A closet audit is an assessment of your current wardrobe to determine what needs to stay, what needs to go and what needs to be added. When I meet with new clients who are seeking to update their wardrobe, we follow their initial consultation with a closet audit.
If you want to complete your own closet audit, below are some tips on how to successfully clean out your closet! Keep in mind, it's going to take some time, it's best to carve out an hour or two to thoroughly go through your wardrobe.
Step 1: Let Go of Clothes You Haven't Worn in Over a Year
Yes this wardrobe rule still applies. If you have clothes in your closet that you have not worn in the past 12 months, the chances of you wearing it again are slim. Let those items go!
Step 2: Try on Clothes That are Questionable
We all have clothes in our closet that we bought and thought "what was I thinking?" afterwards. These may be items you've never worn or wore once and weren't sure you'd wear again. Try them on and see how they fit. If you love it, it stays. Not a fan, it goes!
Step 3: Try on the Remaining Clothes In Your Closet
After eliminating the clothes you definitely don't wear and the questionable pieces, now is the time to focus on the remaining clothes in your closet. During this process, you don't have to focus on those clothes you wouldn't wear during the season. For example, if you're giving yourself a closet audit during the spring, you don't need to go through your wool winter sweaters. Save that for your fall audit.
Step 4: Create Three Piles 1) Trash 2) Donation 3) Alterations
Clothes that are stained, torn, faded and extremely stretched out belong in the trash. If you would feel bad donating the item to Goodwill or another organization that takes clothing donations, that's a sign it needs to go in the garbage. Clothes that are too tight or extremely too big, no longer your style or you haven't worn in over a year but are still in good or great condition can be donated to organizations like Dress for Success. If you've tried on clothes and they are one size bigger than your current size, are in great condition and can still be worn with a few modifications, they go in your alterations pile!
Step 5: Don't Forget Accessories
After you've gone through all of your clothes, don't forget to do an assessment of your accessories. Do you need to add more scarves? Do you need to replace your belts? Are the soles of your shoes worn out? Take the same amount of time and care as you do with your clothes to evaluate your accessories.
Step 6: Create Your Shopping List
Once you've cleaned out your closet to reflect the items that are going to stay, make a list of what's missing. Need to replace a pair of flats? In need of new dresses or skirts? Maybe you need more dress shirts to go under your suit. Creating a shopping list should be the final step. Once you have a clear view of the status of your wardrobe, it's easy to determine where there are gaps.
These are the basic steps for completing a closet audit! Closet audits should take place at least twice a year when there is a change in seasons.