So, I was getting ready for a recent party and I COULD NOT find the outfit I wanted. After tearing out the entire contents of my closet, when I did find it, I realized that it no longer fit or even looked good on me.

Sound familiar? Then you know it is time! Have you ever looked into your stuffed closet and said “Oh jeez, I forgot I even HAD that”?

Most of us can think of 100 things we’d rather do other than sort out our clothes that are packed in our drawers or stuffed in the closet, but believe me ladies (and gents!), if you put just a little bit of time into organizing your closet it makes life so much easier and makes you enjoy your clothes so much more.

As luck would have it, March is “Clean Out Your Closet Month” and so we present our Top 5 Clean Out Your Closet Tips:

1.  Use a pad and pen, so as you go thru looking at your clothes thinking, only if I had that, or this would work really well with this, you can jot down what you need to put it all together to fill in the gaps you may have noticed.

Pop the list into your purse so next time you are out shopping, you won’t get persuaded into buying mistakes (like the ones you’re getting ready to toss).

2.  Collect some bags, boxes or bins to pack for charity giving. Get them into the bedroom and use them because if they are not close by, you will be quite tempted to just throw things back into the closet.

3.  I’m afraid you will need to get real and be sure you have a full length mirror. Without it,  you will struggle to know if those clothes are right for you. Do they flatter you? Do they make you feel good? Did 1980 call and want its shoulder pads back? Be realistic–do they really suit you? Then you will know what goes into the bags and what goes back into the closet.

4.  Make it FUN…invite a friend, pour a glass of wine, play some great music.  Create some ambiance and play! Put together new combinations. Once you get going, you will start to enjoy yourself.

5.  As you go through each garment one at a time and ask yourself: Do I love it or do I want to love it?? Does this flatter me? Does it reflect who I am? Have I worn it in the last year? Why not? If the answer is no to any of those questions, then out it goes! Whether it goes to charity or whether you hand it down to friends or family, just get it out of the closet so all that remains are clothes you love; the things that really flatter you.

So let’s get going, clean out and organize that closet and let us know: What was the most surprising thing you found in your closet? Does it have a story behind it? Did you dump, keep it, and store it?  What did you throw out? What can you just not bear to part with?

P.S. If you have gently-used, interview-appropriate clothing that you no longer need, consider donating the items to Washington Women’s Employment and Education program or Dress For Success Seattle.