Greetings from New England! 60 degrees and sunny last Saturday, and clear yet very cold today in my beloved city of Boston. The Boston waterfront never disappoints, you just need to be dressed for it!

Although the predicted nor’easter didn’t hit my town too badly this week, we were ready with the shovel and it got me thinking about our clients, too.

If you live in an area with winter weather, you get used to clearing out the snow so you can hit the road fast and effortlessly. When we first work with a client in their closet, we’re often “shoveling out” so that they too can hit the road in record time, regardless of the weather.

Here are five quick tips to help you "shovel out" your own closet, no matter where you live:

1. Divide and conquer. If your flirty eyelet summer dresses and bathing suit cover-ups are currently snuggled up next to your blazers, sweaters, and formalwear, it’s no wonder you’re confused about what to wear in the morning. A great first step to eliminating closet confusion is to identify any off-season attire and move it to another space. Additionally, always consider how you live as you organize your closet. If you work or volunteer outside your home, separate the clothes you wear for in-person situations from pieces reserved for more casual days at home.

2. Consider the 80/20 rule. Most of us can confidently say that we wear twenty percent of our clothes eighty percent of the time. Go through your closet piece by piece and play tough love with the eighty percent that doesn’t owe you a nickel. Our favorite thing to say to clients is “Do you love it? Do you wear it?” The answers will be very telling, and once you get going, it will be easy to make good decisions about what stays in your closet. Make piles for tailoring, donation, and also textile recycling—anything stained or beyond repair should be let go for good!

3. Shop in your closet first. This is our favorite firm rule of thumb! We often find new winning combinations for our clients that they would never have thought to put together. A great way to start mixing things up while getting a targeted shopping list going is to create complete outfits (try them on head to toe with accessories) and then identify any pieces that would make the outfit even better (aka these loafers are ok, but modern booties would make this look fantastic!).

4. Give your shoes a makeover. In winter, our footwear has to work hard for us. Make sure your shoes reflect the same level of polish as your daily attire. At a minimum, get a shoe polish starter kit at your drugstore for around $10 so you can quickly remove salt and water stains. For heel repairs, tricky scuffs or hardware issues, find a great local cobbler—they do still exist!

5. Sort your jewelry. Finally, getting your jewelry under control is a great use of time when you’re stuck indoors (yes, even Florida has rainy winter days!!). Like clothing, separate jewelry by season. For instance, beachy and bohemian jewelry that looks best worn in warm weather can be easily stored in pouches or zip lock bags and tucked away with other summer clothing and accessories. When you can actually see your winter accessories more clearly, you start to wear them more. Consider hanging necklaces near your main dressing area and finding a good home for earrings, bracelets etc. too so you can easily locate them.

Last Word
Tackling closets often leads to other household organizing: kitchen cabinets, medicine closets and the like. It’s a great way to take control of being indoors and create space when it feels like the walls are closing in on us. So get in your closet and start shoveling! You’ll feel so good come spring. She will be coming. She always does.

Best for the weekend ahead —

Mary Lou Andre
Founder & President
Dressing Well, Inc.

PS. Need extra inspiration to shovel your closet this weekend? Our Dressing Well Method self-guided video course can help. Value priced at just $99, it includes five 30-minute lessons to motivate you to tackle your closet (and overall style!) step by step. Order today, access immediately. You’ll be soooo glad you did!

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