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Brown canvas jacket, pink ruffle blouse and denim blue jeans hanging on a

Editing isn’t just for newspapers, blog posts, and term papers. Closets need editing, too! Let me walk you through how I work with clients to make dressing easier and bring out the best in their wardrobes.

Two of the decluttering and home organization services I offer include providing “wardrobe wisdom” for closet organizing and wardrobe editing, and creating clothing capsules to make daily dressing and packing a breeze.

To learn more, check out my Wardrobe Wisdom Workbook and personal style coaching. I’d love to help you create a wardrobe that will fit and flatter you!

If you’re not sure what clothing capsules are keep reading.  Here’s a guest post I recently wrote for Unclutterer.com that explains the concept.

How We Edit the Closet

To reach wardrobe nirvana we begin by editing everything that no longer fits, flatters, feels good mentally or physically, or sparks joy. Some clients want to edit their entire closet in one day. Others, due to decision fatigue or budget concerns, prefer to stretch it over a few appointments. Whichever way they choose, clients typically make a lot of progress in a few hours. Depending on how full the closet is and how quickly the client can make decisions, it’s possible to edit hundreds of items and decide what to keep, alter, donate, or toss in the trash. How does my client decide what to keep and what to let go? Here are some of the questions I ask to help with the decision-making process:

  • Do you own multiple versions of this same item?
  • Do you like it?
  • Does it fit?
  • Is it flattering?
  • Is it appropriate for your current lifestyle?
  • Does it reflect who you are?
  • Do you wear it?

Using these questions, most women are surprised at how many garments don’t make the list of “keepers.” Most clients end up with at least two or three boxes or bags filled with donations, sometimes more, and they usually marvel at how spacious and roomy their closets feel. Thanks to editing, they can actually see and easily access everything they own.

The editing process can involve some tiring work as the client is busy moving clothes around and making decisions. But the process doesn’t have to be painful. Linda Birkinbine put it this way: “With Geralin’s fashion advice and suggestions for styles and colors designed to flatter me and fit my lifestyle, I easily weeded my closet. I loved working with Geralin! She makes the process fun!”

Benefits of Building Clothing Capsules

Room to breathe also creates room to think, so the next step is to mindfully and purposefully create a better wardrobe, using the clothing that remains as the foundation for clothing capsules. To do this, we consider some of the client’s goals and the lessons they’ve picked up in the editing process. We might ask:

  • How do you want to look? Are you drawn to a look that is sporty, elegant, or chic? Are you coastal-casual or the bohemian in your artist’s loft? Are you mostly a corporate warrior? Or usually the kids’ carpool-driver?
  • How has your life changed? Perhaps you used to go to an office 9 to 5, but now your days are spent in yoga pants working from home. Maybe a knee or back injury has made sky-high heels impossible to wear.
  • What do you need to suit your current shape and coloring? Maybe you used to be a single-digit size and now you’re wearing a double-digit size. Or your hair color used to be chestnut and now it’s silver.

Going through this process has several benefits; one is that it can save time for years to come. Consider this: if you have decided that, even though black is an easy color to find, you’re not going to purchase any more black tops because they aren’t flattering, you can quickly cruise through the store, homing in on the brown or navy that suits you better.

Another way that focusing on creating capsules pays off is by saving money. Once the client is clear on what her current needs are, she will be less tempted to shop for a lifestyle she aspires to or the one she used to have, and she’ll buy instead the things that express and support the lifestyle she actually has.

Some clients experience emotional benefits, too. Janine Adams, found that getting rid of unworn clothing meant getting rid of an emotional weight. As Janine wrote, “There are no clothes in the closet mocking me for my bad judgment or making me feel guilty for not wearing them.”

If a client feels that she is in a rut, wardrobe editing and capsule-building can help with that, too. Janice Russell says, “Geralin helped me get out of my wardrobe rut. She showed me styles that were better suited to my body-type. Geralin also suggested combinations that I would have never considered, but which I’ve grown to enjoy.”

With space in the closet and more focus in our thoughts, we develop a shopping list of  Wants + Needs. Items on the list will include specific things to purchase and might look something like this:

  • Accessories ­– a business-appropriate umbrella, a summer-weight scarf for planes and chilly conference rooms
  • Jeans – white, boot cut only
  • T-shirts – light colors to conceal dandruff; v-neck only; 3/4 sleeves ideally

After clients rearrange their remaining items and remove their empty hangers, they adjust to the joy of more empty space. They realize that everything they’ve kept is now much more visible, which means it’s much more likely to be worn and not forgotten about. Janice Simon summed it up this way: “Geralin gave me a fresh perspective on my wardrobe that allowed me to ‘think outside the closet.’”

If your closet needs to be detoxed, know in advance that it can be emotionally or physically challenging, but it will also be rewarding.

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