{How To} Clean out Your Closet without Losing Your Mind – Part Two

Editor’s Note: As a follow up to the {How To} Clean out Your Closet without Losing Your Mind article that I published last week, with input from some of my favorite local retailers, my retail addict gal pal, and owner of of ADORE Designer Resale Boutiques, Nancy Alinovi joins us this week with her own article on the super important for our sanity topic… enjoy! XO, Lisa

Follow the rules and do it in stages.

From personal experience I have learned that if your closet is stuffed, it is because you love fashion, are a bit of a hoarder, are just not sure what to wear, or all of the above. It is not only important to have that closet or closets organized, but you really must, at least once a year, edit some things out. This is where a good friend or a fashion stylist can come in to play. You need some objective advice and it is great to bounce ideas off of others. Grab some wine or coffee and make it an adventure. Also be ready to try things on so have that full-length mirror nearby. Buy an extra cheap one and set it up so you can also get a back view.

The old rule, “If you haven’t worn it in a year, then get rid of it” is NOT something I would advise. I love fashion and mixing it up too much to follow this rule. Some of my best outfits come out of reincorporating an old favorite or an unusual item that might still even have the tags on. However, that does not mean that there are not mistake purchases, things that are ill fitting, or colors that are not flattering, just screaming to get out of that crammed closet.

Rule No. One
First tackle clothing appropriate for the upcoming season. This way you will know what you are lacking and need to buy now and you will have no excuse for the “to go’s” to hang around any longer. Since most resale shops take only seasonally appropriate things, you can then bring them to your local resale shop so you can make some money. Charites also appreciate clothing in season so they can put them immediately on their floor. Also please research where you donate. A locally based program or ministry puts more money, help, and care into your local community than some of those popular national charity “chains”. I personally do not want to help fund a “charity” CEO’s lavish trip.

Rule No. Two
This is a tough one. If it doesn’t fit now, it probably never will. Be realistic. Put it in the to-go pile! However, if you really love something and it is not too small, a tailor can do wonders.

Rule No. Three
If it has holes, rips, pilling, stains, or tears, throw it out! You deserve better and no one else wants them either.

Rule No. Four
Know your body type. Make sure you really know what you look like and accentuate your assets and play down the not so perfect parts- for we all have them. For example, a horizontal stripe on the widest part of your body is not a smart idea… so those that are busty and /or broad shouldered should be careful with tops that accentuate this. You need to balance your body with the use of prints, color and scale. Just because you love it on the hanger does not mean it is best for you.

Rule No. Five
Now that you have started this daunting job, you can already start organizing your “keeps” as you move along. Separate all tops, slacks, skirts, jackets, dresses and suits and within those groupings, separate into like colors and prints. This will save you time in the long run.

Rule No. Six
Have a pen and sticky notes handy in case you need to mark where you have started and stopped, need to label piles or even jot down some things you need to buy or replace.

Rule No. Seven
Incorporate going through shoes and boots slowly into the above. Perhaps when you have finished with one clothing type you can go through some shoes. It helps with the monotony and gives you break from all that trying on. For instance, let’s say you just finished going through all your sweaters. You know what you have, what you need and you have a pile to go. Why not go through your boots and do the same? Then back to another category.

Rule No. Eight
Take it easy! One season at a time is fine. I find it best though for your second edit to be no more than a week later and to go in the opposite seasonal direction… if you just edited fall and are gearing up for such, you should be very familiar what you were just wearing all summer. Go through it and identify what worked and what didn’t. Go through the sandals and the swimsuits. Do your piles. Pack up and label “summer consignment” and store elsewhere. This season edit should go MUCH quicker.

Rule No. Nine
Finish the job! You are halfway there. Within at least the next few weeks go through the next coming season. Call your now familiar resale shop and make an appointment for your next batch. You should be going through another quarter of your shoes at this time as well. Then a few weeks later do your remaining season. Many of you should not have much left as you have already gone through many multi-seasonal things. Now is the time to look over and try on your formal wear. Again, this is a time to be realistic. “Would I ever wear that again?” If it had a good memory associated to it, just keep a photo.

Rule No. Ten (Sort of)
If you are like me, handbags, accessories and jewelry are a separate category entirely and quite honestly although I like to go through them, use them and admire them, I honestly do not like to edit them. Borderline hoarding of a somewhat obsession can be handled and appreciated if organized in an impeccable manner. And that would have its own set of ten rules. 😉

Nancy Alinovi is the owner of ADORE Designer Resale Boutiques with locations in Cary (4226 NW Cary Parkway) and Raleigh (8111 Creedmoor Road). Follow Nancy’s stylish tweets at @AdoreBoutiques.

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