The best way to start the new year is with a "new" closet. When you clean your closet, you also get rid of old (and bad) energy, and you will feel a big difference. Having an organized closet will help you find your favorite pieces quicker and make getting dressed each morning easier.
Do a Closet Clean-Out
Start by going through everything in your closet and get ready to have five piles: keep, fix, donate, throw away, and sell.
What should you keep?
Ask yourself, have I worn this in the past year? If the answer is no, you are probably not going to wear it ever again. Here's a fun trick to know if you have worn something in the past year: put your hangers backwards every time you do a clean-out. When you wear something, put it back as it should be hung normally. At the end of the year, you can clearly see what you haven't worn in a while.
Then think, why haven't I worn it? Is it damaged? Does it not fit anymore?
If it has a little hole or anything that can be fixable, put it in the fix pile. If not, throw it away. If the items are in good condition but have no significant value, donate them. If you think you can get a little money, sell them!
Forget about sentimental value (unless it's a piece of jewelry your grandmother gave you, of course). This includes that old prom dress you know you are never going to wear again or that cute dress you wore to your first date 10 years ago. Getting rid of them won't delete that amazing memory.
Remember to do a clean-out with your beauty bag, too — makeup has an expiration date, and anything older than a year should be thrown out. Wearing expired makeup can cause breakouts and allergic reactions.
Host a Wardrobe Exchange
Let's say you organized your closet and you realized you have a ton of clothes in mint condition that you never wear. What should you do? Host a wardrobe exchange with your friends.
- Invite a group of close friends and encourage them to invite people as well. You want to keep the group relatively small, but it's a great way to meet and bond with friends.
- Tell them to bring X amount of items. Just be clear about the fact that the pieces must be in perfect condition — clean, no holes, or stains. I recommend bringing a minimum of five pieces.
- Make it fun with appetizers and champagne.
- As soon as the people start arriving, group items by type — dresses, shirts, accessories, etc..
- If you came in with five pieces, you can take five pieces home with you.
The more pieces they bring, the more variety! It's the perfect way to have "new" clothes without spending a dime!
Raid Your Mom's, Sister's, or Aunt's Closet
If you still live with your family, this is easier. However, you can even ask your crazy aunt if you can check out her clothes from the '80s and '90s — I'm sure you can find some amazing things hidden in the bottom of her closet. I did this once with my aunt and she was super excited to see me wearing something from 20 years ago. Also, think outside the box: it doesn't have to be a woman's closet, dare to borrow your dad's shirt or even your boyfriend's jeans.
Find a Tailor You Trust
If you have jeans you used to love but you truly kept that New Year's Resolution to lose weight, and they are too big now; if you want to transform a midi sequin dress into a mini dress, a tailor is your BFF.
Find someone in your city that you trust for all the wardrobe basics, including hemming your pants and making that sexy dress fit like a glove. Then you can ask him/her for a discount when you bring that big ole fix pile. They can transform that dress with the cute print but unflattering neckline.
Shop at Vintage/Thrift Stores
A lot of people underestimate the power of buying in thrift shops or vintage stores. First of all, everything comes back in style. Second, I love thinking that the pieces have a story, that they were carried around when the world was a different place. (Well, that might be just me. I'm a little crazy!) Third, there's a big chance nobody else will own it — vintage pieces are very unique.
I've found amazing items on vintage stores. I found a pair of D&G shoes for $20, a small vintage Coach bag for $15, and silk blouses for $5.
A couple of tips:
- Wash everything as soon as you get home (no bedbugs, please!).
- Go with comfy shoes, because finding those hidden gems isn't that easy. You really have to go through piles and piles of clothes, but it is worth it.
This is the best way to update your current pieces. I often see clothes on the runway that I think might be fun to DIY. And the best part? Saying you did it yourself when people ask you, where did you get that?
Sell, Sell, Sell
Why not make a little profit from cleaning out your closet? If you have pieces in perfect condition that are valuable, put them up for sale.
- Local consignment stores: I personally don't like this option, but if you want to get rid of a lot of things quick, this is a good way to do it. They are going to offer you very little money and they are very picky. I went to one called "Plato's Closet," and they rejected more than half of the things I brought and only offered me $50 for a lot of things
- Poshmark: This is my favorite app to sell clothes. It is very easy to use and you can make great money from it. Sign up using the code "HPFVV," and you will get $10 to shop.
Every month I challenge myself, and I try to sell more. The goal: only spend what I have sold.
When Going Shopping, Think "CPU" — Cost Per Use
Last resort . . . go shopping. You deserve it after cleaning, selling, swapping, and raiding.
Never go shopping without knowing what you are looking for, this leads to impulse buying (and most impulse buys end up with their tags on at the end of the closet).
Along the way, maybe you realized you needed a white blouse or a leopard scarf. So write them down. Make a list of the things you really need, and the ones you really want. We all deserve a little treat now and then.
No matter what you buy, always think CPU (cost per use): the cost of the item divided by the amount of times you will use it.
For example, let's say you find a classic LBD at Forever 21 for $30, and you only wear it twice because the fabric lost its stretch when you washed it. The CPU of the affordable dress is $15.
An even better option would be:
You save up a little more and buy an identical classic LBD for $150 that will last 5 years. Let's say you wear it five times per year (and that's nothing because you can even wear an LBD with a denim jacket for a BBQ). The CPU of this dress is $6.
Also, I have a rule that I never buy anything unless I can think of three ways I can wear it. It's all about versatile pieces you can have fun with.