Your closet or dresser is overflowing, and yet you have nothing to wear. It’s jam-packed with items you got on sale, clothing you were given in the wrong color, clothes in a size that you are hoping to fit into one magical day. You might have some really great individual pieces, but nothing matches. Getting dressed is stressful and you end up wearing the same five items over and over again. Shopping is even more stressful because you aren’t sure what to buy or end up purchasing items for imaginary events, “This gown is perfect for going to a witches ball,” “I can wear these heels the next time I’m in Paris!”

The biggest concern I hear as a Personal Stylist are folks who are overwhelmed by their current closet but don’t know where to start. Imagine this: Every morning you open a closet of items that work with each other, fit your current shape, and make you feel awesome about yourself. Now that sounds much better!

Here are my steps to get organized so you can love your wardrobe and your wardrobe can love you back.

Step One: Sort into 3 Groups

To cut through your closet, start by sorting all items into three groups.

  • Group One: Toss it out. This item is damaged beyond repair, faded, ripped, or otherwise seen better days. Let those torn tops, shoes that smell awful (you know the pair) and stained pants rest in piece.

  • Group Two: Donate. Give the items you never wear or don’t look great on you a second life by donating to your local goodwill or consignment shop. If you haven’t worn it in the last year, it’s time to say farewell.

  • Group Three: Take a closer look: These are clothing items, accessories or shoes that you like and have worn within the last year. We take a closer look at this group in step two.

  • Step Two: Does it Fit and Flatter RIGHT NOW?

We all do it. Hang onto clothing because we are ‘going to lose weight’ or because it was a gift from someone close to us and we wouldn’t want to offend them. Pulse check. You deserve to feel amazing and confident in the body you have RIGHT NOW. If it doesn’t fit you and is still in good shape, donate it. If your body shape or weight changes, you can update your wardrobe with new pieces you are excited about. You are not obligated to keep clothing or accessories just because it was a gift. Retire that itchy sweater from your Aunt Vera or that weird pattered top your mom picked up on clearance knowing that your confidence is worth more.

Step Three: Does it Make Sense for your Lifestyle?

I want you to think about the thing you spend most of your life doing. Is it in a high-powered career? Is it chasing after your kids? Is it running your own business from home? Most fashion advice fails to consider your lifestyle when making style recommendations. If you are holding onto items that make no sense for your lifestyle, donate them! Busy parent? You need clothing that is comfortable, functional and for goodness sakes you do not need 27 pairs of heels. Aspiring entrepreneur? You need to focus on professional wear that makes sense for the industry you are going into and casual wear that still flatters in case you have a last-minute networking opportunity. Catch my drift? Unless you are constantly attending the opera or formal charity events, you don’t need a formal gown gathering dust in the back of your closet.

You’ve done it! By following these steps you will get a closet that is organized, easy to dress from and works with your lifestyle. Happy styling!