Out with the Old, In With the New

August 30, 2015

I woke up this morning with a free day on my hands…what to do, what to do? I’ve spent the last several weeks helping my daughter get organized for her first year of college and getting her successfully moved into Burge Hall at the University of Iowa!

Yes, we created a little home away from home for her and I am happy to report she is calm, settled and enjoying university life.   I miss her more than I know how to describe but I am also so excited for her to take this next step in life.   And I guess that means I need to take some new steps as well to adapt to life without a child at home.

So today is baby step number one…organize my closet.   (Sorry… no pictures of my messy closet!)

I think most of you have guessed by now, I love beautiful clothes and have a wonderful stash of great options. The problem? A chaotic closet.     I love to mix things up and create new combinations with something old and new.    But because I am not as organized as I should be, I sometimes have a difficult time finding all of my available options.

As I began to tackle my closet, the first thing I decided to do was

Organize My Clothes By Color

Not only does this approach create a look of organization but it helps me identify exactly what I have available and where I may have duplication. Grouping by color alone makes a world of difference, but I found that I also needed to group my items by both color and classification… jackets, pants, skirts, sweaters and so on!

This one small change helped me begin to see exactly what I had and what I perhaps needed to think about purging or replacing. Once I had my clothes organized by color, it was time to…

Organize By Season

Summer is coming to an end and we are moving into cooler weather layering and dressing. I have a few extra spaces in my house (sadly, now that I am an empty nester) so I took this time to move out the garments that are quickly becoming out of season or that I won’t be wearing over the next several months. 

I want to make sure that the garments that I will be most frequently wearing this time of year are the easiest to see and find in my closet.   Remember, what you see in your closet is what you will use!  My next laborious task was to…

Clean Up The Hangers

I love using the same type of hangers throughout my closet.  This one modification alone will go a long way in giving our closets a clean, consistent look.  Removing all that visual clutter allows us to focus on the garment itself rather than all the different sizes, colors and types of hanger.   I do a lot of dry cleaning so those darn wire hangers can tend to take over my closet.  I spent about a half hour removing not only empty hangers but swapping out wire hangers for my preferred black velvet ones. 

Now for the fun part (well, kinda)… 


This is the hardest and most emotional part of a closet organization project.   I have certain pieces that I just love, but every time I put it them on...they either don't look right or don't fit.   How many years will I hang onto to something that would be great if I only lost 10 pounds?

Today is the day that I will finally stop hanging onto my ‘if only’ mentality.   There are so many places here in town to either donate or consign your clothes.   A few of my favorites are: 

Young Women's Resource Center 

Dress for Success Des Moines 

Lutheran Church of Hope 

So what else should I keep or toss?  Here is my list…

Toss out – worn out sweaters

You know the sweater. The one that you have kept one too many seasons and its shape is not what it once was. It needs to be replaced.

Keep the cashmere

Cashmere actually gets better over time and holds up well over the years if cared for properly.  It’s one of the reasons that it is well worth the investment. What’s our pick at the store?

I love this beautifully textured must-have sweater from Vince.  The dropped shoulder gives it a relaxed feel and will quickly become that long lasting go-to sweater in your closet.

Toss out the trendy but keep the classics

As long as a clothing item fits well and are in good shape, I keep anything that is simple, classic and elegant.   I have pieces in my closet from K. Renee that I have had for 10 plus years.   These 'vintage' K. Renee classics can be mixed in with my more current pieces and look just as on point today as when I originally bought them.   

I love a good trend but don’t typically invest a great deal of money into these pieces.   These items are meant to be worn at their height of fashion and then let go just as quickly as the trend passes.

Can we talk shoes?

You should keep designer shoes that fit as long as long as they’re in good condition.  But toss out anything that doesn't fit well or is in poor condition.

I admit it.   I am a shoe hoarder and this is the one area that I need to purge the most. For example, I have been hanging on to these Beverly Feldman shoes that my husband bought for me at K. Renee over 10 years ago.

I love them as much today as when I received them for Christmas.  (How fun was that for a hubbie gift?)   They were a bit too small when I got them and could only wear them for a couple of hours at a time.   I kept imagining that I would wear them again with a pair of wide legged jeans with a beautiful Bordeaux top.   But the reality is that they hurt and my feet are certainly not going to get smaller.   It is time to let them go.   

I know.    It may be the memory associated with them that has kept them in my closet for so long…but that is the case for many, many unused things in our closets and our homes.  We have to learn that our memories don’t go away with items…they stay with us forever in much more meaningful ways.

P.S. My vintage shoes are size 9, cuter than heck and if anyone out there wants them…  just send me a message.  I would love for someone to rock them as they were originally intended.

On the reverse side of this issue, I have shoes that I have worn and worn and worn.  Especially my winter season boots.  Between wearing them frequently and harsh winter conditions, I can rarely keep my boots in good enough shape to keep them more than two seasons (and that is pushing it!)

It’s time to throw out the old and bring in the new!   Thankfully, we have the best shoe lady in Iowa (Susy Damon) working at K. Renee and she has a whole hoard of boots and shoes that will get you through this next season in style.  Here is one of my picks this season…

The Demiswoon by Stuart Weitzman is done in suede with a great platform heel that is not too much for all day long comfort. We expect this boot to arrive any day. You can reserve your size by email Susy at Susy@krenee.com.


I have a ton of these in my closet as well.    I tend to keep the classic leather bags (investment bags) just in case.  But for the most part when I abandon a bag it is because I have grown tired of it.   So purge...especially the colorful trendy bags that just never seem to get used.

There is just something exciting about a new bag… this is the one I am eyeing now.

This ivory cowhide cross body bag from Tan & Brown is my current favorite along with their ultimate clutch bag. Love both, can’t decide which.

Toss too-tight or too-big clothes

This is a touchy subject for me because I know how important it is to have clothing that fits our figure now.   I've decided that if I ever do lose that 10 pounds I have been complaining about…I will want to celebrate with more updated versions of what has been hanging in my closet for years.   PURGE!

And finally, get rid of duplicates

If you have 10 white shirts, you likely only wear your favorites on a consistent basis.  You also might have 10 white t-shirts.   Keep the ones that are in the best shape and have the fabric and feel that you love wearing.   Do you have several pair of black pants?  If you are like me, you always go to your favorite pairs and the others just take up space waiting to be worn. 

With my closet organized, purged and clean, it's now the time to be thinking about a little glam.    One of the things on my bucket list is to redo my closet and give it more of a boutique feel.

Picture courtesy of Closet Factory.

But until I am ready to make a significant investment in my bathroom and closets, I will have to make due with some easy fixes.   I am thinking about adding a small chair, a few accessories and for sure a small crystal light fixture. This little beauty might tide me over…

I also love some of the closet organizers from GLAMdivide.  These Lucite dividers are a wonderful way to organize some of your favorite things and retail for $149.   Love.   I have a few of these organizers on order for my own closet.

Well, it’s been a productive Sunday!   And I feel much more at peace walking into a well-organized closet.   If you didn’t already know, our team of stylists can help you with your own closet.   If you feel like you need some help figuring out what to purge and what to keep, give us a call.   We are always at your service to help you create some new inspiring combinations or to help determine a few key new pieces to bring some new life to your wardrobe.

Have a great week!   If you haven’t had a chance to meet the rest of our team, you can learn a little bit more about each of us by simply clicking on the below picture…