Re-SEE Co-Founder & stylist Sabrina knows that putting together a great look starts with organization. She shares her top tips for cleaning and organizing your closet, helping you make more room for the special pieces you should be wearing.
Why is it so important to organize your closet?
A clean closet helps you regain precious time. I personally don’t like (and can’t afford) spending a lot of time getting ready in the morning, so I keep a steady selection of go-tos. Besides that - I find that most people dress so much better when they own less! We tend to hang on to a lot of pieces simply because we love the idea of them, even if they don’t work for us. Leaving all the clutter behind enables you to focus on your true style and assess which key pieces you are still missing in your wardrobe.
How often do you recommend cleaning out your wardrobe?
Once you have done a big solid clean-out you should be set, but I do a seasonal review twice a year so it is easy to keep up.
STEP 1: CURATING YOUR CLOSET
How do you decide what to let go yourself?
Personally, I focus more on what to keep. Which pieces are in your heavy rotation? This helps you visualize your so-called ‘uniform’. That being said, don't feel like you have to limit yourself to only ‘practical’ pieces: they aren’t practical if they do not make you feel good. Get rid of them and invest in essentials you love.
I like asking myself the following questions when deciding whether to keep a piece:
1. Have you worn the piece in the last 2 years?
2. Is it a key staple in your wardrobe?
3. Is it easy to wear, and can you style it with other pieces in your closet?
4. Is it in good condition?
Generally, If you have answered Yes to 3 of these questions it’s a keeper (sentimental pieces aside). You should be strict, but I think it’s very important to take your time to evaluate. Nowadays drastic cleanups seems to be somewhat of a hype, and in being too rigorous you risk making decisions you’ll regret later.
I like to use what I call my 3 pile plan: Go, Maybe & Keep. While Go & Keep are obvious, the Maybe pile gives you one more season to reevaluate a piece you aren’t sure about. Still not convinced by the following season?? Let it go for good and nothing’s lost.
Editor’s tip: Don’t be afraid to maintain an element of surprise. You can totally have some crazy pieces, as long as you wear - and love - them regularly, and are able to accept passing them on the moment you no longer do. Keeping a regular rotation on more standout pieces keeps your wardrobe feeling fresh without having to stock an enormous amount.
STEP 2: GET ORGANIZED
So now we know what to keep in mind when curating, how do you set about for the actual cleaning out?
I like to organize my closet by category, i.e. Blazers, Shirts, Dresses, Skirts, Trousers. Then work your way into sub-categories like color and length. One sub-category I find really important is material (i.e. cotton shirts or silk blouses). Textures are really important when choosing your look and seeing pieces by material helps you visualize your look better. For my hanging pieces I always use non-slip rubber or velvet hangers. I use the ones from Absolument Maison which also have the rubber covering on the clips, which protect my skirts and trousers. Number one rule though is always remove clothing from dry cleaner plastics and wire hangers. Fibers disintegrate being trapped in the plastic and the wire hangers are detrimental to a piece's form! Don’t throw these out though, bring them back to your dry cleaner during your next visit so they can reuse them.
Invest in good storage material to keep things in good condition
Drawers for undergarments, socks, t-shirts, delicate tops that may stretch on hanger, workout wear, sleep wear and cupboards for knitwear and denim. All non- seasonal items should always be folded and stored. For example, bathing suit, stockings, winter gear, stored and labeled in cloth or transparent boxes stacked in cupboards. For knitwear, zip lock and label to store during the warmer months.
What about accessories?
Stick to versatile key pieces and keep them easily accessible: your go-to evening pump, day to night crossbody bag, favorite off-duty sneakers… And again, whether it be jewelry, bags or shoes: take care of them. Safely store your pieces and regularly clean/or have them cleaned. Proper maintenance will double the lifetime of your favorite accessories.Check out our selection of care products.
STEP 3: FINDING A NEW HOME FOR YOUR UNWORN PIECES
How do you decide what to do with the pieces you don’t want to keep?
We deeply believe in keeping things 100% circular and zero-waste, so I have a destination for everything: Nothing should end up in the trash bin!
Anything with value. Cleaning out pieces you no longer wear is a great way to make space and money for those few timeless investment pieces you actually want. Schedule a video call with one of our stylists and they will help you decide what is worth selling and provide you with an appraisal.
Anything in good condition, but simply not worth reselling. Donate specific categories to appropriate causes. For example, I love ‘Women Who Work’, a charity based in the UK where I donate my classic essentials - they collect quality office-attire for women who cannot afford it.
Anything beyond repair, dispose of (cleaned) at your local recycling department.
Loved it and ready to move on? Bought it and never worn it? Whatever the reason, selling your items is a great way to encourage circularity in fashion, make space in your closet, and make some money! Your special pieces deserve to have their story told and be reconceptualized in a modern way.