Defeat your ‘anxiety closet’ with purge, audit

By Paula Parisotto

Let me guess: Your closet is oozing jeans, T’s and an array of shoes, yet you feel as if you have nothing to wear. Well, you’re not alone.

Most of us are stuck in a style rut, wearing just 20 percent of what’s in our closet 80 percent of the time. Why? Well, some of us simply lack style know-how; others have too little time to dig through a cluttered, overstuffed, stress-causing closet.

Fortunately, I have and easy remedy: a complete closet overhaul.

Schedule a full day on your calendar and grab five boxes or bags, some snacks and something to sip on. Blast your favorite tunes and follow these three simple steps:

Step 1: Purge

Pull everything, and I mean every thing, out of your closet. This includes those leather pants you wore to the 1986 Def Leppard concert as well as your Christmas sweater collection. Overlook nothing. Take stuff off the rod, off racks, off shelves, off the floor and out of drawers. Create one gigantic, completely unorganized pile. It’s a mess. I know. It’s part of the process. Just trust it.

Step 2: Audit

Piece by piece, ask yourself these simple questions:

Is it worn out? (Is it stained, faded, peeling, damaged?)

Is it out-of-date?

Is it unflattering?

Do I dislike it?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, immediately place it in one of your three boxes or bags (which you have labeled: Toss, Donate, Consign).

Here’s the really hard part. If you answered “no” to all of the above questions, now ask yourself: Does it bring me joy?

I mean, when you’re wearing it does it make you feel joyful, beautiful and confident? If not, you’re hanging on to it for all the wrong reasons. These may include that someone gave it to you, it was someone special, it cost a lot, it’s brand new.

Those aren’t valid reasons to allow it to clutter your closet and your life. Let it go and let someone else get joy from wearing it.

However, if it brings you tremendous joy, it’s a keeper. Place it in one of your boxes or bags to launder (don’t put dirty pieces back into your closet), get altered (if it needs to have a better fit) or with like items (pants, shorts, skirts, dresses, tops, jackets, etc.).

Step 3: Organize

Now that you’ve audited down to only those pieces that bring you joy, neatly hang or fold each piece and place it together by kind (pants, shorts, skirts, dresses, tops, etc.) and by color into your closet or drawer.

Congratulations! You just reduced some stress, saved yourself some time and created a beautiful space in which you can create beautifully stylish looks.

Paula Parisotto is the founder and personal stylist at Dettamoda, where she works with women and men to bring out their most confident self through style consultations, closet audits, personal shopping and style events.