January is a time for fresh starts and there's no better place to begin than your closet (even Marie Kondo agrees). You may be surprised by the mental clarity that comes from a thorough clean out. Better yet, you'll better leverage your existing wardrobe pieces and buy so much more thoughtfully across the coming year. Below we've compiled Jen's top ten rules for closet detox, gleaned from doing it literally thousands of times.
1. If you haven’t worn it in over a year (and it should be an everyday piece) - get rid of it (read on for donation and consignment resources).
2. For clothes you do wear, go piece by piece and decide if you really like each item. If not, pitch it. Trust us, you have enough clothes - this process is about making sure each piece truly works for you.
3. Get rid of anything that's too small (regardless of your fitness resolutions!) and tailor anything that's too big that you still like.
4. Make a pile of all items that need tailoring or cleaning and get them dealt with this month. Local resources we trust (for those in the DC area):
Fleurisse Randriambololona - an expert tailor who comes to your home, we trust Fleurisse with even the most delicate and fine designer pieces. She is the best. 202.651.1521
Parkway Cleaners - more than just an everyday dry cleaner, Parkway is a Washington institution. They do an amazing job of cleaning difficult items and their tailors are terrific. Their prices are steep, but worth it for special items and they include pickup and delivery for no additional cost. 301.652.3377
Presidential Valet - this is our favorite everyday dry cleaner. They do a great job, and even better, they're thoughtful about environmental impact. They use organic cleaning materials and they offer reusable garment bags (a one-time purchase of less than $10) so you can totally eliminate all the plastic. It's worth switching for this reason alone. 202.966.6663
5. Get your shoes fixed up, resoled and polished as needed.
For high end designer shoes: Leather Spa in New York City is the best and they work with clients around the world. www.leatherspa.com
For everyday shoes (in DC): Expert Shoe and Luggage Repair. 202.362.6681
6. Archive any truly amazing designer pieces that you can't part with, but don't currently wear. Get them dry cleaned, put them in nice garment bags and store them outside of your closet.
7. Donate or consign the clothes you're not keeping.
A Wider Circle - a great organization based in Silver Spring, Maryland, they help families recovering from poverty to get back on their feet. They take professional clothing for men and women as well as all kinds of children's clothing up to size 14. www.awidercircle.org
Dress for Success - another worthy organization, they help women recovering from poverty enter the workforce around the US. They take professional women's clothing. www.dressforsuccess.org
Secondi in DC - this is a fun consignment shop in DC and they take a wide range of clothing. www.secondidc.com
Interfaith Works Clothing Center - this organization works with a wide range of individuals who experience financial insecurity in Montgomery County. They accept donations of all kinds of clothing. www.iworksmc.org
The Real Real - a mostly online consignment shop, this is a great resource to sell (and buy) designer brands. www.therealreal.com. See below for more info and some of our favorite pieces on the site right now.
8. When organizing your closet, keep the seasons separated. That could mean putting off-season items in another closet, in another room, or in a different part of your closet. It makes getting dressed easier and you'll get excited about the next season when you switch over.
9. Organize your closet by type of item, for example shirts, blazers, pants, jeans etc.
10. Invest in good hangers. The right ones create more space and are better for your clothes. For most clothes, we like these slimline hangers. Generally, we recommend folding sweaters, but if you do want to hang them, invest in these beautiful thick, padded hangers. The padding is also nice for coats, blazers and silk shirts.
A final word on The Real Real (TRR). We love this resource for finding beautiful (mostly preworn) designer pieces at drastically reduced prices. TRR authenticates all of the items on its site, so you know what you're getting. It's also super easy to consign with them. Download the app and look up your favorite designers each week to see what's new. Here are a few of our favorite pieces on TRR right now from Marni and Dries van Noten. If you're new to TRR, keep in mind there's only one of each item available.