Top 10 Stylist Tips for an Effective Closet Refresh

It's no secret that with all the time we are spending in our home spaces right now, some serious closet organizing and refreshing is happening. Risa Kostis, owner of RISTYLE Consulting (and cofounder of The Rescue Kit Company!) has noticed a shift from big shopping trips with her clients to a more inward, intentional focus on creating a wardrobe that is both organized and edited. 

"During the pandemic, closet clean-outs have been my most highly requested service. I think people are making changes at all levels. This personal reflection I'm seeing starts with inside transformation and works its way out and into the closet. Everyone has been a little going crazy staying inside, and now that we are seeing a glimmer of hope to get out a bit more, people are wondering how to present themselves to the world with their newfound transformation. Whether it has been a personal change or a business pivot, a closet purge and revamp allows for a rebirth."

Although having a professional stylist come into your closet to help you decide what to keep and what to move on from is amazing, you can also do a pretty amazing job yourself with some solid advice from a seasoned stylist! Risa shares her top 10 tips for getting that clean, organized, edited closet that will help you start your day off right.

1. Make a plan. Write down all the zones you want to work in, and start in a small section. It's a lot of work- don't overwhelm yourself with taking too much on at once! Zones are any section or category in your closet - for example, shoes, pants, dresses (any hanging sections) drawers, or shelves.

2. Work in zones. Risa likes to start with removing everything from the space or zone that you are working in (and yes, she's been using the word zones even before The Home Edit!). You don't have to take everything out all at once, but she finds working in sections is the best way to stay focused. A clean space to work in is helpful so you can sort and organize outside of the closet. If you have a rolling rack or even the top of your bed, that will work.

3. Purge! Right now people are enthusiastic about purging! It is important to really think about what you are actually wearing, what makes you feel happy and what you are comfortable in. Trying on is a huge part of the process! Try most, if not all, items on. The things that you aren't sure of or that have been sitting there for a long period of time are the most important. Ultimately, those are the items that might not fit, or you might not even like. Look for signs of wear like holes or stains that can't be fixed. Pull out our de-piller to give sweaters a new life and the pre-threaded needles to pop a button back on so you can wear that shirt that's been hiding in the back of your closet! 

4. Store. A lot of times we own items like keepsakes or costumes that can take up a lot of space, and don't necessarily need to be hanging in the closet. Storing items you want to hang onto (make sure you label the bin you store them in!) is a great way to create space and keep special items accessible and easy to find. 

5. Shop. Once you've determined what is staying in your closet, you'll need to figure out what organizational items you need to make it feel cohesive and orderly. Risa always recommends getting matching hangers (there are tons of options available so you can match the color and aesthetic of your space) organizational bins, etc. to keep everything in place and create a good flow. 

6. Clean. This is one of the most important parts of your clean out! Once you've removed everything from your closet, take the time to vacuum, wipe down, and throw away or recycle any old shoe boxes or trash that you see. Deep cleaning a space you're starting fresh in is the best way to start! 

7. Redistribute. This is the stage where we rearrange and reorganize the items if you want a new flow to your space. Once you get rid of things, sections may feel out of place or maybe you like to change your closet seasonally -- this is your opportunity to really customize your space and give each section new life! 

8. Organize. You've come this far! Take the time to color coordinate, hang everything the same way, and choose a system for the order of your clothes that works for your lifestyle. There's no right or wrong way, but it's important to make sure things have a place so you can find them easily to prevent stressful outfit planning! 

9. Add. After you get everything organized and in it's place, you'll be able to see what you're missing and make a short shopping list. You can start to add pieces that you know you have room for and are missing from your wardrobe, but now you'll be able to do it with purpose and knowing what you actually NEED! 

10. Donate/Consign/Sell! With every item of clothing you purge, know that there's likely someone in your area that may be in need. Take the time to bag the items you can't sell or consign and research a donation location or organization that you can drop the clothes at. If you're looking to make some shopping money back, there are online consignment stores you can ship items to, or there's likely a resale store in your area you can sell your items at. Try your best to be sustainable during this process and give back where you can! 

Once you've completed the hard work of making your closet work for you, we suggest treating yourself with The Closet Kit. We designed it to live in your closet to keep the style tools you need always accessible! These tools help you wear the clothes you love.

After image of a clean closet

Happy organizing!

xo risa + jess