If you’re looking for some closet editing tips then you’ve come to the right place as I’m in my 11th year of editing closets as a part of my styling services. However, I want to preface with what I’m about to tell you with some tough love by telling you a quick story first: Last year, I embarked on a fitness bootcamp and lost nearly 25 lbs. of weight that I had been struggling with for over four years. After nearly six months of this fitness regime, however, I started to get tired of weighing every morsel of food, my workouts went from daily to sporadically and I needed a break. Having hit a weight I was happy to maintain, I went into maintenance mode, but it wasn’t too long before this mode turned into “eat whatever I want” and “what’s exercise?” mode. I got on the scale a few days ago and, not surprisingly, realized that I gained 5lbs.
Not wanting it to get worse, I emailed my bootcamp trainer Anna Larsen and told her of this gain. When she asked me what I was doing differently and I replied, “not working out and eating whatever I want.” My pea-brained cat Clementine could tell you what the problem was.
I tell you this story because we all seem to pine for things to change but are too often unwilling to do the work. If you’re reading this blog post it’s likely that you are looking for closet editing tips. I applaud you for this but, must ask, are you really willing to do what it takes to get your closet under control? Before you say yes, you need to read on.
There is so much information at your fingertips to help you change whatever it is you want to be different in your life. Yet, unless you are willing to change or do things differently, there really is no point in attempting it. If studying things or gleaning information were enough, we’d all have more workable lives, Unfortunately, this is not the way it works.
I want to assure you, I don’t judge you if you’re not willing to change or are willing to change what you feel is realistic. In fact, I remember while in the middle of my own bootcamp, the idea of six-pack abs seemed appealing in my head, however, I quickly realized what I had to do to get them was not something I was willing to do. I tempered my own expectations, focused more on getting healthy and strong and even cut back on my goals. Therefore, if you’re someone who dreams of having perfect style, who constantly pins pretty outfits on Pinterest, yet realizes that you just aren’t the person willing to work that hard to look that good all the time, it’s okay. And, just a side note, there are few people on the planet who look perfectly styled all the time. It’s just not realistic. Yet, what is realistic, if you’re willing to make some small changes and stick with them, is at least feeling like you’re in some sort of control with your wardrobe.
Here are some common wardrobe mistakes and closet editing tips that will help you get started…if you’re willing to change, that is.
#1- Stop Being So Lazy
You’re sick of same old, same old, of grabbing the same look from your closet everyday and of being just another blah face in the crowd. Well, changing this is easy, if you’re willing to stop being so lazy.
I recently met a woman who told me that she has a bunch of accessories in her wardrobe yet wears the same boring necklace everyday. Well, duh. What makes this woman think that the blah choice she made yesterday is going to make her feel any better today? It’s astounding to me how many women call me absolutely bored and tired of wearing the same staid looking outfits but never try to change. Yes, we can all learn a thing or two about putting a fresh look together, and that’s why I’m here, however, if you know something is boring you to tears why do you repeat it?
I know that most of us have busy lives, that our responsibilities often make it difficult to put in a little extra effort. However, before you complain again about how tired you are with looking so mediocre, give some thought to how much effort you’ve been putting forth in trying to change it. If it is unrealistic of you to make a change, accept that this what you are doing now is the best you can do and stop complaining about it.
#2- Stop Buying More
I’m not entirely sure what women are thinking when they have a closet full of clothes they never wear and then try to solve it by going out and buying more. Think about it, what you’ve bought in the past didn’t solve anything, what makes you think that the next shopping trip is going to be any different? Have you ever stopped to think that adding more clothing to your already stuffed unwearable closet isn’t the answer?
The #1 thing every client tells me that they want is a small,workable wardrobe with fewer items that have more versatility. I chuckle when I hear this, not because I don’t believe them but because I am shocked that their solution to this has been to buy more clothing.
In order to change this the shopping cycle has to stop…immediately. It’s fine to shop seasonally for new items to freshen up your wardrobe, but before you step into a store again I want you to trim down your wardrobe. Believe it or not, you should be able to cite just about everything you own in your wardrobe from memory. Newsflash: people who have small workable wardrobes can do that, I can do that. If you can’t do that, you’re doing something wrong.
I know that this goes against the grain of the American fashion sensibility and the idea that more is more. Yet, what is more getting you right now? What is your overstuffed, impossible-to-navigate closet really getting you that those with smaller workable ones aren’t? I can go shopping and, before I buy something, run through my entire wardrobe in my head before I buy it and know for certain it will work with what I already own. Can you? If you can’t, you’ve got too much and, guess what, shopping for more won’t solve it.
I should also point out that not only do I have to keep a memory of everything I own, but clients have called me and asked me to quickly put an outfit together for them on the fly in my head, or, while shopping with them, I have had to cite their own existing wardrobe to them to give them ideas of what they could wear with a piece they’re considering buying. Therefore, not only do I juggle my own wardrobe around in my brain, but I often have to keep a mental rolodex of what every client I’m working with owns, as well. If I can keep several entire wardrobes swirling around mentally at the same time, you can handle just your own. If you can’t, get in that closet and get ruthless. For some steps you can take, click here.
#3- Stop with the “It was cheap, so I bought it” mentality
If you’ve ever said, “Oh it’s on sale, I can’t pass it up” or “I don’t love it, but the price is too good to be true”, then you’ve just taken a one way flight to closet-chaosville. I’m on a budget too so I understand that frugality needs to take a front seat when shopping. I’m not encouraging you to spend beyond your means or to go into debt for a stylish wardrobe. However, what I am encouraging you to do is stop the madness of buying things simply because they are on sale. All doing this accomplishes is adding things to your wardrobe that you will never wear. Plus, you are wasting money and missing out on having the money to buy things that you will. Where is the logic in purchasing things simply because they are on sale when they have no other redeeming qualities? Who is really winning? Well, it’s not you, it’s the store who is. They’re just happy that someone came in to help them get rid of last season’s merchandise. The next time you skip out of a store thinking you got such a great deal, consider that maybe you didn’t.
If you want a workable wardrobe, this bargain hunting without a purpose has to end RIGHT NOW, especially given that fashion has never been cheaper and it is so easy to walk out of a store with bags and bags of clothing at rock-bottom prices. I give this analogy all the time and I will give it again: If you buy an item on sale for $20 and it never gets worn, that item costs you $20. However, if you spend more wisely and buy an item for $75 and wear it ten times, the cost of the more expensive item only cost you $7.50. Logically we get this but emotionally we don’t. Shop with more head and less heart.
If you feel my closet editing tips have been a bit ruthless then it’s probably likely that you fall into the category of people who needs to hear them the most. As I have learned, a little tough love goes a long way. However, I don’t blame you entirely. Many women have become conditioned to find this overstuffed, chaotic wardrobe behavior cute and adorable, as if our woman-card will be revoked if we don’t overspend on useless trends or aren’t overwhelmed by how much clothing we own. Instead of subscribing to this mentality and thinking that acting this way is okay, think instead of yourself as a woman who is better than this, as someone who is in control of what they put in their closets and how they spend on fashion because, as I like to say, what goes on in your closet is often a direct reflection of what is going on in your life. Just something to think about.