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 – by creating clothing capsules.
Two of the decluttering and home organization services I offer include providing “wardrobe wisdom” for closet organizing and wardrobe editing, as well as creating clothing capsules. But, before you do any editing, organizing, or shopping, take your measurements! It’s important because and helps avoid shopping mistakes.
If you need help learning how and what to measure or why measuring is important I encourage you to take a look at my Wardrobe Wisdom Workbook.
And, if you’re not sure what clothing capsules are keep reading. Here’s a guest post I wrote for Unclutterer where I elaborate on the topic.
Editing a Closet
To reach wardrobe nirvana I 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 – especially when using my clothing capsule planning worksheets. Depending on how full the closet is and how quickly the client makes decisions, it’s possible to edit hundreds of items and decide what to keep, alter, donate, or toss in the trash. Here are a few 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 and others, most clients are surprised at how many garments don’t make the list of “keepers.” Almost all clients end up with at least two or three boxes or bags filled with donations, and they usually marvel at how spacious and roomy their closets feel. Thanks to editing, they can clearly 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. Professional Organizer and wardrobe client, 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 love working with Geralin! She makes the process fun!”
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 most comfortable in casual workout wear? Do you enjoy looking the part of the bohemian free spirit? Are you mostly in corporate environments or the kids’ carpooler?
- How has your life changed? Perhaps you used to go to an office but now your days are spent working from home. Maybe a knee or back injury has made wearing heels impossible and orthotics are a necessity.
- 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 double-digit sizes. Or your hair color used to be chestnut and now it’s silver.
The Benefits of Building Clothing Capsules
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, zeroing in on brown or navy which would suit 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. My dear friend and wardrobe client, St. Louis based Certified Professional Organizer Janine Adams, found that getting rid of unworn clothing meant getting rid of an emotional weight. Janine wrote, “There are no clothes in the closet mocking me for my bad judgment or making me feel guilty for not wearing them.” We also worked together to create a Pinterest Board highlighting clothes and accessories to suit Janine’s Casual + Comfortable style.
If a client feels that she is in a rut, wardrobe editing and capsule-building can help with that, too. One of my NC colleagues and wardrobe clients, Certified Professional Organizer Janice Russell, says “Geralin helped me get out of a wardrobe rut. She showed me styles that were much better suited to my body-type. Geralin also suggested combinations that I would have never considered, but which I’ve grown to enjoy.”
Developing the Shopping List
Once there’s more space in the closet and we’re focused, 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 airplanes and chilly conference rooms
- Jeans – white, boot cut only, flat front
- 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. Houston based Professional Organizer and wardrobe client, Janice Simon, summed it up this way: “Geralin gave me a fresh perspective on my wardrobe and that allowed me to ‘think outside the closet.’” Janice’s Fun + Flirty Style Pinterest Board will provide her with inspiration yet keep her on track with clothing she’ll love.
If your closet needs to be detoxed be advised that it can be emotionally and/or physically challenging but it will also be rewarding.
Are you travelling soon? Download my free Checklist to Pack for a Vacation or Business Trip!