How to Detox Your Closet Before You Go Fall Shopping

Ready to indulge in a few of the fall 2016 trends? Go for it—there are so many good ones. But first, a closet detox. it never hurts to take inventory of what's in your closet already in order to make good decisions when you're staring at a pile of "yeses" in the dressing room. That's where Berlin-based blogger Anuschuka Rees comes in. Her blog, Into Mind, is dedicated to helping women curate their perfect wardrobes using all kinds of handy charts, infographics, and lists that make the process less emotional and more data-oriented. Rees' first book, The Curated Closet, comes out next month and she is sharing an excerpt from her chapter on the all-important closet detox exclusively with us! See below for her step-by-step instructions on how whip your closet into shape and make space for everything from that fall shopping spree. Spoiler alert: It might take all weekend.

MILAN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 24:  Miroslava Duma wearing a trench coat a Coca Cola shirt, blue denim jeans and a Loewe bag seen outside Gucci during Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016/17 on February 24, 2016 in Milan, Italy (Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Getty Images

Prep for the day. You need snacks, music, and trash bags.

What you need:
• One or two trash bags
• Six boxes (or bags)
• A full-length mirror
• A camera (your phone’s is fine)
• Some good music, snacks, and stamina

Label your six boxes like this:
• Donate or sell
• Keepsakes
• Trial separation
• Get tailored
• Repair
• Off-season storage

PARIS, FRANCE - AUGUST 15:  Sarah Benziane (fashion blogger - Les colonnes de Sarah), is wearing a Newlook suit with featured flowers, Charles & Keith shoes, a Zara black perfecto leather jacket, and an H&M necklace, on August 15, 2016 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Getty Images

Determine the fate of each item.

Pick up each piece in your wardrobe one by one to thoroughly assess how you feel about it and determine its fate.

Pieces That Aren’t Working Out

Donate or sell: Any item that doesn’t reflect your personal style, is way too uncomfortable, or does nothing for your confidence doesn’t deserve a spot in your wardrobe. But if the piece is still in good condition, there’s no reason to let it become landfill! Donate your pieces to a charity shop, give them to a friend who may like them, or sell them to make a little extra cash.

Keepsakes: Your graduation dress, the shoes you wore at your wedding, or the beaded bag you bought on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to India—pieces that you have stopped wearing long ago but that remind you of a special, happy time, can be impossible to part with. And the good news is, you don’t have to. Just make sure you treat those pieces for what they are—keepsakes that deserve a place somewhere in your home, but not in your closet.

Trash bag: Anything that’s stained, ripped, or otherwise broken beyond repair belongs in the trash, no exceptions. The same goes for worn-out underwear, socks, and exercise gear.

Pieces You Aren’t Sure About

Trial separation: A great way to reveal your true feelings about pieces you are not sure about is to store them outside of your closet in a separate box for a while, perhaps under your bed. That way, if you truly miss an item, you can easily retrieve it, but chances are, you’ll forget about most of the stuff in there after a couple of weeks and can then confidently get rid of them.

Back in your closet: Just for now, keep items that you feel only so-so about, as long as you still wear them regularly (at least once every two weeks). Don’t throw out your go-to pair of work pants, even if they don’t really reflect your ideal style or could fit a little better. The same goes for your one nude strapless bra that’s taken on a gray tinge over the years but is your only option for white tops. You can always replace these later on.

Get tailored: Shortening hemlines, taking in a baggy shirt, or adding darts—there are a lot of things a good tailor can do to improve the fit and silhouette of a piece and that don’t cost a fortune. Put pieces you would wear if the fit were improved in the tailor box, and take them to a tailor after you’re done with the detox.

Pieces You Love

Repair: Always keep a mini sewing kit on hand so you can take care of basic repairs yourself, like fixing undone seams or loose buttons. For trickier jobs, like taking in a waist, it’s usually better to get a professional on the case.

Off-season storage: This one is optional, but consider creating some extra breathing room in your closet by storing off-season clothes somewhere else. I personally prefer to reserve every inch of my closet space for pieces that are an active part of my wardrobe right now, this season.

Back in your closet: Hooray! If a piece fits your personal style, makes you feel confident and comfortable, and you can already think of several different ways to wear it, it’s a keeper!

PARIS, FRANCE - AUGUST 19:  Melanie Darmon (fashion blogger @meldarmon) is wearing a Marks & Spencer white top, Marks & Spencer blue denim jeans pants, Marks & Spencer white shoes, and a Zara bag, at Place Vendome, on August 19, 2016 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Getty Images

Find the obvious gaps and make a shopping list.

Once you have gone through your entire wardrobe piece by piece, you’ll have a super clear overview of your closet. Use that clarity to do a quick status analysis:

• What are obvious gaps in your closet?
• What type of pieces do you already have enough of?
Think: item categories (T-shirts, jeans, semi-casual work tops), colors, seasonal clothes, and function.

Curated Closet - book cover.jpg

"The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe", $24.99, available for pre-order at Also available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and other booksellers on September 20th.

More on fall shopping:

This Fall Shoe Was Made for Your Cropped Flare Jeans

The Fall 2016 Jeans You’ll Be Wearing