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The Well Dressed Life Wardrobe Challenge 20223: Week 3

Welcome to week three of our Wardrobe Challenge!

This week’s challenge is about paring down and organizing your space!

I am a big believer in organization. It makes life easier, saves money, and allows you to manage your time and energy better.

After working with private clients for over a decade and hosting this challenge for years,  I know firsthand that a messy, unorganized closet space is one of the biggest reasons women feel overwhelmed or underwhelmed by their wardrobes.

The good news is it’s easy to fix.

If you are just joining us, or are running behind, don’t worry. 

Go at your own pace and utilize our FB group to keep you motivated and on track. 

Be sure you finish each challenge before moving to the next. 

Week 3: The Big Edit

Challenge #1: Finish Your Edit

Your closet space should be lovely or, at the very least, tidy. 

It should bring a sense of calm, not crazy.

It doesn’t matter what kind of closet you have. You could have a huge, custom walk-in or a simple bar and shelf.

Either way, your experience can be blissful.

Last week, I challenged you to perform a QUICK edit. 

This is my clever way of easing you into a more in-depth edit, especially if you have a hard time letting go of things or have a lot of stuff. 

As you move into Week 3, you should be left with your “Maybe” pile.

Over the years, I’ve learned that the maybes are usually the trouble makers in our wardrobe, the pieces that are “just okay” but you wear because you don’t have something better.

They work, but they’re not 100%. 

So, now it’s time to dive into those pieces and be ruthless. 

Get rid of anything you don’t love or need. Be honest with yourself.

Are you going to wear it?

Does it match your desired style? 

Is it reflected on your Pinterest board? 

And the most important question:

What’s not quite right about it?

Try to articulate what is not working. Is it the fit, the color, or print?

Or maybe, it just feels wrong on your body.

Get rid of it.

The only exception is if you NEED to wear the piece until you replace it with a better version. Please make a note of it. You’ll need it next week when we create a shopping list.

If you are on a weight loss journey and have some pieces that currently don’t fit well, you can keep them, but remove them from your closet and store them elsewhere.

I don’t want you waking up to a closet full of clothes that don’t fit. It’s not a great way to start your day.

Be sure the items you decide to keep are modern, fit your style, and are things that you look forward to wearing when you hit your goals.

If a piece is sentimental, give it the respect it deserves. 

Have it professionally cleaned, remove it from the plastic dry-cleaning bag, wrap it in acid-free tissue, and store it with the rest of your keepsakes. 

An Important Note:

As you can imagine, I get a lot of push pack on this part of the challenge, so I want to get ahead of some of that.

First, you might not be able to finish this part in a week, and that’s okay. Don’t use time as a reason to quit. If it takes two or three weeks, that’s how long it takes.  

I do recommend setting up time to focus on it and working until it’s done to get it over with, but you know your schedule and capacity best. 

If the sheer volume of what you have is overwhelming, I mean, you are bursting at the seams, you may consider bringing in people to help, a friend, your sister, or even hire a professional organizer. 

A professional may help you stay on track and provide extra tips and guidance. I’ve worked with some in the past in other areas of my home and I still use what I learned today.

However, and I say this with love, if you’re struggling with letting go, and finding every reason under the sun to keep your things, you’re not ready.

I once worked on a closet that was so massive and filled with so much it took myself, an assistant, the client and her three sisters four days to clean out.

I was getting paid a lot of money and I hated every minute of it because the client didn’t want to get ride of anything, despite investing in me and asking family for help. 

I didn’t know why I was there. Every minute of the day was a battle and I learned a big lesson I carry with me today: my job is not to convince anyone of anything.

In this case you’re either in, or your out. 

No pep talk or rational from me is going to change that. 

But when you are ready, all of these challenges are here waiting for you, and we’ll host our next round in the Spring. 

Challenge #2: Get Organized

Take some time to find a place for everything. 

I promise that an organized and clean space will give you clarity and help with creativity.

Creating outfits will not seem so daunting when you see what you have.

A few quick tips:

Remove everything from your closet.

Give it a quick clean. I have seen enough closets in my day to know you have pieces hidden in the back, covered in dust.

Dust will destroy your clothes. 

Take 15 minutes to wipe off your shelves, vacuum, and throw away old hangers and miscellaneous items.

Only put back your wardrobe.

I once found a toaster in a client’s closet that she forgot she had bought.

Find another place for everything else (if you can). Remember to keep your Pinterest board close and use it as a guide for what to keep and what to “toss.”

Upgrade your hangers.

We love these flocked hangers, which are available on Amazon. I use them in all the closets in our house. 

Look at what you have before you buy any organizational tools. 

Before you run to The Container Store, see what you have lying around your house.

As you go through the closet, put items in categories to see what you are working with. 

Have a pile of handbags, belts, sweaters, etc. 

Then, reuse and repurpose bins, hooks, and baskets to help store them.

Last year, I did end up at The Container Store and found some fantastic items that made a big difference in my space.

But I was particular about what I needed and didn’t waste money on unnecessary gadgets.

For a list of all my favorite closet organizing items, see here. 

A Peek at My Closet

You can see some of those organization items above. 

I also have a small walk in in my bedroom, and then I built this wall unit from Ikea.

Obviously my job requires me to have more items than normal since I’m always trying things out.

I built this to keep my in-season pieces.

Need to catch up on previous challenges? 

You can view Week One and Week Two here.

Are you following along in our private Facebook Group?

If so, post some pictures of your space once you get it organized and share the inspiration!

Join Our LIVE Q&A

Join me on Monday, January 23rd at 3pm EST for our  Week 3 LIVE over in our Facebook Private Group.

I’ll recap Week 1 & 2, set you up for Week 3 and answer any of your questions.

If you can’t make, you can catch the replay posted on Facebook once the LIVE wraps up, and if you’re not on Facebook, I’ll up dated this post with a recording to you can watch as well. 

The Well Dressed Life Wardrobe Challenge 20223: Week 3
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MEET THE AUTHOR

Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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Tracy Gray

Friday 16th of September 2022

This has been a huge help!!! I’m going thru my closet and I’m one of those people who hates to part with something that I purchased and had loved but I no longer wear and in fact I forgot I had some of these items until I made the decision to organize and literally clean out my closet. My oh I’m not worried I’ll wear this again pile kept growing! I finally had my husband and daughters help. They were great and gently removed the items that I didn’t wear but had some sentimental attachment to. I can honestly say thank you to them and to you for guiding me in the right direction. I really love my new closet and I find myself reaching for the clothes that fit great and are in style.! Thank you!!!

Bonnie J.

Friday 15th of April 2022

Hi Megan, For several months I have had a request in to join the private FB group and I haven’t been accepted. Could someone please look into this? In every one of these posts you reference that group and I would like to be able to see what is going on there and utilize that as an additional tool. Thank you, Bonnie E.J.

Megan Kristel

Friday 15th of April 2022

Everyone is accepted when they answer the membership questions, please check that all four are answered. I don't accept anyone who doesn't to ensure that I'm not allowing trolls and bots into the group.

Cindy

Saturday 22nd of January 2022

I have limited closet space but have found the Marie Kondo method for drawer organization. I love it. Makes it so easy to find what I need quickly and I can fit so much more in my drawer space.

Debra

Friday 2nd of October 2020

My closet shelf space is behind the hanging items, so I have to burrow back to get to the shelves (it’s a rented property, so not permanent). My solution for shoes and purses was to put a cabinet near the front door that can house shoes but can be closed to hide the clutter. I reduced the number of purses to whatever could fit nicely into a few cubby shelves.

Marybeth

Sunday 2nd of February 2020

I love the bracelet displays. What is the best way to display earrings in your closet?

Pat

Saturday 25th of September 2021

I got a 8 x 11 frame (depending on how many earrings you have, you can get a larger or smaller frame) and put fiberglass-coated screen where a picture would go. I hung the frame in my closet and hook my earrings through the screen. I have some hoops that I keep in my jewelry drawer, but otherwise, this works really well and I can see all my earrings at once.

Robin

Saturday 25th of January 2020

Where did you get the clear containers your purses are stored in? Also where did you get the white jewelry boxes and bracelet holders?

Megan Kristel

Sunday 26th of January 2020

The jewelry boxes are from Container Store, they are part of their stackable collection. And the bracelet holders I bought on Amazon ages ago. I'll try to find the links!

Helen Kelly

Saturday 25th of January 2020

I'm 87 and mostly retired. I'm 5'1" and wear petites. I spend a lot of time at home and yet I don't dress in grungy clothes. I have many pairs of jeans, a few trousers, and a ton of tops. I think it's time to weed out the tops, but I keep saying to myself "I just got that" when I probably should donate it. I think my problem is that I like to shop. I hope the wardrobe checklist I just downloaded will give me a guide to help me curtail the shopping bug, yet keep what I need and what I will wear. How do I stay away from the clothing shops?

I do have a little black dress!

Jen F

Friday 24th of January 2020

How do you know what to put in dresser drawer vs closet?

Megan Kristel

Saturday 25th of January 2020

A lot depends on the kind of space you are dealing with. Personally, I try to hang as much as possible so I can see it right away, also, I have more closet space than I do drawer space. My general break down it: 1 drawer for undergarments, one for pajamas/sweats and one for work out gear. Then I fold sweaters and jeans on the shelves in my closet, swim goes in a basket on a shelf, and everything else in on a hanger.

Janet

Friday 24th of January 2020

For those with no place for over the door hooks. I too have a sliding door. Then Christmas was over and I had command hooks by the bag. I put some in my closed and found shoe holders on hangers, but instead of hanging them on the rod I put them on the Command hooks. Then after the edit I had storage for sun glasses, scarfs, shoes and baseball hats (I like to roll the bill). This was a game changer for my closet space. Hope it helps or sparks an idea for others. Now, what to do with the four Christmas presents from three years ago. Yikes!

Sandee

Saturday 16th of March 2019

Hi Meagan, I work full time in a professional environment. Work clothes and shoes are 80%. I have organized my closet. I have 2 but they are not walk in. I know my style. My problem is storage for totes, purses and shoes. I have sliding doors in the closets so I can't hang anything over it. I have my shoes in clear boxes stacked on the floor of my closet. What suggestions do you have for me to be able to see my clothes, shoes and purses?

Megan Kristel

Tuesday 19th of March 2019

Hey Sandee, I like storing shoes in clear boxes in closets like yours so you can see them, stack them, and keep the dust away. Do you have a shelf in your closet - over the hanging rod. I would clear that, find another place for what you are storing up there and line up your bags. You can use shelf organizers that will help keep the totes and bags stay upright to let you keep them tidy.

Jennifer F

Monday 22nd of October 2018

Thank you for this wonderful series! I’m struggling with editing. I work in a professional environment, I’m a mom of two young kids and attend church so I really feel like have 3 separate wardrobes. Biggest is work, and then small for weekends and church (I like to wear leggings or fun dresses to church that I don’t normally wear to work). I cleaned out my closet last weekend and got stuck on my 10 pairs of cords! I can’t wear them to work so I do not need 10! Maybe once per weekend I wear jeans or cords. But I’m so fearful of getting rid of them. I feel Confident dressing for work but not so much for dressing down on the weekends. Yesterday we went to a fall festival for my kids and I fit right in, but felt like I was looking at what everyone else was wearing. I’m probably trying to hard and worrying too much about what other people think. Maybe I’m just not comfortable dressing casually because I don’t do it often and maybe that’s why I’m feeling anxious! Anyone else feeling like this as they are editing??

Megan Kristel

Tuesday 23rd of October 2018

It's not unusual for editing to bring up a little anxiety. Specifically when it comes to your cords, for sure, you don't need 10:). I'm a fan of Emily Ley, she creates fabulous day planners and is an advocate for simplified living. Once a year she does a simplified challenge and has her readers go through their house and declutter. Her motto is to keep only "the best, the necessary and the favorite." When you find you have too many of one category, use that as a guide and you'll be able to pair down.