How to Do a Closet Audit

Time to start by paring down your closet. By honing your clothing, shoes and accessories you will create a foundation upon which you can build and express your personal style. Too many choices can leave you feeling overwhelmed and with nothing to wear.

Start by asking yourself: What do you wear? How often do you wear it?

  1. Pull out your 5-10 wardrobe staples. This can be a mix of work and casual and dressy. If you’re feeling stuck, start with a couple pairs of pants, 2 dresses, 2 jackets, 2 skirts, 2 blouses.
  2. Then look at scarves, vests, shoes and jewelry and do the same.
  3. Put together at least 6 different outfits – 2 dressy, 2 business, and 2 casual and take pictures so you’ll remember them.
  4. If you’re having trouble finding outfits using those staples, what do you need to fill in? Make a list.
  5. Separate out all the clothing and accessories that you haven’t worn in a year or more. Be ruthless no matter how attached you are! At the end of the day it’s just clothing, right? If you haven’t worn it in a year or more, there’s a reason. No occasion? Doesn’t fit? Doesn’t matter. Put it in a pile.

What’s your lifestyle? Do you travel a lot? If so, and you have a closet full of clothes that wrinkle, you may want to rethink your fabric choices. Frequent travel calls for interchangeable, hand washable clothing when you may not have access to a washer/dryer. Things that can be dressed up and dressed down. Look for lightweight wrinkle-free pieces that you can roll up, take up little space and are easily accessorized.

Once you get out all the things you haven’t worn in a year, what’s left?

Sort your clothing into three piles – casual, business and dressy. You probably still have some more downsizing to do. Do you find you have a preponderance of jeans in multiple sizes? What do you really wear? What do you need? Think in twos – there’s only so much room in Noah’s Ark. Having trouble deciding among those ten pairs of jeans? Ask your best friend to be brutally honest. (Yes, those jeans with the sequined back patch pockets with the buttoned down flaps really do make your butt look big.) Pare down. You will be surprised at how happy you are when you own less. Remember you don’t own your possessions, they own you.

So here’s your challenge. Clean out your closet! Next week, I’ll share one of my design secrets that will help you find clothing and jewelry that you love and complements your style. How much can you get rid of? Was this a successful approach? Pass along some of your unused items and share your paring down tips in the comment box below!


How to Do a Closet Audit — 1 Comment

  1. I have been moving slowly through this sort of paring down process for awhile, finding myself reluctant to be ruthless before I am clearer on cuts of jackets and shirts, and colors of scarves, sweaters and jackets that really work well for me. Then there is the jewelry. Thanks, Victoria, and I will stay tuned for more.

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