November 2023

Buy, Store, Garbage: Organize Your Closet for the Fall

I am constantly asked by friends and family alike if I can come and “edit” their closets. It seems that without the stern hand of a disinterested party, people really do have a hard time parting with anything – I have even found one anonymous friend holding onto her junior prom dress.

In an effort to help you all at home, I have put together the following guide on how to edit your closet. I call it the “buy, store, garbage” plan and if you follow it diligently you will not only find that you have a lot more than you thought, but that you gained a few extra sq. feet in that closet of yours:

Initial Edit: I start at the left side of my closet, working my way to the right, and pull out every item I haven’t worn over the past year. The key here to purging is quality and frequency. If you’re debating over a poor quality top that you “might” wear one day, but haven’t yet, toss it. Chances are, it will cost you more in dry cleaning than what the shirt’s actually worth. Keep your maxi dresses, leather pants, pencil skirts, fur vests, wide-leg pants and capes. Toss your overly girly dresses, circle skirts and cropped shirts. One rule of thumb is to always keep bags and shoes. Accessories are cyclical. My best friends in college chipped in for my birthday and bought me the denim Dior Saddle Bag, channeling Carrie Bradshaw. I stored it away a couple of seasons later, but boy am I glad I hung onto it. Rediscovering an oldie but goodie is like shopping in your own closet…for free!

Break It Down By Style: Whatever has survived in your closets after the initial edit should now be organized by style. I have a separate closet for skirts and dresses, and my main closet is broken down into two areas: button-downs (I can never have enough white ones) and every other kind of top.

Break It Down By Color: Your closet should have some semblance of organization by this point. Now it’s time to think like a kid, ROYGBIV. I organize my closet (within style) by color. This lessens the chance of items getting lost in the mix and makes it easier to see what you actually have. Plus, it looks pretty!

**Jeans Tip: I’m a big believer in folding your jeans to take up less hanging closet space, the most coveted kind of space. I have one pile for my skinnies, another for boot cuts and the last for bells and wide-legs.

Get Philanthropic: Don’t throw out your rejects. Here are a few places where you can donate. Remember, what’s one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

Dress for Success: Outfits suitable for job interviews
Salvation Army: Clothing will be donated to homeless, abused and the disadvantaged
Donations Central: (General index of charities that accept donations)

Lindsay Brooke Weiss (Cohen) is a fashion and accessories editor and on-air style expert. She was previously Haute Living’s editorial director, Niche Media’s fashion and accessories editor and fashion editor for Lindsay has been a frequent contributor at and is a regular guest stylist on NBC’s “Gossip Gram.” For more articles from Lindsay, check out her site!

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