Here is how I made this transformation. It wasn't easy but I have to admit, I feel so much better with a fresh clean closet. Now, my closet is starting to become a reflection of who I am right now - a busy mother and wife - and a fashion lover. (Not an 18-year-old prom date, bridesmaid 10 years ago, and not a news anchor needing very dressy clothes 5 days a week anymore.)
Editing Your Closet
1. Define Yourself & Your Style: For starters, answer the key questions I could never answer - Who are you right now / what is your style? What size are you right now? My problem hanging onto old clothes stemmed from these two key areas. I wanted to see who I once was in my closet - whether it was 15 years ago or 5 years ago. I wanted my closet to be a trip down memory lane. But who wants that when they are rushing to get ready in the morning? It makes getting dressed a nightmare. Your closet is filled with clothes that don't represent your updated style or your current size. Now, if I have a beautiful picture wearing a dress or outfit I once loved and don't use it, it's now gone. (Except my wedding dress. I just can't part with it.) Don't be afraid to discover and be who you are right now. Sure, it's crucial to have goals about your career, your weight, your income, etc., but love yourself as you are at this very moment!
2. Think Like a Fashion Editor: Turn the words/phrases "cleaning" or "clearing out" your closet into something positive - editing your closet. Just as a fashion editor selects only the best pieces of clothing and best accessories to grace the pages of the newest magazine, you too should be just as selective when going through your closet. You want to represent your best self at work and on the weekends, so why shouldn't your closet be a reflection of that?
3. What Do You Wear? If you are still having some trouble with this, (yes, that's me), make mental or actual notes of what you wear on a weekly basis. What are your staple items? (Black pants, patterned tops, jeans, etc.) When we moved out of our former house and into our new house, I lived out of a suitcase of clothes with three to four pairs of pants, five shirts and several dresses for a month. Again, this was a shock to me - I didn't miss my closet. It was actually nice not to have to sort through racks of clothes that didn't fit correctly or weren't the right color, making the process of getting dressed incredibly frustrating.
4. Share the Love: Give someone else a chance to love your clothes/accessories. When I have clothes/accessories I know I will have a hard time letting go of, I give them to people I know will love them. For instance, all of those old anchor jackets I had such a hard time parting with went into the closets of some of my smart and promising former broadcast journalism students who are just starting their careers.
5. See the Green: Consign your clothes. If you're looking to buy some new clothes (wouldn't it be nice to have some cash to help with a shopping trip?), consider taking your old clothes to a consignment shop. I absolutely love Second Time Around (STA). I get rid of my old clothes and it gives me an account (and a discount) to shop for clothes! And, it's also environmentally friendly to buy clothes that have already been worn and loved. Plus, the locations I've used donate the clothes they don't want or that don't sell to charities. So, it's win-win-win.
Preview: Organizing Your Closet (I'll have much more on this soon. I am still in the process!) Here's what I've learned so far.
Set up your closet like a boutique. Dressing should be a fun experience. Organize your clothes by style and color. Also, put as much on display as you can. When you can look at all your clothes in an organized and classy way, you'll quickly see which items no longer belong to be part of the boutique. This is how I have gotten to be the most picky. I want my closet to look stylish and some clothes are weighing it down!