unpacking the closet restyle - 4 piles explained - pile 1 and 2 Keep and Toss

So here in West Michigan January decided to bump November out of the way.  I am thinking this is a great time to get your closet restyled since we barely had a minute to wear strictly fall pieces and are now meshing fall with winter.  The closet restyle is one of my favorite things to do.  Why?  Because I believe every woman should be able to go to her closet every day and find something to wear that makes her feel pretty (or great or fabulous insert your own descriptor for this).  All of this begins with emptying your closet.  When you research for a wardrobe stylist, closet re-do, fashion recovery, whatever the term for the person to assist you with this, they will  begin with your closet.  I thought I would take the next few posts to explain what I do in a closet restyle. We will focus mostly on the clothing but suffice to say the same principles apply to shoes, accessories, and jewelry in general. 

Keep, toss/donate, consign, fix

First things first.  Yes - you really will be taking absolutely everything out of your closet!  As you take all of it out you are sorting (as you go) into 4 piles:  keep, toss/donate, consign, fix.  The keep pile shouldn't necessarily be the biggest pile.  It's time to let go of some stuff ladies.  Toss/donate or consign can be two most difficult piles to fill.  Listen, I know, some of this will be like counseling :)  Take a really good look at what you own- ask yourself some key questions most important - "when was the last time I wore this?" - if it's been awhile - it's time to let go (key the Frozen song maybe??).  This is when it can get a little "dicey".  Seriously I know - Great Aunt Olive bought that for you, or you wore this that time you had the best time, or once - someone told you how great you look in this - I know I know but really, if you didn't wear the item in the last season it's time to say good-bye.  There may also be those pieces you are "saving" until your shape, weight, hair color, circumstances - something is different.  I want to tell you this is a no.  These pieces can start to bring you down - not kidding.  Remember my "thing" I said earlier?  Everything you wear should make you feel pretty or great or sexy or fabulous - if not, it is just taking room in your closet where something better should be !  So - challenge yourself in this step to really toss/consign what doesn't meet that criteria. 

Toss/Donate - This is a great pile!!  No, really.   The only thing to figure out in this pile is - whether to toss or donate to someone well deserving.  Take a look - if there are stains, significant holes, tears, rips, etc. it really should be tossed.  Only the worn but not worn out stuff should be donated.  You have a lot of options for donating.  Research your favorite causes - maybe a women's shelter in your area is taking donations, maybe a teen shelter (if appropriate), maybe a job-readying program in your area (if you have work attire), or the simple solution of Goodwill or The Salvation Army will work best for you.  Once we are done for the day I will take all your goodies to their new home so no worries for you.

Consign- LOVE this!  Your consign pile gets a new life and you get a little cash to help you fill your wishlist items.  When consigning in order to get "top dollar" be sure to inspect before you consign.  Items going to consignment should be gently worn - meaning they still have some fashion life left- and current styles only.  (Your first interview suit from 1985 ...no).  When I take these lucky pieces with me they should all be hanging, wrinkle-free and ready to wear.  Your style needs to match the type of consignment store you are working with.  I have my faves - we'll talk. 

Once these two piles are done we get to move on to the fun part -- the keepers!!  TIme to reinvent and shop what you already own...stay tuned.