As we are all becoming more aware of how important it is to not be as wasteful + be more conscious of sustainable and ethical initiatives - we can also become extremely overwhelmed by all of it.
Every time I listen to a podcast, scroll through Instagram or do just about anything I feel like I am shocked and overwhelmed by all of the "new" bad things happening/for me out in the world. There seems to be so much "bad" for us, the ocean and the baby seals that it can be really stressful to really to actually make real efforts towards change.
That is why a goal of mine from here on out is to control what I can control and make an intentional effort in making better choices, but not freak out if I don't do it perfectly.
A place that I find really important to start with and that can actually make a real difference is within our closets.
How you care for your clothes, what you wear, how you wear it and when or how you buy it is completely within your control and can be impactful on you, your confidence and the planet.
Now, that being said - when you tackle a closet that probably hasn't been dealt with in a longgggg time or ever...that can be just as overwhelming . That is why I have put together this list of tips for improving your closet in the new year.
These tips will give you the ability to baby step your way into a more intentional closet and in the long run help you feel great, give you better style which will naturally result in more intentional + sustainable future.
#1: CLOSET CLEAN OUT
The first thing you should do before buying another thing in 2020 is to go through what you already have. Sift through it and see what you love, hate and what needs to be removed.
Once you go through your closet and you feel you have a fresh slate, get organizing!! A HUGE issue I see with closets all the time is that not every item/type of clothing has a place and it creates a mess! Which creates a whole other layer of overwhelm and it also makes us feel like we don't have anything to wear when we can easily see it all.
Make sure you have everything that should be hung, hung, and bins, shelves or drawers for anything that needs to be folded. Drawer dividers are a game changer too! Having drawer dividers for socks, underwear, tights ect. makes a huge difference when getting dressed.
Don't forget about your shoes! Get yourself a shoe rack and stop piling your shoes on top of each other. I see this in almost every closet I have ever gone into and it damages the shoes and makes it harder to get dressed. Never ever pile shoes, always put them on a shelf!
*When you get rid of your clothes, please be mindful of this action. I know it can be an annoying chore to deal and you want to do it the least painful way possible but it is super important to do it with intention. Tossing anything into the garbage or stuffing items into those sketchy metal "donate" boxes in parking lots can do A LOT More harm than good. Research proper donation places in your area with a quick google search.
+ Make sure the items are clean and are in closed up plastic bags - if the packs are loose they will most likely get damaged during transportation and will not pass during sorting.
Donating to the local thrift store or bringing things to a local consignment shop is best.
For items that can't be donated or sold, bring them to your local textile recycling bin (Google it for your area - often they are located at dumps)
#2: THINK BEFORE YOU BUY
Slow down your shopping!
Really think through your purchases before pulling out that wallet! Create a list of what you need and plan out what you are going to buy. Having ideas in mind will help you shop for what you really need, even when you are casually shopping. This can help make impulse buys a lot more intentional too because you will be thinking about what you are in need of and what will elevate your wardrobe for the better.
Constantly think about what items would make your wardrobe better and shop from there.
Example: You have a ton of dresses or skirts that can be worn through out the seasons, but you don't have tights to make them wearable in the colder months.
This would be an ideal item to purchase to help make your wardrobe more versatile and give you more freedom to wear more of what you have.
This also will help you not get held up on trends so much. Since you will be thinking about your purchases more, you won't get blinded by all the shiny new things as much. It will help keep you on track and shop within an idea of what you want/need. Even if you end up shopping trends, these purchases will be more thought out.
#3: SELL IN-ORDER TO BUY NEW
This is an amazing trick that I do in my own wardrobe. I am a huge shopping lover and always have been, so I have to get smart with how I shop so I don't go broke and to be more conscious of how much and what I consume.
SO what do I do exactly?
I bring my unwanted items to a local consignment shop or I upload them to Poshmark (there are a ton of apps). I always make sure the clothes are clean, ironed and hung on hangers when I bring them into consign. Then once things have sold I put that money into a "Style Fund". While the clothing goes through its process to sell - I keep my eye out and make a list of the items I need/want to upgrade my closet.
Recently I was in desperate need of new, quality workout clothes. I was getting really burnt out on my cheap yoga pants I got from Marshal's or TJMaxx in my early twenties. Nice workout clothes are super pricey so I knew I needed to save up. I saved up for a couple months and then finally got some high quality (cough expensive cough) pants for working out. The receipt gave me a slight heart attack but it felt good that I decided what I needed, created a list, saved up and then with a strict budget bought 2 new workout leggings and one pair of joggers. It felt really good that I put so much effort and thought into this expensive purchase and it was worth it.
This effort also helps me think about my new purchases because I think about their value differently than if I didn't think about their re-sale value. When I purchase things I think about how it will hold up and how well it would re-sell if I was to throw it up on Poshmark or bring it to a local consignment shop. This isn't always so black and white, but it does help me think more before I buy.
#4: TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING AS IF IT WAS REALLY EXPENSIVE
Avoid the dryer - ALWAYS! This always shocks people but 95% of your wardrobe should never see behind the dryer door...ever!
Get yourself a drying rack and hang your clothes to dry.
Wash all clothes on cold. Clothing never needs to be washed on hot - with the exception of bleaching white cottons sometimes.
Be mindful of what you are doing in your clothing, shoes and accessories. Dress for the weather and dress appropriately for the occasion.
Be mindful of how you store your clothing! Hang what should be hung and fold what should be folded. How things hang on hangers is also important so make sure you aren't hanging things all wonky.
#5: KEEP IT SIMPLE
Keeping things simple is always best! You don't have to be uncomfortable to look stylish and feel good about how you look.
Keep your base simple and use jackets, scarves and accessories to make the outfit feel more polished.
Shoes and bags can be great for making your outfit look great without tons of fuss.
If you are wearing something super simple like jeans and a cozy sweater > add high quality leather boots and some chunky gold hoops and your look will instantly feel a lot more intentional than if you wore cheap pleather fast-fashion boots or dirty sneakers with no jewelry.
Let your statement pieces be the statement piece! Keep your outfit super simple and then throw on that funky item or accessory to finish it off. Don't over complicate getting dressed and let the statement piece be the star.
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Have a happy and full-filled New Year! If you find yourself so overwhelmed that you can't tackle your wardrobe or style productively - reach out and I can help you!
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