Is it just me, or has late-stage COVID made you feel like you need a more in-depth-than-usual spring cleaning routine, including a good closet clean-out? I’ve been spending so much time quarantined at home over the past year, and I’ve noticed that my wardrobe isn’t really reflecting my mood and style lately. So, I wanted to take some time to write about how to clean out your closet — which, incidentally, is one of the services I offer as a personal stylist!
I’ve talked a little bit before about what it’s like to work with me as a personal stylist. But, being a personal stylist is about SO much more than just running off to the mall and swiping credit card after credit card.
There’s actually some work that goes into it before the whole fitting room fashion show/ spending spree happens. Before I get started working with a client in-store, we do some behind-the-scenes prep by conducting a full closet inventory and clean-out.
There are a few reasons I do this. First, it helps me to get a better understanding of what my client’s wardrobe already includes. I can see what basics he or she has, and what gaps need to be addressed when we actually hit up the mall. It also allows me to get a better sense of his or her style, and which brands he or she gravitates to.
Before scheduling a closet clean-out, I’ll talk a little bit with my client over the phone to see what his or her goals are for the process. What do they want to get out of the personal shopping experience? How ruthless do they want to be about gutting their current wardrobe? What do they want their clothes to say about them? What struggles do they have with keeping their closet organized?
After the initial phone consultation, I’ll request photos (and sometimes measurements) of my client’s closet, and then I’ll send a list of suggested products for my client to purchase prior to our scheduled closet clean-out. I usually recommend a lot of organizational tools to buy in advance! Some of my favorites are (this shoe rack), (these hangers), (these bins), (these containers) and (these containers). Having all the tools on hand and ready makes the actual closet clean-out process go so much more smoothly.
Then, it’s time for the actual closet clean-out! I’ll arrive at my client’s closet and we’ll start the process. I come prepared with a plan for how the closet should be organized, and after the initial discussions, we dive into the heavy work together. I make suggestions for which items my client should keep and which pieces he or she should part with, and we’ll make three piles: A keep pile, a donate pile, and a toss pile.
There are a few questions I’ll ask when I’m analyzing each piece of clothing with my client. Does this fit? Does it match your desired aesthetic and style? When’s the last time you wore it?
Anything that’s ill-fitting, stained or worn out is usually trashed. Anything that my client just doesn’t love can be donated. And anything that matches the client’s style — or is sentimental and valuable — can go back into the closet.
As we work, I’ll change out hangers, organize clothing items by season and color, and offer tips for maximizing the space and potential of a client’s closet space.
This process usually takes between two and four hours, depending on the size of the closet… and how indecisive a client is, of course! 🙂
Then, when the clean-out is done, my client will usually go ahead and book a personal stylist shopping session that I talked about earlier. I’ll help you put together looks like the one below.
(As a reminder, you can take a look at my various personal styling services — and book them — here!)
And, that’s about it! Since the youths have decided that (skinny jeans) are out and (mom jeans) are in, I imagine I’ll actually have to do this to my own closet soon! I’ll be sharing my picks for spring wardrobe additions soon, too, in case you need some inspiration to get started on the closet clean-out process.
When’s the last time you cleaned out your closet? Let me know in the comments!
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