Fashion For Real Women

Cleaning The Closet

Once you've determined your best colors, learned your shape, and figured out your clothing personality (grab a copy of Wardrobe Magic if you haven't yet), it's time to clean your closet.

If you're like most women, you've put this off for far too long and now have so much stuff in your closet that you really don't know what you have anymore. Depending on your personal volume, cleaning it may take an hour or an entire afternoon. Regardless, once you take the time to do this you'll only need the occasional once over to make your wardrobe current each season.

Messy Closet
How can you tell what you have if your closet looks like this?
Time to clean!

If you can't set aside a chunk of time to do this or if the thought of doing it all at one time is so intimidating that it will make you put it off indefinitely, then start in short, concentrated spurts, like by the drawer or by the closet section. Once you get going, it shouldn't take too long.

If it's a YES, put it back in your closet. If it needs mending or minor repair, set it aside for now so that you can fix it in the next few days.

If it's a NO, then it's time to retire this garment. Now don't get all misty-eyed. You probably don't wear it anyway, so it's only taking up valuable closet real estate that could be put to better use. Put that in a pile marked "to go". You can:

  • Swap with friends
  • Sell on consignment with one of your local resale shop
  • Donate to appropriate charitable organizations in your area.

If it's so worn you feel rag-tag wearing it, cut it up and put it in the rag bin. Or trash it. Don't try to give away items no one else can wear.

If it's a MAYBE, think about different things you can do to make it a wearable item. Could you:

  • Alter it by lengthening or shortening?
  • Dye it a more flattering color?
  • Add a trim...or get rid of one?

If you sew or know a good seamstress, think about ways you might remodel the items. Sometimes a small change can make it infinitely more wearable.

Consider your options carefully, particularly if it's an expensive item. Whatever you do, don't throw good money after bad. If you need to spend a lot to make it work by buying a new blouse, jacket, or accessories, for example, cut your losses and put it in the "no" pile. Use your resources more wisely in other areas.

Cleaning your closet is easy, once you get going. So hop to it!


Diana Pemberton-Sikes is a wardrobe and image consultant and author of Wardrobe Magic, an ebook that shows women how to transform their unruly closets into workable, wearable wardrobes. Visit her online at  .  Cleaning the Closet

Other Wardrobe Planning Articles You Might Enjoy:

 More Fashion Articles



FREE Fashion Tips!

Clothes That FitSign up for our FREE ezine and get the How To Find Clothes That Fit Report instantly!

Further Training

Discover your best style and colors

Wardrobe Magic

Look great every day yet save a ton of money on clothes

Define your style and stretch your budget with accessories.

Accessory Magic

What ultra chic women know about accessories that you don't

Want to make more money? Here's how.

Business Wear

Business wear secrets your competitors don't want you know.

Nail the dress code every time

Occasion Magic

Crack the dress code to easily determine what to wear when

Look fabulous head to toe

Beauty Any Age

Beauty secrets of the well-groomed and fabulous


What Our Readers are Saying...

"You have helped me so much!!! My closets are beautiful because of you!"

Patricia Brown
San Francisco
, CA

"I've found your adobe book and your articles absolutely invaluable. Your advice is applicable and practical."

Fay Grant

Charleston, SC



“I wanted to thank you for your terrific newsletter. It is always so informative and has helped me to dress better, consider purchases and refine my style.  What I have found is I am spending less money, looking better and have a smaller but more versatile wardrobe. Thank you for all the valuable information and extra confidence to dress with success and style!!!” 
Debra Quartermain
New Maryland, Canada