Tips for Cleaning Out Your Closet

December 16, 2019

Since I just spent several hours this weekend starting a big closet clean-out, I thought it was the perfect time to re-post my closet cleaning tips.  It’s gonna feel great to start the new year, the new decade, with an organized closet, right Ladies?!

modern minimal style over 50

My Tips for Closet Clean-out & Creating a Wearable Wardrobe

The best place to start tackling your wardrobe is just with some valuable questions.

*Which items are your favorite in your closet and why?

*Which ones got worn the most this year?

*Which pieces get reached for again and again?


Must-Have Basics

Next, make a list of must have basics for yourself.  You can read other people’s lists, but take their suggestions with a grain of salt, Ladies.  You know your life and your body best. I don’t know how many times I read that I needed a crisp white linen shirt at a time in my life when I never wore white or even owned an iron. (Just for the record, I do now!)

Start with a basic color scheme, including your favorite neutrals and a few favorite pops of colors.  My favorite neutrals have always been black, gray, tan, and denim with pops of red/berry.  Navy, brown, beige, white, and olive green all make great neutrals as well.

Next, make note of  your favorite and most flattering silhouettes.  For a pear-shape like me, I live for fit and flare dresses, including the ever flattering faux wrap dress. I also love flared jeans (long or cropped) and long jackets, coats, and cardigans to give me a long lean look.

Make your own list.  Are you missing anything that you really need or would like to own?  Maybe some of your basics are ready to be replaced?  (Make a list of what you need and keep it handy for after Xmas sales.)

Now it’s time to think about your lifestyle, what you actually do and what you’ll be doing this next year.  (I’m all about positive thinking, so also definitely keep in mind what you’ll be needing when you get that dream job and take that dream vacation, Dolls!)

Now try on all your basics and must-haves and if they fit and are in good condition, put them back into the closet.

Then add back into your closet anything you just absolutely and totally LOVE, even if it’s for no good reason.

What to get rid of?

Anything unflattering (anything!)

Anything uncomfortable

Anything itchy

Any shoes that give you blisters

Anything that doesn’t fit right

Anything in a color that doesn’t look good on you

Anything that doesn’t go with anything else in your wardrobe

Anything you’re keeping for sentimental reasons, but don’t actually wear (take a photo or put it in a keep-sake chest in the attic)

Anything you’re just sick of (maybe you wore it and loved it … to death … now you never want to see it again)

Any projects that never actually happened (for me that means the bomber jacket I was going to cover with patches and the jeans that I was going to get hemmed … This also includes the jeans you’ll fit into someday … let it go!)

Costume jewelry that’s starting to look old

Earrings that are too heavy to actually wear

Bracelets that slide off your arm

Scarves in shapes you don’t know how to tie (and don’t plan to learn)

Anything you feel ridiculous wearing

Things you bought on vacation and have never worn since

Anything that shrunk or just never looked the same after you washed it

Anything that you try on from time to time and for whatever reason never seems quite right and always goes back on the hanger

Anything too low-cut that never looked right pinned or with a cami underneath

Anything that was a gift that you never really loved as much as you wanted to

It sounds like a harsh list, but it’s such a joy to open your closet and just see things you love and really want to wear!

What to do with all the rejects?  Give them to charity, or a friend, or sell them on eBay or Poshmark, or the local consignment store. (Sidenote: Check out our blogger friend Susan’s fabulous charity called Uncommon Threads). But whatever you do, don’t start going through them again and pulling things out to save!

I mean really, what are you saying to yourself if you keep these things?  That you must stare at the expensive shoes that are so ungodly uncomfortable for the rest of your life as punishment for your bad decision? Haha! Be kind to yourself and let the stuff go!  Let someone else enjoy your mistakes and make room for the perfect items in your closet!

It takes some time and energy to do this, but it really does feel great to get it done.  I always do mine in stages. Too overwhelming to do it all in one go. But you do whatever feels good to you!

I’m looking forward to making some changes in 2020 to simplify my life and my wardrobe.  I know, I know …. it will be interesting!  Follow along for the adventure!


Fun & Fashion,

Dawn Lucy

About the blog: Fashion Should Be Fun is ME talking to YOU, other middle-aged women who are over 40, but not over fashion.  We still want to look beautiful and stylish.  We still want to have fun with trends.  And we don’t need anyone giving us rules, because we’re all different. This is a place for me to share my love of fashion with you, including style ideas, tips, trends, and inspiration. I know how liking the way we look can translate into confidence and energy. I know we have so much life left to live and so much adventure ahead of us. Let’s show the world you’re never too old to have fun and be fierce.




  • Reply Sharon December 24, 2019 at 3:43 am

    I LOVE this post and I am in desperate need of a closet clean out. Thank you for the tips! I will be putting these to good use. Merry Christmas, Sharon 🙂

    • Reply Dawn Lucy December 25, 2019 at 3:42 pm

      Aww I’m so happy to hear that, Sharon! Hope you’re having a happy holiday season! OXOX

  • Reply Emma Peach December 26, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    Great advice! I really need to have a wardrobe purge in the new year!

    Emma xxx

    • Reply Dawn Lucy January 3, 2020 at 10:13 am

      I’m sure we all do!! Happy new year, Emma! OXOX

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