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The Summer Closet Clean Out – Part One

Do you need a quick closet clean out before we jump into summer?

Me too.

May leaves me as depleted and discombobulated December.

I find myself in “drop and go” mode for weeks.

After doing the minimum to get by, at the end of both months, my closet is the one spot in the house that takes on the most damage.

So we’re kicking off The Summer Closet Clean Out Series, a three-part series breaking down the simple steps to help you tackle your space without getting overwhelmed.

Today is all about getting you in the mindset, accessing your space, and doing a quick edit.

How Do You Know It’s Time for a Closet Clean Out?

When your space starts to feel a bit out of control, it’s helpful to pump the brakes and give it some attention.

My closet area is a disaster.

My closet area also doubles as my office space, and my girls are constantly in and out stealing shoes and make up.

So it takes a beating.

Currently there are clothes still in dry cleaning bags, unopened packages and just piles of stuff.

But the real telltale sign of things going off the rails is when I can’t put clean laundry away without a whole production.

Step One: Pre Work


You want to work quickly, so being in the right mindset is crucial.

Before you get started, take a minute and read 7 Mindset Shifts You Need to Edit Your Wardrobe.

This will help you manage some of the emotions, like guilt and overwhelm, that tend to come up when you start to purge.

And listen, I’ve professionally helped women clean out their closets for over 15 years and I still get incredibly overwhelmed when I edit my own closet.

So, it’s ok.

You’re not crazy, this is hard.

Know Your Style and Your Schedule

If you have participated in our Wardrobe Challenge you already have the part down!

It’s beneficial to have a visual of your personal style to use as a guide when you inevitably get hung up on a piece.

We encourage everyone to create a style board on Pinterest to keep you on track. (More on this later)

6 Steps to Find Your Personal Style is a helpful resource.

You can also jot down any plans and events you need clothes for, like an upcoming vacation or even a few casual dinners on your calendar, so you can keep them top of mind and shop your closet as you go.

Step Two: The Set Up

Next, have everything you need in one spot so you can focus on the clean out.

I like to have:

Make sure all your clothes are in one spot, even if you keep them in different parts of your house.

Pick up any dry cleaning and have your laundry done – these are the pieces you wear the most, so you want to have them on hand for context.

Divided the rolling rack into two sections, one for your Keepers and on for the Maybes.

Mark your baskets for

  • Donations
  • Resell – if applicable
  • Other – to corral items that don’t belong in your closet

Clear a spot for items that need to be Recycled.

Have your Pinterest style board ready to go.

Step Three: The Quick Edit

Finally, we’re starting with a quick edit.

Set a timer for 60 minutes. I promise you will be AMAZED at how much you can get done.

You are acting FAST here.

Pick up every item in your closet –

  • Do you love it? – Put it on the rack for Keepers.
  • Over it? Either Donate or Resell. (More on this later.)
  • Doesn’t fit, never fit, never wear it, will never wear it? Donate or Resell.
  • Too damaged to repair or donate? Recycle it.
  • Not sure and getting anxious? Put it with the Maybes.

That’s it. Give yourself seconds to decide. If you spend more than that on the piece, it goes in the Maybes.

Use your Pinterest style board as a guide.

Ask yourself: Does this item get me to my desired style?

If it doesn’t, and it doesn’t fill a very practical role, it’s time to let it go.

You might need to add extra time, I like to add 30 minutes until I’m done. Let yourself get on a roll.

The Maybe category is here to keep you moving.


One you’ve completed this first round, you’ll need a break.

So pack everything up.

Set the the Donation and Resell items aside, you’ll need them next week.

Throw away trash and tidy up.

Put your Keepers back in your closet, keep your Maybes on the rolling rack.

Next week, we’re tackling the Maybes. 😉


Related Posts

 Join Megan Kristel for a comprehensive, 3 hour long, LIVE Virtual Workshop sharing personal style and shopping tips for women over 40 on March 31, 2023.


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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Sunday 11th of June 2023

I have recently gained 10 lbs, so lots of things don't fit. I am determined to lose the weight,and get back into my wardrobe. How do I manage this moment?


Friday 9th of June 2023

Perfect timing! I so need this right now!! Thank you


Friday 9th of June 2023

Your closet clean-out posts have become my guidelines and I'm very close to final edits thanks to your expert. practical advice. I'm 72 and still love classic neutrals with pops of color. I had already cleaned out my "work" wardrobe and had purchased random clothing that I thought fit my new " retired" lifestyle. They didn't. Thanks for helping me recognize that my classic style only needed updating and a good closet clean- out!


Friday 9th of June 2023

Thank you Megan….YOU have been inspiration beyond for me. Yesterday I went through 30 plus years of costume jewelry! Whew!! Think Madonna with strands and strands of faux pearls…Yeesch! Today I plan to empty one full clothes basket out of my dresser! Bye bye old tanks and tees, uncomfortable pj’s, and crazy bras! Oh and panty hose too!🥴 I have forwarded your blog to my three daughters and my sister, I just wish I could get my 89 year old fashionista mother on board!

Audrey Myhre

Friday 9th of June 2023

I've really enjoyed watching your posts and seeing how you put clothes and accessories together.