We all have things in our closet that we could probably toss, or arrange a little neater, but the idea of purging and organizing can be an overwhelming task. Just ask Drew Barrymore. She’s just like us, but with a much… bigger closet. Below, she talks about how she put her closet on a serious diet.
Drew Barrymore’s Closet Diet
First: I did what everyone says you should do — I got rid of everything I don’t really wear.
All the “once in a blue moon” or the “it will fit someday” duds finally went in the donation or resell piles! (A great reminder: A good way to get a little extra cash or credit is to take some of your nicer pieces to a consignment boutique, which I did. But, more importantly, I also took most of my clothes down to my local rescue mission. I also work with Teens for Jeans, which is a fantastic charity! This way, I know where everything is going, and it’s always venues I respect — I know they will put the clothes in a more meaningful place.)
Second: I did it a little at a time.
The whole clean-out took a few weeks as I wanted to do it without haste, and with kids you have limited windows (naps are perfect times!)
Third: I color-coordinated, which has been life-changing in itself.
The rainbow helps because it’s visually clean. When you grab something neutral, you can then go over to your colors and throw something in to mix it up.
Fourth: I categorized all my clothes.
Yep, skirts with skirts and pants with pants and dresses with dresses. So far, with this approach, I find I’m already going to the exact garment I need, rather than standing like Winnie the Pooh in the closet needing a bottom but still staring at a bunch of tops.
Fifth: Be brave. Make deep cuts.
Try getting down to a zen palette of wearable clothes — but what’s wearable for you. For me, that meant I got rid of kooky prints that just weren’t good enough or crazy, loud colors I never seemed to wear. Case in point: I’m just not gonna wear the hot-pink Nike track shoes with the Chinese pajama pants anymore (yes, I once DID…) so out they go!
Sixth: Expect depression and/or identity crises.
My closet seemed to be clean. But, no longer eclectic or wild enough. It actually seemed like I had no clothes. It got too sparse! I was sad. Had I gone too far? I was missing my old funky self and felt like I had become some conservative, boring woman — but not even in a cool, J.Crew way. I was more like, I don’t know…just not me.
But, then something happened. There was such a noticeable lack of chaos that I could actually start playing clothes Jenga in my mind before I reached the closet. This was different. Normally, the inner dialogue was defeatist and avoiding. Now, I was looking forward to a minimalist curation that didn’t overwhelm me. Holy crap! This closet diet is working!
I started applying it to shopping. Instead of binge-buying to fill a hole, I now know what I actually wear, so I’ve been buying pieces thoughtfully. And, adding a little flair here and there, but with a floral print or a sequined top rather than some of the insane vintage pieces I used to buy (I still respect them, but I just cant wear them anymore).
Months later, my closet is sane and I am happy. I don’t have a battle every time I get dressed. I say to myself, “You know what works, so just work it, and be good to yourself!” Yes, my body has changed a lot as a new mom. But, more importantly, it’s my responsibility to send good, empowering messages to my kids. We can’t rip ourselves apart and expect those negative messages not to reach our girls. It’s about doing what works for you and what makes you feel good. Much like a closet, we have to make space in our minds for bigger and better things. But, it never hurts to do it in a cute outfit — one that came out of your nice new closet.