Tina, here.

Winter is a time for reflection, goal-setting, gym memberships and cleaning out your closet. Speaking as one who has cleaned out hundreds and hundreds of closets over the past fifteen years, I know the secret of a successful closet clean out so you can start dressing with style again. Because that, my dears, is the goal of a closet clean out: to be left with your dream wardrobe and a stylish, comfortable and confident you.

Insiders received this post early, and next week, they'll receive my new guide, How To Be The Most Stylish Version Of Yourself. Become an Insider now so you won't miss it, or posts like this that Insiders get first. They get exclusive guides and videos, too. 

Related: [VIDEO] Now Released! Wardrobe Keeping Tips & The Tools You Need

Here are the rules for cleaning out your closet.

The Only 3 Rules For A Successful Closet Clean Out

1. Hire me. For real.

Why You Need To Hire Me:  (and now you can! My Virtual One-On-One Wardrobe Styling is magic!) You are not impartial. You can't think clearly when it comes to the old graphic t-shirts and your first job interview dress. Or the comfy old muu-muus that faithfully serve you to this day. Or the gobs and gobs of tangled necklaces in the jewelry drawer. You're worried you'll have nothing left if I help you. You're worried you can't afford to replace what needs to be thrown out. And who wants to be reminded of the things you bought but never wore, still with the tags on them? This, my dears, is why you need my support. A friend or sister can take you about half way there. And I'm being generous. She's not getting paid to tell you the cold, hard truth. It's so amusing to me when I show up to a client's home and she proudly tells me she's already taken five bags to Goodwill. I barely have the heart to tell her there may be five more after I'm finished. But the good news is that most of the stuff you need to get rid of, you know deep down you need to. You haven't worn most of it in years anyway. You don't even see that stuff in your closet anymore. The bad stuff becomes invisible. But I promise, when you finally get it all out of there, the relief will be palpable. Cathartic. Imagine having impacted sinuses for years and years, and then you have the surgery and feel... relief. You can breathe. It's like that. But not as gross. You need someone who knows what they're doing, who can say, yes, those were cute at one time, but now they make you look aged. You need someone who can say, "you can do better and here's what is better."

2. Touch everything. Every. Last. Thing. From your socks to your broken earrings.

By video call, we'll go through every piece one by one, hanger by hanger, drawer by drawer, shelf by shelf. We will assign everything a place: it either stays where it is (we'll reorganize next), or it goes into one of the 3 piles, Alter, Donate, Purgatory. You have me right there inside your closet, on video call, going through your closet together. It's actually fun.

You'll be trying some clothes on. If you reeeaaaallly want to keep something but I say no, it goes into the "?" pile, aka Purgatory, to be moved to a closet far, far away from your bedroom. Like the attic or some other distant and dark hole. If you don't miss it for 6 months, it goes to a new Donate pile where it can be put to good use in someone else's closet, who needs it more than you do.

Related: Après-Ski And Resort - Two Great Collections To Shop Now

3. Snap photos of some favorite pieces, and ones that stump you.

Once we've cleaned out and organized, you'll send me some pics of your favorite pieces or things you just don't know how to wear or want to wear more of, and I'll create an inventory of your wardrobe. Then I'll shop for you. I'll send you the fan-favorite style guide made just for you, with your closet inventory, a shopping section so you can purchase the new pieces I recommend, and a style section where I put together all the beautiful outfits. Take a look at what some of my clients say about the virtual styling process (you can watch the testimonial videos here) - it's been so much fun getting to know so many clients across the country I never would have been able to help without the virtual package!

For now, you can shop this Winter Capsule Wardrobe (it was released early to Insiders, so items may be selling out!). 

Want to know what a virtual closet cleanout and style session looks like? These are some of the questions and filters I'll use with you when we're cleaning out your closet:

Is it tired or dated looking (nothing ages you more than tired, outdated clothes)? This is the biggest question and the one that catches most of the items you need to get rid of. This pile will consist of trends no longer trendy, classic items that need to be updated, yellowed t-shirts, denim with outdated washes, dated shoes and trendy jewelry and handbags.

Is it stained or damaged beyond repair?

Is it the wrong color for you? You may have been a "Spring" 20 years ago, but your skin tone and hair color have changed, and so have the colors that look good on you.

Is it the wrong shape for you? Just because it's in style doesn't mean it looks good on you. Case in point: skinny jeans and graphic tees aren't for everyone. Neither are A-line dresses or ankle booties.

Is it too young or old for you? This is more personal. But I for sure have opinions about it :).

Related: Your Ultimate Guide: 7 Rules To Look Less Frumpy

Does it fit, and if not can it be altered if it is worth keeping? If it's too small, get rid of it. Live in the present. Goal weight clothes will taunt you and make you feel terrible about yourself. Positive reinforcement is so much more powerful. So fill your closet with clothes you look and feel great in today.

Do I like it? Would I buy it today for what I paid for it, or even half of what I paid for it? Just because you haven't worn it and it still has the tags on it, if it doesn't make you happy today, it doesn't need to take up space in your life. No need to keep paying for yesterday's or last year's mistakes.

And how about items you'll be tossing this winter:

dated and tired shoes - you have TONS of shoes that need to be tossed, trust me

any jewelry that was trendy 2 years ago (and isn't anymore)

broken jewelry

outdated handbags - you have LOTS of these, too, that need to go

old bras and other undergarments that have stretched out or are stained

jeans with dated washes and rinses (especially if they are whiskered and striped)

t-shirts that are too short and boxy (this happens from repeated washings, even if they never see hot water)

most of your crew neck t-shirts

anything from Harold's (I know I seem to pick on them, it's just that if you still have stuff from this great ole shop, you're probably still wearing a lot of other outdated styles too ? )


old fleece jackets that look like dirty dogs

But wait, you're not finished. Once we're finished with our first video call, you have one more step.

Take the clothes from the Alter pile to your car. Do not pass go. Do not collect dust. Drop them off in the next couple days.

The Donate/Goodwill trash bags go in your car trunk immediately. No need to go through the bags again. You've made your peace. Life is short. Better outfits are ahead. Drive to Goodwill right now. Even if it's dark. The drop-off centers are usually open. But not if you've been drinking wine, mkay cupcakes? Just be sure and do it tomorrow.

Okey dokey how are you feeling? Are you ready for your very own closet cleanout and style session? I'll also share with you tips for how not to end up back there again with too many clothes and nothing to wear. You can book your virtual closet cleanout and style session with me now before Spring gets here and there's a mad rush!





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