Tips for Cleaning Out Your Closet

Here’s an interesting statistic:  Women tend to wear only 25 percent of their wardrobes, and men wear 85 percent of the clothes in their closets.  Now, relate that to the amount of time a person may stand in front of that closet each morning, wondering why they have nothing to wear.  It’s the rare individual who couldn’t benefit from taking time to clear his/her schedule in order to reorganize their closet, and at the same time, clear their mind.  Getting rid of clothing is one of the hardest things for professionals to do because our clothes hold memories.  But it’s important to overcome the urge to hold to something that we simply aren’t going to wear again.#1 Tip: Edit your wardrobe

Go through your closet and try everything on. Yes – everything. Stand in front of a full length mirror and be objective. Ask yourself questions like: Do I love it?  Is it too big or too tight? Does the color of the item flatter my complexion? Does the style flatter my body type? If I wear something else will I look better?

When that piece of clothing hangs in our professional wardrobe and we can’t fit into it anymore it creates a negative effect that is psychologically and emotionally detrimental. Purge it from the closet and either give it to a charitable organization or send it to a consignment shop.  If it really has sentimental value, then take a photo of it to keep before you give it away. At the very least, store it in a separate closet in a sealed garment bag. But get it out of the everyday closet where it is just cluttering up your life.

If you haven’t worn in the past year, delete it.

If you haven’t worn a particular item within the past 12 months there is always a reason why. Maybe it doesn’t fit or you bought it at a clearance sale. Maybe somebody gave it to you as a gift. Regardless of why you don’t really like wearing it you need to delete it from your wardrobe inventory.

Is the item modern and congruent with your current brand?

You want to be on the leading edge in this new decade and dress to reflect your personal brand. Review your wardrobe and analyze each piece. Is it still modern looking? Can you add a few modern trend pieces to it and have an intentional look? Does the style, color, cut, and fabric create a visual brand image that you want to convey to your clients, prospects, or supervisor?

Does it still make you look impeccable?

Really look the items in your wardrobe over and see if they are in mint condition. Clothes do have an expiration date on them – they don’t last forever.  Scrutinize the item. Would you buy it today if you saw it in a consignment shop? If you wear clothes that have holes, spots, or pulled seams it damages your professional image – and no one can afford to let that happen today.

Does it reflect your personal style?

Advice: Make a list of anything that doesn’t resonate with you – for example, a black pantsuit. Then next time you go shopping take your list with you and focus on finding the replacement items, in newer styles that you will feel more comfortable wearing.

Closet cleaning is essential, especially nowadays. When the economy declines people think that their professional clothing requires a budget cut – when in fact your professional image, including your wardrobe, is one of your best business investments in terms of making more money over the long term. When you schedule time and take the effort to purge your wardrobe, it shows that you value how you look and present yourself each and every day. Cutting out the dead wood in your closet allows you to dress faster every morning, provides you with a list of specific items you need to replace, and it boosts your personal brand and professional image by keeping those current and fresh.