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The Art of the Closet Cleanout

Guest Post by: Rosana Vollmerhausen, owner and chief stylist of DC Style Factory

Our business and work centers around creating tangible life changes through wardrobe and personal style. One of our signature services -- and our most popular  -- centers around that space in everyone’s home that gives them the most heartburn: the closet. 

The DC Style Factory Closet Audit service isn’t just about purging old clothes, but putting into place a wardrobe system that will ultimately save you time and money. During this time, when so much is unknown and many of us are staying in, I have been receiving requests for tips on how to effectively clean out closets. I think we can all agree that an edited and organized wardrobe can and does make  daily life easier.

So without further ado, here are my top five closet cleanout and organizational tips!

  1. Get “Huggable” velvet-flocked hangers in the black color. They are flocked so clothing does not slip off and they have a space-saving slim profile that gives you additional space for clothing in your closet.  Promise, these hangers will change your life.

  2. Pull out everything. Pull out everything in your closet, out of drawers, under the bed, in the attic. Pile it all on your bed, Marie Kondo-style. You can't effectively audit your closet IN your closet.  Seeing everything out in the open and not shoved and tucked into that space will help you evaluate what should stay and what should go with less emotion and more logic.

  3. Get rid of the following, no exceptions: 1. Worn, faded, stained, have holes that cannot be repaired. 2. Does not fit and can’t be tailored. 3. Anything you had actually forgotten about and never worn. 4. Anything  outdated/out of style. 

  4. Get rid of closet contraptions. Clear your closet space of those hanging cloth shoe cubbies, waterfall hangers, scarf holders, etc. They don’t keep you organized. They add to the clutter. So how do you store all those things then? See next bullet point.

  5. Hang and organize everything individually on Huggable Hangers -- except sweaters. Yes, even your t-shirts and scarves should be hung on a Huggable Hanger. Increased visibility means increased utility of your clothing and less waste. You won’t accidentally buy ANOTHER white t-shirt if you see three hanging right there in your closet.  If you don’t have enough space to hang, edit more. Yes, I know we all don’t have palatial walk-in closets. Still, hang it all. Be realistic about your space and keep items contained in that space. We only wear 20 percent of our clothing. Chances are you are keeping things that are simply taking up space and not serving you and where you are in your life.

When you are done doing the hard work -- now here’s the hard part -- resist the impulse to run out and buy new things to fill it right back up. Wear what you own, experiment, mix and match. Document the outfits on your phone and record your thoughts. Identify true gaps in your wardrobe. Your new, streamlined closet will make it easier for you to clearly see what you have and what you are missing. This pause will help you make wise and intentional shopping decisions to create a polished, authentic personal style.

Want more closet cleanout tips? Visit us on Instagram (@dcstylefactory) and check out our IGTV videos where I walk you through cleaning out my own closet and a local fashion blogger’s closet. 

Photo credit: Laura Metzler-

Rosana Vollmerhausen is the owner and chief stylist of DC Style Factory, a personal styling company serving clients in-person in the DC metro area and remotely across the country. She has 15 years’ fashion retail and styling experience, including owning, running and buying for an award-winning boutique in Washington, D.C.  She was subsequently handpicked to be part of Stacy London’s team of Style for Hire wardrobe consultants, and has worked on more than 1,500 closets over the past decade as a personal stylist. Today, DC Style Factory dresses hundreds of men and women annually with a client roster that includes high-profile U.S. politicians, lobbyists, and c-suite executives. Her style tips, and expertise have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washingtonian, Bethesda Magazine, Northern Virginia Magazine, The Boston Globe and more. She has provided expert style insight on BBC World News,  NPR, WJLA News Channel 7, and NBC News Channel 4. To learn more about working remotely with Rosana and her team, visit the company website.




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