Have you used this time of social distancing and Coronavirus lockdown to finally get into your closet and give it a good purge? It really is the perfect time. While I may not be able to get inside your closet with you and help you pare it down, I am happy to help you with some tips from a distance.
I was giving some thought as to why some women feel like closet edits feel like fruitless efforts. They head into their closets in earnest and find themselves hesitant to get rid of things and unsure if they are making the right choices. What I realized was that most women jump into a closet edit without taking some important first steps, steps I always take in my work.
Imagine my job, often the first step I take with a client is getting in their closet and helping them weed out. I don’t know them well and I am making bold suggestions of how they manage their wardrobe. How can I be successful if I hardly know them? Well, the truth is, there is a lot of intel I gather to get a handle on them before I tell them what to keep and what to let go of. In order to successfully do a closet edit with a client, we need to have a clear set of goals.
Do you jump into the closet to edit it without clear goals set in mind? If so, this may very well be the reason why your closet edits have been so unsuccessful.
How to Create Closet Edit Goals
There is a big difference between being busy and being productive and without clear goals, a task can just become busywork. When I work with a client, clear goals are set. This is done by looking at different factors about a client. By having an endpoint vision, there is a clear target. A goal gives you something to live into and make choices accordingly.
So what do I look at and how can you apply this to your own closet edit? Here are four things I always consider.
What is your lifestyle? How do you spend the majority of your time? I always ask a client about what they do professionally as well as personally. Understanding your lifestyle helps you sift through what you currently own and really consider if things fit your current lifestyle.
The next thing to consider is your personal style. The catch is that most women don’t even know what it is to start. This is the case quite often with my clients. My job is help them define this.
One exercise I suggest they do is pin inspirational selections to a Pinterest board. I explain to them that it is my job to help them make sense of it. The key to this exercise is to not think about the images that much and to go by instinct. The more instinctive a person is with this exercise the more honest the results will be. After pinning looks yourself, take time to review these selections, look for the style consistencies, surprises, color choices, and whatever else these images are trying to tell you. Perhaps consider sharing your images with someone else and see what they find. Often clients don’t see the connections that I do. It’s not a bad thing to get outside consult. Once you do this, the last step is to consider these choices with your lifestyle and see how you might be able to translate these inspirational photos for your life. And keep in mind, your instinctive reaction to the feeling you get from an inspirational look, not the outfit literally.
Next, all physical characteristics should be taken into consideration. Choices should be selected based on body and facial features. You likely have more than enough stuff, there is no point in keeping things that don’t flatter you. Trying on can be a key action.
The last is goals. This is a key point that I always take into consideration when working with a client. Are you heading towards retirement? Have you started working from home (in general, not during the pandemic), are you planning a family, hitting a milestone age?
Whatever your specific goals may be, they need to be taken into consideration when editing your closet. This isn’t the time to be mamby pamby like, “I am thinking of maybe starting sailing so these really cute boat shoes will come in handy.” These should be solid goals that you are clearly working towards or are happening. What do you solidly envision your life looking at in three-to-five years?
By laying out clearly lifestyle, personal style, physical characteristics and goals with a client, the actions of helping a client edit their closet is more productive. Don’t jump the gun and just head into your closet, take these steps first.
Sparking joy isn’t enough
I have voiced my criticisms in the past about Marie Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It’s not that I don’t like the book, I found it quite helpful. However, it feels incomplete to me. Yes, certainly, you want things in your closet that spark joy, but that, unfortunately, isn’t enough. You need to think solidly in reality and making goals clear before you even step foot in your closet will set you in the right direction.
If you found this or any other blogs helpful, I’d love your support while we’re weathering these difficult times. Please consider buying me a coffee.