Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Great Closet Clean Out...

If you are like most women, your closet is way too full and you probably wear only 20% of what’s in there. It’s true, most women have their closets packed way too FULL--yet have nothing to wear!

What's the 80%? It’s mostly clutter taking up precious space. If you don’t love it and don’t wear it, it has to go! (Out of season or special occasion outfits should be moved to the back of the closet or better yet, another closet all together).

  • By only having clothes in your closet that you wear—you will have a lot more room and a sense of peace....
  • It's funny, when you remove the clutter and have LESS in your closet, you will actually find more to wear!!! Potential outfits are now revealed!
Ready to start your closet clean out? Start by making 3 piles…
The give away pile. These clothes are in still good condition but you aren’t wearing them. Ask yourself these questions as you examine at each item:
• Does it fit well? Signs of poor fit are buttons pulling open, horizontal creases and puckering. Either alter it or give it away.

• Does it look good on you? If it looks horrible on you--you have no intentions of ever wearing it. Don’t feel guilty about not wearing something that is not right for you.

• It was on sale and it seemed like a good deal—at the time. But you don’t like the color, style and it just doesn’t make you feel pretty. Again don’t let guilt overcome you because you bought something you have no idea why you bought it in the first place! You are better off letting go and give it to charity where it will do more good than give you guilt each morning!

FOLD your sweaters, don't hang 'em!

The throw away pile. Put clothes here that have seen better days. These items are too worn for anyone else to wear. Think about it: would you purchase these questionable items at a second-hand store yourself? If the answer is “No” then deep six ‘em.

• If it is pilled and faded in color. If the buttons are missing/cracked and stitching is coming undone. Also, if the fabric lacks body because it’s too worn out.

• Stained and dirty? If you are keeping 15 crewneck tees permanently stained (just in case you decide to wash the car by hand) forget about it! No one needs that many “junky” tees in their closet.

• This one is my pet peeve…perspiration stained tee-shirts. C’mon, no one wants these! Throw these in the trash. Realistically you may only be able to get one season out of most tees (especially the white ones).

The last pile is for alterations/dry clean/fix. These are clothes you would definitely wear with some minor alterations (some you may do yourself). Remember good FIT is essential to great style. Don’t skimp here! If you sleeves are too long or your pants are too short, you will look awkward and out of proportion.
• Buttons are loose and need reinforcing.

• Hemlines coming undone or minor underarm holes need repair.

• Shirts too long (most often the case). Have your shirt length raised if it is at the area that cuts your body visually in half. Your best shirt length is generally the top 1/3 of your body’s total length.

• Sleeves on shirts (and jackets) too long or too short. The proper length is at the wrist bone. When wearing a jacket the sleeve will peek out beyond the jacket sleeve.

Organize what’s left. How you organize is up to you. You may want to keep work clothes together and weekend-wear together. However, I prefer to organize my closet by item—then color. I find this way works best because I’ll try new combinations when it looks like a boutique.

For example, take all shirts and organize them by COLOR: creams, camel, browns, peach, pinks, reds, blues, purples and so on. Start the process with the long sleeve shirts, then short sleeves, then sleeveless.

Your shirts will begin to look like crayons with the many colors of the rainbow. By organizing by sleeve length and color you will begin to see if you have any duplicates! Do the same thing with your skirts, pants and dresses.

Bonus Tip: Your closet will really look like a "boutique" if you match all your hangers. Buy a dozen white (or other color) plastic tubular hangers each week. Purchase all the same color and get all your hangers facing the same direction.

This little bit of order will make getting dressed a breeze and finding new wearable combinations so much easier! "A place for everything and everything in its place" means you'll FLY when it comes to improving your style too!

Love, Leslie

Check out my Closet Purge for more closet organizing tips:


  1. I find it that if I organise my closet often I know what I own and it's easier to remix my clothes.Or else I forget what I have!!!

  2. I totally agree Angie! If you let your closet get out of may have more "stuff" but your style gets stuck in a rut.

    You've got to know what you got so you can remix it! Well said, my friend :)

  3. I organized my closet and armoire and did a "closet purge." I have a big bag of clothes going to Vietnam Veterans of America on Friday. I still have to get some of the handwash and the dry cleaning and tailoring done, but it looks much better. I bought a whole lot of new clothes, and now I can find them and use them, and enjoy wearing the clothes I have.

    I also took you up on your "buy no clothes for a month" challenge. So far, so good! My month is up February 26.

    If I may be so bold, I also have a blog:
    I will posting pictures of my clean closet and armoire and also my Style File, so if you want, come over and take a look. I also review books about style, fashion and beauty (my latest obsession), with a focus on plus-size fashion.

    Have a great evening. Thanks, as always for your help and inspiration.

  4. Hi, Leslie!

    I'm really enjoying all your information and help with closet organization! Since you asked for pictures of other folks' closets on your Blog Talk radio show today, I decided to make a blog post with mine and send you the link:

    You've taught me which are the most important pieces of clothing I need to keep in my tiny little closet and I can't thank you enough for that! Basics are the best when you have limited closet space!

    Sherry @ A Happy Valentine


Thanks for leaving your comment. I hope you enjoy my blog and stop by often!

Love, Leslie

4 Steps to Chic

1. Start with a feminine top 2. Pair with classy slacks 3. Ground with bold shoes 4. Finish with statement earrings ...