How To:  Feel Great About Your Closet


by Jeannine Bryant

Want to feel great about your closet?  I’ve got a plan that can help you make it happen.  It’s going to involve some homework, so get ready.  We’re going to tackle the items in your closet by category, and we’re going to use the power of counting to help us (1) realize how much you have, and (2) set a reasonable limit for yourself on how much is enough.

Now, I want you to divide your clothing into categories.  Your categories might differ slightly, based on your gender and what kind of pieces your wardrobe entails, but here’s some to get you started:







Button-up tops






Casual shoes

Dressy shoes




Now I’m going to ask that you count the number of items you have in each of these categories and write those numbers down.  If any of these numbers make you cringe, this helps you to identify the categories of items you need to reduce (sometimes slightly, sometimes drastically).

Be gentle with yourself.  Based on my decade of experience helping people with their stuff, I’ve been in a lot of homes and seen pretty much everything.  I would not be at all surprised if one of you readers discover that you have 75 t-shirts, or 115 pairs of shoes.  It’s okay.  This exercise is just about opening your eyes to what you have.

The next step is to determine what is reasonable.  If discovering that having 24 cardigan sweaters makes you cringe, what number would you feel good about?  Start by cutting it in half – would you be able to live with just 12 cardigans?  If that seems too restrictive, try reducing by just 25% and see if that seems more doable.

Throughout this process, think of others in your community who will benefit from the donation of these items.  I heard a quote recently that has really stuck with me – “your extra pair of shoes could be someone else’s only pair of shoes.”  Wow!  A powerful perspective, for sure.

This process will also make you more conscious of the choices you make when shopping for new clothing.  You’ll think twice before purchasing another cardigan sweater just because it’s on sale if you know you’ve got 24 at home in your closet!