Closet Negotiations: When to Let Go
One of the things I’ve learned in doing them, is that, in some ways, handling business in a bedroom closet is not much different than a boardroom meeting.
There’s discussion, analyzing, decision making, sometimes disagreement, and there is also compromise. There are times when client and stylist will have different thoughts on whether a particular item should stay or go. How it is handled requires a little give and take on both sides.
When one of my most recent clients, a 76-year old bundle of life and lover of all things sparkly, asked me to tackle her closets, I had no idea we’d reach what would appear to be a non-negotiable roadblock during the process.
As we started to examine each item and make decisions about what to keep, we came across the bedazzled skin tight black legging. It was clear to me, the leggings had to go, but for my client, there was an emotional connection. The leggings made her happy and she liked to wear them to parties.
After some discussion and analyzing, we made a decision together. The leggings could stay on four conditions:
- Meaning. If the item has sentimental value, is worn for a holiday or used as a costume then it can stay - provided it is used only for those purposes.
- Separation. Since the item is special, it doesn’t belong in your regular rotation of clothes you wear on a daily basis. Find another place to keep the item.
- Revisit. Once a year, take a moment and ask yourself that tough question - does the item still hold the emotional connection that caused me to keep it in the first place? The honest answer may surprise you!
- Limit. Five Pieces Only! It’s important to limit the number of pieces that fall into the holiday/costume/sentimental category to five pieces TOTAL, no more. If you have more than 5, go back and edit again. Limiting this category to five really helps you move forward in clearing out your closet space and creating a place that is neat, organized and purposeful.
Try applying these four conditions when you absolutely feel you must keep something. If there happens to be a pair of “party pants” in the mix, plan a celebration - and don’t forget my invitation!