The Closet Audit - a Cure for Cabin Fever!

Need a cure for cabin fever? How about tackling that closet! This "How-To" will get you started and leave you with a closet filled with combinations you never knew you had!

Many of us here on the East Coast are trapped at home anxiously waiting for Hurricane Sandy to pass through.  As we wait, cabin fever is setting in and some of us are looking for more productive things to do.  Why not tackle that closet?  It can seem like an overwhelming task, but once you get started you’ll be surprised to see how quickly it goes and how much better you’ll feel about getting dressed once its done!


If you haven’t done this in a few years, and let’s be honest – most of us avoid this for a long long time - the best way to tackle this is to do it all at once.  It gives you the best view of what you have, and allows you to organize everything as you put the items back in. 

Start by clearing off your bed, designating a place on the floor, clearing off the edge of the tub or some other large area. 

Get four boxes or bags and have them ready to place discarded items in.  Label them as follows:

  1. Clean/Repair
  2. Consign
  3. Donate
  4. Trash



Now carefully remove everything from the racks, rods and cubbies.  Pull out your shoes and sweep or vacuum the newly cleared space.  

Take in this clean clear space and enjoy the feeling of peace it gives you.  You may need to be reminded of this as you get a little further in the process…


Next pick up and examine each piece.  You may have to some of the pieces on.  As you do, ask yourself four questions about each item:

  1. Does it FIT?
  2. Does it FLATTER?
  3. Does it have FUNCTION?
  4. Does it make you HAPPY?

If the answer to any of these is NO then the item must go.  For those items that do pass the test look closely and see if there are any spots, missing buttons, dropped hems or other fixable issues.  If so, place the item in the box labeled REPAIR.  If the item is clean and in good repair it is ready to be placed back in the closet.  If not, determine if it can be recycled either through DONATION or CONSIGNEMENT.  Newer and well made classics in good shape are good candidates for consignment.  There may not be as much demand for some older items in consignment shops, but those in good condition are ideal candidates for donation to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army.  Unfortunately there will also be a few items that just need to be tossed.  Items with severe stains, tears and other irreparable issues should simply be thrown out.  They’ve served you well and hopefully you’ve enjoyed them.  If they are staples make note so you can add them to your shopping list! 


As you identify what goes back in your closet, think carefully about how you want to be organized.  There are several schools of thought on this.  One option is to organize your closet by outfit.  Doing it this way allows you to easily pull out a pre-planned group and be ready to hit the door without much thought.  There is a definite upside to this but it is limiting as it does not allow you to explore beyond the pre-determined combinations. 

A better solution is to arrange your closet by color and item.  This arrangement allows you to see ALL your blouses, shells, skirts, pants etc so that you can easily create different combinations using everything in your closet.

So, as you put things back in, identify separate sections for each category then organize by color, lightest to darkest, from front to back.  Start with camisoles and sleeveless shells, and work your way back to jackets, skirts, dresses and pants.  Formal wear (unless you use it VERY frequently) should be at the back or in a separate closet.  Hang scarves, necklaces and belts on tie racks attached to open walls or doors so you can see those as well.  Store your shoes in clear boxes or, at a minimum, in their original box with the sketch of the shoe facing out.  Being able to see everything is key to MAXIMIZING your USABLE WARDROBE and allows you to easily see what you have and what you are missing.  It simplifies future shopping trips and encourages you to try NEW combinations expanding your options giving you more with less! 


Now that all the “keepers” are back in the closet, don’t forget to deliver those boxes to the cleaners, the consignment store and to Goodwill, and don’t forget to add a full length mirror.  Seeing everything, from your options to the final package is key to managing your wardrobe and image.

Need help organizing and auditing your wardrobe? Schedule an appointment with the Confident Closet today.  Working with you, we can help you identify what fits, what works and sort through the hangers to create a wardrobe that fits, from Blue Jeans to Black Tie!

www.TheConfidentCloset.com | 703-297-6126 | vicki@TheConfidentCloset.com

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