Our guest blogger today is Sukey Johnson, a Nashville wardrobe consultant who offers her advice for cleaning out your closet. If you just can’t pull it off yourself, it’s OK – Many are in your same shoes. Give Sukey a call and she will help you.
This post is also a perfect time to announce our second annual “Toast to a Year Well Blogged Consignment Sale!” We are thrilled to host this once again as we just didn’t know if we could pull it off. But, with Libby Page now employed to spearhead the event, we know this will be a huge success and we are excited to add it to the Style Blueprint calendar. Location TBD. The dates are Feb 23rd and 24th. Please email Liza at [email protected] to get your consignor number. Check THIS WEEK on Sunday for a listing of all of our rules….
Now, back to Sukey:
CAN-IT! GIVE-IT! KEEP-IT! The point is, CLEAN-IT! IT being your closet.
With January upon us, many of my clients feel ready to bravely approach the dark cave which once was their closet. It survived all the holiday parties and unpacking from traveling, but now it looks… uninviting? Do not enter it alone. You will constantly ask yourself, “Is this out-dated? Do I look fat?” It’s not worth the time and mental energy to do this by yourself. Ask someone you trust to hold your hand and give you permission to throw away, donate or keep. If your mom is a hoarder, she isn’t the right choice. Oh, and locate a full-length mirror and pen and paper to make notes of items to replace.
Begin with CAN-IT. The following rules apply no matter the owner (mom, dad or child).
- Stains, holes, or otherwise damaged:
Ease your way into this with underwear and socks. They seem to be the easiest to let go. If socks have holes or no mate – trash. If they’re brownish, grayish and should be whitish – trash. And underwear…well, you get the picture. More examples are white shirts with underarm stains, pants or shirts with missing buttons you won’t repair, and scarves and sweaters with moth holes.
Next is the option to GIVE-IT. Donating is the perfect compromise for folks who are dragging their feet to let go. You’re not throwing it away, but instead someone else will enjoy it more, or needs it more. The rules to donate an item are:
- Wrong size, wrong color, wrong decade, no space:
Wrong size should be the most obvious, but in this business I’ve learned it’s not. This is why you need another pair of eyes to say yea or nay. No matter the shape or size of your shiny hiney, saggy pants are not in style, and often make you look two sizes bigger. The wrong color doesn’t stand out to everyone either. For example, if you love purple on paper, then you will buy it to wear. But it could be wrong with your skin tone or hair color. You need options to compare colors. Again, this is why you need a friend to weigh in. Wrong decade makes me giggle. People keep clothes for sentimental reasons. Sometimes if you have the space to keep your wedding rehearsal dress, ten bridesmaid dresses, and your favorite college formal dress then…NO. Not even then is it ok to keep all of those. Consign them, donate them, save one or two for Halloween parties, but that’s it.
You’re not going to have it cut off for a cocktail party and the other ones will not be back in style. My favorite idea from a mom of all boys, “I hope someday my daughter-in-law will wear it.” LET-IT-GO. Some suggestions for places to donate are Salvation Army, ARC, Soles4Souls (shoes only). Check websites for phone numbers and most places will even pick up anything right off your front porch! (Except underwear. You cannot donate worn undies or un-packaged skivvies).
And finally, the rules to KEEP-IT! (sigh of relief)
- Still has tags, fits correctly, classic style, people always compliment you in it:
When we reach this part there’s a slight skip in everyones’ step. After an hour or two with all these clothes three major things have happened. There is more room to see that you own 25 pairs of jeans, about ten pairs of black pants and black shoes. And you could possibly have an entire section of polka-dots, stripes, floral, and animal prints. Don’t be embarrassed (or proud) because this is very common. The solution to weeding through is to keep only your very favorites and let go of the rest. All pants must currently fit (not last year, not next year, and not in 2003 – fit NOW). We own way too many ‘sorta fits’. If they were super-expensive or still in great condition, then have them altered to fit your waist and hemmed within the week. Keep four pairs of blue jeans and no more than four pairs of black pants. I mentioned they all have to fit, right? I realize only four pairs of jeans sounds nearly impossible, but simply consider it a goal. How many long sleeve T-shirts do you have? How many wool sweaters, white blouses, and sweater sets? How many lovingly worn college T’s or sweatshirts? Remember you should only keep your absolute faves and they must be stain and hole free! Don’t get me started on coats. And this is only for the fall and winter season!
This process is a major undertaking, but feels amazing to accomplish and so appropriate for January! People say they have nothing to wear because there is SO much in the cave; it’s too overwhelming to see anything. Dedicate your whole morning or a full day, depending on the size of your cave. You will need reinforcements to prevent you from quitting halfway through the cave-cleansing. In the end, your clothes should inspire you to get dressed, not put you in a bad mood. Oh, and one last thing. Everyone is so sure their closet is the worst. I have seen a lot of closets, very big, and very small. Nothing has made me want to turn back yet.