Hell no”.
When you approach this hanging rack of troublemakers, I want you to square your jaw and put on your game face. You are going to be ruthless.
Pull up your style inspo Pinterest board and get a fresh look at the goal for your wardrobe. Then, look at that rolling rack and pick up every piece that screams at you “HELL YES!”.
Wait a minute.
Is that rolling rack of pesky pieces too quiet? Or maybe it’s just sighing quietly like the sad, sad vision that it is.
Then let those pieces go.
Monika Nielsen of Your Style Rehabist shared this great thought with us in last January’s wardrobe challenge. You probably paid more for your last sushi dinner with your family than for that pair of pants that you’re agonizing over. The sushi dinner is gone, let the pesky pants go too. 🙌🏼
Before you move anything from the hanging rack back into your closet, ask yourself these questions:
- Could you see that piece fitting into your style inspo board?
- If you saw that piece hanging in the store, would you buy it again?
- Would you feel confident and beautiful if you wore it to a client meeting?
- Does anything about it bug you or feel not quite right? (the fit, the color, the details)
Channel your inner Marie Kondo and choose what pieces you keep, not what you get rid of.
At the end of this exercise of The Big Edit, you might be left with a lot hanging on your rolling rack, and not so much in your closet. Maybe you feel like you don’t have enough clothes left to get through the week.
If that’s the case, you have my permission to move something from your rolling rack back into your closet, but use my method:
- Tie a ribbon or string around the top of the hanger to signify that it’s a temporary piece
- Make a list of the temporary pieces that you need to replace and add these items to the list
- I keep my list on my phone using the Anylist app, but you could also use the notes function.
- Make a date with yourself to shop and replace those temporary items
This part of the closet clean-out process is the hardest for most women. If it were easy, you would have done it a long time ago.
Take it in small bits if you need to.
Stream RHONYC in the background if that helps that time go more quickly.
Consume your favorite beverage.
If you need help, have questions, or are looking for encouragement, stop by the Facebook group to watch this week’s explainer video and ask your questions.
You’ve got 1 more week to go and you’ll be through the challenge and on your way to a gorgeous, new style that feels like you TODAY.
I’m always cheering you on.
Xoxo – Stephanie