17 easy steps to a successful closet overhaul
  1. What you need for a closet overhaul
  2. Your step-by-step cheat sheet for a successful closet overhaul
  3. Top of the World Style linkup

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What you need for a closet overhaul

When the weekend forecast has a 90 to 100% chance for rain, plan to take an inventory of your wardrobe. You will need at least eight trash bags, two laundry baskets for clothes that need ironing or need to be washed, respectively, a cell phone, tablet or photo camera for selfies, insect-safe storage boxes, three to four hours of uninterrupted time.

Your step-by-step cheat sheet for a successful closet overhaul

Be tough on yourself. That’s the hardest part! Always recall that your closet is valuable real estate. If it is too full, you can’t see what you own, you can’t find what you look for, you waste time dressing, and most likely can’t dress your best.

Pro tip: Whenever a trash bag is full, bring it into the garage. Doing so gives you more room to assess out your remaining wardrobe and to work thru the following step-by-step list of tasks for a successful wardrobe overhaul.

Here are the steps to do. Some of them of course can be done concurrently while going thru your assets.

  1. Label six trash bags tailor, dry cleaner, charity, consignment, cobbler and trash, and the baskets laundry, and ironing. Create new labels when a new bag has to be started because the bag with the same purpose is full.
#closetcleanup overflowing wardrobe
Clothes piled on the bed with boots and shoes in a corner in preparation of a closet overhaul
  1. Pile all clothes onto your bed, and put your bags in one corner of your bedroom and your shoes pair by pair in another corner so you won’t triple over them.
  2. Now go thru your cold season footwear.
    • Identify which one to keep, clean them and put them in storage.
    • Identify which one to bring to the cobbler; put them in the respective bag and have the job done asap so you have them ready when temperatures drop in September.

    Bad heels are never in style. Have them replaced when needed. #styleadvice Click To Tweet#shoelove shoe closet overhaul what to keep, what to toss examples

  3. Next clean your closet, i.e. vacuum clean it, remove dust from shelves, brush the floor, etc.
  4. Go thru the clothes pile on your bed item by item and apply the following method:
  5. Next, put your all-season wardrobe (e.g. white shirts, LBD, jeans, T-shirts, trench coat) back into your closet.

    #fashion clothes on hangers and shoes in boxes
    Clothes hung on the racks and shoes in boxes after a wardrobe overhaul
  6. Put the rest of the fall/winter garments into a storage box and into your storage space until fall comes – hopefully not so soon.

    Budget tip: When you have enough space and don’t need the money asap, store the consignment bag with your winter clothes and bring it to the consignment store in early fall. The pieces will sell at a higher price than now, and more of them will be sold.

  7. On your way back from your storage room, get last spring’s clothes storage boxes.
  8. Pile them onto your bed so you have to finish the job the same day. Go thru your spring clothes and repeat the procedure of step 5. Then continue at step 10.
  9. You are almost done. Now take your warm season shoes from your storage. If it’s the first time you make a closet overhaul, check which one needs to see the cobbler, and put them into the respective bag. Also, if it’s the first time, you may have to identify which to keep and which to toss.
  10. Put your sandals, pumps, etc. into their space in your closet.
  11. Take a critical look at your clutches, purses and totes. Sort out all bags with loose threads on the handles or shoulder strap that can’t be repaired or covered up with a silk neckerchief. Put the rest back into their space.
  12. Now look thru the remaining wardrobe in your closet. Identify what is missing by asking yourself the questions below. Write the missing items on a shopping list.

    Pro tip: Use your cell phone so you have the list always with you.

    • Do you need new shoes? Shoes can make or break an outfit. #agelessstyle Click To Tweet
    • Are there too few prints and pattern or too few solids?
    • Are all the basics covered?
    • Does my wardrobe miss color?
    • Are there enough neutrals?
    • Is a key item (e.g., blazer, coat, jacket) missing?
    • What updates would be great for your wardrobe?
    • What did you wish, you had bought last spring? Why did you regret not having it? Would you miss it this time around too? What would it add to your options?
    • Do I have enough work clothes/weekend clothes?
    • Do I need special underwear (neckholder bra, T-shirt bra, slimmies, shapewear, etc.) for some of my summer/spring clothes?
    • What about my underwear?
    • What about your bags?
      view on sweaters, jackets, skirts and storage boxes on racks and shelves
      Folded sweaters, storage boxes for totes, purses, clutches, jackets and skirts on the rack


  13. If possible, haul the trash bags to the landfill the same day.
  14. Take care of the dry cleaning, ironing tasks as soon as possible.
  15. Revisit the list of needed pieces and prioritize them. Write the highest price you are willing to spend on the side of each items. Calculate the sum. Re-adjust the upper limits until the sum equals your fashion budget. See this  guide how to save when shopping.

    Stylist tips: An excel spreadsheet or google sheet can easily handle the math. If you cannot afford all the items on your list, you may want to consider to use some or all of these secret tricks to get your look on a budget.

  16. Go thru your clothes not only with respect to fit and trends. As lifestyle changes, your personal style may change too. Thus, makeover your wardrobe for fit, style, and trends.
  17. Find a date for a shopping trip, but just search for the top item of the list to save time. See the post at the link for 9 time-saving tips when shopping for apparel. Cross every item you bought off the list. When you got an item cheaper than expected, you may re-adjust your upper limits on the items still left on your shopping list.
  18. Pro tip: If you see something on your list by accident and you still like it the next day and it’s within your budget, by all means buy it the next day.

Are you stressed out what to wear, when and where? Never worry again with my book How to Dress for Success in Midlife full of outfit recipes for all kind of dressing situation. Buy your copy now.

Once fall is close, you will have to create a working fall wardrobe. And I’m sorry, autumn is a bit different than doing the spring closet cleaning.


Top of the World Style linkup No. 152

Welcome to the Top of the World Style linkup party. The featured bloggers from last week’s Top of the World Style party are Charlotte, Maggie and Amy.

You clicked Jodie’s thumbnail the most. It featured her mother Charlotte, which means she became Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav. Charlotte is the 70+ model of Jodie’s three generation fashion and lifestyle blog entitled Jodie’s Touch of Style. She featured how to style a button-down shirt under a dress at 50+, 60+, and 70+. It’s a great way to get more outfits out from the pieces you already own. See the link for further ideas.


Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav Charlotte at Jodie's Touch of Style
Charlotte, the 70+ model at Jodie’s three generation blog became Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav. Photo from Jodie’s post


Maggie Donapel became Top of the World OOTD My Fav. She is a thrifting blogger at Thriftshop Fashionista. She caught my eye with her colorful layered spring look. She wrote about the art of packing light.

#styleover50 Top of the World OOTD my Fav Maggie Donapel at The Thrifting Fashionista
Maggie Donapel of The Thrifting Fashionista became Top of the World OOTD my Fav. Photo from her post


Amy, the blogger at Amy’s Creative Pursuits became the Top of the World Style Winner. She featured her new blue summer dress with red and white polka dots. She looks so young and romantic in this outfit. It’s hard to believe she has already a grand kid.

#fashionlinup Top of the World Style Winner Amy of Amy's Creative Pursuits
Amy, the beauty and life style blogger at Amy’s Creative Pursuits, became Top of the World Style Winner. Photo from her post


Congrats Ladies! Grab your award banners.

Readers and bloggers link your instagram or blog outfit posts by clicking the blue button below. Please link back to this post.

Want to link up, but don’t know how? This tutorial tutorial shows how to link up with screenshots for each step.

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