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5 proven steps to get your closet under control

overflowing wardrobe
fashion over 40 floral pleated skirt with motorcycle jacket
Lookbook Store leather motorcycle jacket with Talbots floral print pleated silk skirt, Ivanka Trump pumps, Celine Tote (all own) and T-shirt c/o ONNO

Commit to a spring and fall closet review

Springtime means to put the winter clothes into storage and to get the warm season clothes out of the storage. Fall means store the summer clothes and prepare your closet for the cold season. Of course doing so is a lot of work and worth procrastinating. 😉 However, doing the latter means that you will loose control about what you have, which again limits your options to create awesome outfits. 😦

Here is a list with steps to get the job done in a couple of hours without getting crazy.

Step 1: Storing the winter clothes

Label five trash bags as tailor, dry cleaner, charity, consignment, and trash. Get the laundry basket for clothes that need washing prior to being stored. Pile all your clothes onto your bed to be sure you can’t bail out.

Go thru your winter clothes and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can I recall when I wore this the last time?
  • Did I feel awesome when wearing it?
  • Will I wear it another season?
  • Does it fit?

If you answer is no to any of these questions, ask yourself whether the item can be consigned, be given to charity or is not worth the hassle as it was last winter’s It piece, but will be so “yesterseason” in the next winter. Consider the latter as trash. Put the items in the respective bag.

fashion over 50 Work outfit substituting a leather jacket for a blazer
Side view of work outfit with Lookbook Store leather jacket, Talbots floral print silk skirt, Ivanka Trump pumps, Celine tote (all own) and T-shirt c/o ONNO

Now go thru the remaining items – your keepers – and ask yourself

  • Is this item suitable for the warm season?

Tip: Denim jackets, cardigans, light jeans, T-shirts, light leather jackets, some blouses and trench coats fall into this category.

If yes, put them onto the pile of clothes that you will put back into your closet later.

Those items that are pure winter items will be separated into the laundry basket or dry cleaner bag if they need cleaning. Fold the other items for storage.

Make sure you put the trash bag away immediately after you are done with this step to ensure that you will not pull pieces out again. 😉

Place the dirty clothes in the laundry room as you will need the basket later again. You may even already start washing them. On the next trip to the mall, drop off the dry cleaner bag.

Tip: Store the consignment bag with your winter clothes and bring it to the consignment store in early fall. They will sell at a higher price than now, and more of them will be sold.

Step 2: Clean the closet

Now clean your closet. There will be a lot of dust since the last overhaul. Add some lavender or other odor for great smell of your clothes. Then hang the year-round items back into the closet.

Step 3: Get the warm-season items out of storage

If you apply this process for the second time around, only clean and undamaged pieces are in your storage. All you will have to do is the following:

  1. Try the clothes on whether they still fit.
  2. Iron those clothes that have gotten wrinkles while being in storage. Sort them in the laundry basket for ironing if you don’t have the time to do the ironing right away.
  3. Hang the other clothes into your closet.
  4. Identify what you need to add to update your wardrobe or what you need because these pieces are missing. Here are some helpful questions to identify what your wardrobe needs:
    • Is a key item (e.g., blazer, coat, jacket) missing?
    • What pieces would update the wardrobe I have?
    • What did I wish last spring/summer to have bought? Would I miss it this season too? Why did I want it? How would it add to my wardrobe?
    • Do I have enough work clothes/weekend clothes?
    • Does my wardrobe miss color or neutrals?
  5. Write the identified pieces into a list on your cell phone so you have the list handy when you are at the mall.

Sort those pieces that don’t fit anymore into the tailor bag if they can be altered, or into the consignment or charity bag otherwise. There won’t be any trash as you did follow these steps when you stored the items.

Why to check the fit when the weight stayed the same?

Why should you try them on even if your weight did not change? Full disclosure: Menopause shifts your weight around. Thus, even though you have the same weight your boobs and/or bum may have lost volume. Thus, your favorite pencil skirt or summer dress may not fill out the foreseen space anymore. 😦

Extra step for the first time around

If it is the first time that you apply these steps, basically repeat the first step for them, i.e. sort thru them like you did with your winter items.

Tip: Take new bags at least for consignment and charity as the warm-season items will be best sold or given away now.

Step 4: When your fashion is on a budget

If you are on a budget, and most of us are, use this easy trick to stay on budget and not break the bank. Revisit the shopping list and add the upper limit of what you can afford to spend on each of the items. The sum should not exceed your set budget.

Tip:This math can be easily handled on an excel spreadsheet.

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.

Final step: Shopping

Add a priority on each item of your shopping list. Start with the most needed item first.

Make a shopping schedule. Set dates to shop for just one item of the list and decide which one you stop for. Focus your search should on that item. However, when you see an item that is on your list and you still like it the next day, go back to buy it the next day if it fits you, your budget, and into your wardrobe.

mature fashion work outfit
Back view of outfit with Talbots floral skirt, Lookbook Store leather jacket, Ivanka Trump pumps, and Celine tote (all own)

To keep control, cross every item you bought off the list. When you did not spend your upper limit on an item, you may re-adjust your upper limits on the other items.

Tip: Never up a limit prior to having spent less on another item of higher priority.

When you find these steps useful, please help your friends by tweeting them these easy steps to keep your wardrobe under control. Thank you. 🙂

Have you prepared your closet already for the warm season? When do you swap out the winter clothes for the summer clothes? Do you have a routine that works for you? Let me know by email, I am curious.

Get the inspiration, support, motivation, and tips to look to your best in life. Get a subscription to High Latitude Style. Deep inside you know when I can do it you can do it too.

Photos: G. Kramm

Copyright 2013-2017 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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