What I Learned During My New Year Closet Clean Out

Things I Learned From My Recent Closet Clean Out

Did anyone else do a major closet clean out recently? I do smaller clean outs throughout the year, but because my style shifted quite a bit last year, I was ready for a deeper clean out by the start of this year. I thought I’d share some reflections from it in case you’re interested!

I recently blogged about how my style shifted last year. And while I feel like my style has actually been in a transition for the last several years, I think last year I finally settled into my current era of style. However, during those years of transition, I didn’t have as much clarity about my overall direction of style, so I held onto things longer than I typically would. And, yes, it bugged me that they were cluttering up my closet. But I wasn’t comfortable letting go of them until I had more clarity about where my style was going. I finally got that clarity last year, so I was ready to clean things out!

6 Things I Learned During My New Year Closet Clean Out

Here are some of my reflections while cleaning out my closet. They are in no particular order and are not related to a particular topic. They are really just the things that stood out to me from the process!

1. The more clarity you have about your style, the easier a closet clean out is.
I have a process for closet clean outs*, and it has served me well. This process requires a certain level of clarity around your lifestyle, style, fit points, etc. The more clarity you have around those components, the easier and more straightforward your closet clean-out decisions are. I used this process for the smaller clean outs I did throughout the year.

However, there were still many things I held on to because, since my style was transitioning, I didn’t have the clarity about my style that I once did. Therefore, I couldn’t make decisions about certain items yet. Once I got that clarity and settled into my newer style, the decisions about what to let go of were much easier.

Clarity is key. The more clarity you have on EVERYTHING, the less painful a closet clean out is. Dare I say it’s even enjoyable, because you are excited for where you’re headed! 😀

*SPT and PMT Style Club members: you can access the Closet Clean Out lesson inside the program platform. Log in HERE and search for “Closet Clean Out.”


2. I was holding on to who I used to be.
On the surface, I named practical reasons for holding on to certain things, like possibly needing them soon. Most of the reasons were actually legitimate. However, I realized that I actually held on to many of those items because they represented who I used to be. But, I have grown and changed, and my style and tastes have changed with me.

Once I had a more definitive sense of my style, I was able to let go of who I used to be, how I used to dress, and items that used to be my favorites. Clarity helped me move forward.


3. I was holding on to who I thought I should be.
One weird thing for me about having blogged for so long is that I have 11 years of outfits in the archives, and each of you stumbled upon and became connected to PMT during different eras of my style. But, as styles around us shift and as my own styles shift, I feel the tension between the natural push toward new styles and the pull of beloved old styles that you previously connected with.

Specifically, there are some classic signature pieces that I wore religiously at one point. Many of you fell in love with them, too. But eventually, my style changed away from them and items that were once signature pieces were no longer signature pieces to me. I mean, it’s bound to happen during the course of ELEVEN(!!) years! But still, when I let those pieces go, I weirdly worry that I’m letting one of you down or making one of you feel left in the dust. Even if it’s YEARS after the era has passed and most of you have probably moved on from them already, I feel the pull of the past. Yes, it’s a silly sense of over-responsibility that I feel about your wardrobes because I so highly value how you trust me to speak into your life, even if it’s just about style. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t lose sleep over it, haha! But, it does make me keep some of the more “signature PMT” items longer than I would otherwise.

This tension was even stronger the last couple of years as styles around us shifted in more significant ways. But, finally settling into my current style more allowed me to finally let go of more of those past signature PMT items.

(Clarity wins again!)


4. The wardrobe staples are still the wardrobe staples.
There is a handful of items that I recommend building your wardrobe with, and you can grab my free checklist of 16 wardrobe staples, HERE. Even amidst all of the changes in styles around us, this list still remains the same. It’s general enough to be timeless but specific enough to help you build a functional wardrobe. My closet clean out confirmed this fact.

That said, you might want to update the specifics of each item every so often, such as updating the specific cuts of jeans you have. But, the general checklist is something you can always fall back on to help you plan, replan, and update your wardrobe at every new stage of your life and style.

If you haven’t grabbed the checklist yet, enter your email to get it delivered straight to your inbox HERE!


5. The major shift in pant styles is HARD. Yes, for me, too.
I know the shift in pants is not new, but it is still such a live topic, and it continues to change. For example, a few years ago I was transitioning to straighter leg styles. And now, I’m on to flares and wide legs — when will it stop?

Anyway, as you know, it’s a hard transition! The farther away you get from the skinny cut, like with wider and more voluminous styles, the more it requires lots of adjustments. You need to adjust both your tops AND possibly your shoes, and probably even some jackets, to accommodate your specific style of pants. So yeah, if you’ve found it to be a lot more than you bargained for when you started changing your pant cuts, it’s not just you.

I felt this need for adjustment more than ever last year when I moved from straighter leg cuts to wearing flares and wide legs more often. Looking back on it, I actually went through a major wardrobe overhaul. However, it didn’t feel overwhelming  in the moment. I went season by season (just going along with the rhythms of the PMT Style Club), so it felt bite-sized and doable. However, once I finished the year, I was like wow, that was actually major! But, I have clarity now, and my closet feels refreshed. It’s fun to look back and see how much change you can make when you just take it one step at a time!

Thankfully, the basic rules of style that we use to make everything go from plain to polished do not change. It doesn’t matter which cut of jeans you’re trying, the principles for how to fix the outfit are the same, just worked out in a new context, like a different cut of jeans. These unchanging principles really help you feel anchored in the midst of changing styles.

On that note, if you’d like to learn the rules of style and have a place to get support and expert advice so you can troubleshoot your outfits and feel good about what you’re wearing, join us in the PMT Style Club HERE.


6. Knowing your style, guidelines of fit, and your best silhouettes makes closet clean out decisions SO MUCH EASIER.
I touched on this during #1, but more explicitly, ALL things having to do with style are made INFINITELY easier when you know your 1) Style Type, 2) Basics of Proper Fit, and 3) Best Silhouettes. Truly. It makes getting dressed easier, shopping easier (!!), and closet clean outs easier. That’s why we teach it all in the PMT Style Club and in Simply Put Together, because it’s what transforms how women feel in their clothes and makes all things related to style a thousand times easier.

During the closet clean out, multiple times, I felt so grateful that I had a great handle on my style, fit points, and best silhouettes so that I could make decisions much more quickly. And whenever I lead others in a closet clean out, it is CONFUSING and MESSY and arduous when they don’t have a great handle on their style.

When you have clear guidelines to follow, cleaning out your closet is not full of intuitive, “Do I like it or not?” decisions. Instead, it’s a methodical process that takes out of a lot of the guesswork and indecision and leaves you with a closet full of clothes that you actually love and will wear!

If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed with a closet clean out, updating your style, or just generally trying to put yourself together, these are the things you want to start with. Style Type. Fit. Silhouettes. Once you learn them, your life will be so much easier!


These are 6 reflections from my recent new year closet clean out. It feels good to be able to finally clear out the items that were bugging me thanks to gaining clarity about the way I’m moving forward with my style!

If you did a closet clean out this year, how did it go? If you’re planning to do a closet clean out this year, how are you feeling about it?


Make style easier — the PMT Style Club can help.

Is style difficult for you? Do you feel overwhelmed, frustrated, or fed up with style? We’re here to help!

The PMT Style Club will help you with all of the most important aspects of style so that you can easily and confidently put yourself together. 💛

Through the PMT program, you’ll discover your Style Type, flattering silhouettes for your body type, and the most helpful and impactful style concepts so that you can create an easy-to-use wardrobe and love what you wear everyday.

Get all the details and join, HERE!

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