It was clear from the responses to last week’s post on closet editing  that the process can be overwhelming, confusing and time consuming. Although I’m an advocate for getting the edit done in one go, that’s not always possible. Time is limited, plus you lose interest and stamina along the way. 

Chin up! Here are three ways to speed things up and maintain motivation throughout the process: 

  1. Elicit the help of a buddy: Set aside a good amount of time and ask a friend or family member to help out with the heavy lifting. Provide snacks, pull up your sleeves, turn up the music and get down to business. Two pairs of hands lighten the load and a second set of eyes is always helpful. In return, offer the same assistance when it’s time to edit their closet. 
  2. Post questions on a fashion forum: If you’re unsure whether an item should stay or go, post it on a forum for fast feedback. Soliciting this sort of feedback can save you the time that would have been spent agonizing over small decisions. People do this on the YLF forum all the time.
  3. Hire a professional: Fashion stylists, wardrobe consultants and image consultants clean out and review closets for a living. This way costs a lot more money, but you are assured of an efficient process, completion in a short amount of time, and a flexible action plan for the style that you aspire to.

If the only way to edit your closet is on your own, try and get as much as you can done in one session. If that’s not an option, break it up over several sessions over no more than a week. The momentum is important because you must think about how your wardrobe functions as a whole. How the tops relate to the bottoms, how accessories and footwear complement your outfits, and how the colours work with each other. Editing your entire closet over a long period of time is not as effective because it’s harder to think about it as a whole and in capsules. Your thought processes are interrupted and it’s trickier to pick up from where you left off. 

When I edit closets with clients, the joint effort usually takes about five hours. Sometimes it takes less time, and sometimes it takes up to nine hours. It’s hard work and we are tired at the end of it. But we have fun and the end result is rewarding.