As mentioned, I need to move so I’m in the mood to purge many, many, many things. But it is spring, so I figure it’s a good time to for everyone to think about about spring cleaning and organization. That’s why I asked Elisabeth White of Rediscover Your Closet (Best of Big D 2012 winner, by the way) to give me the skinny on what she does, things the world no longer needs, and why it’s so hard for some of us to part with things.
Tell me a little about your process. How much time do you typically need? How do you work?
The process depends on the client’s level of organization. I can be messy at times, so I completely understand needing help getting one’s “stuff” seen and able to be used. If you can’t see something, there’s a good chance that you will not wear it! Stuffed in a drawer means that it usually stays right there. Most appointments, depending on organization and amount of clothes, take four hours. I can create about 15-20 REDISCOVERED outfits in that amount of time, which is a bargain compared to shopping. You will be amazed by what can be found and re-worked, and it’s right there in your closet. I can bring wine or Champagne to make the process easier to swallow. It is fun, though, and I can shop with the client later to find key pieces that make sense to add to a wardrobe. I always ask before we get started, what style do you love and what look are you wanting to achieve? I then take the client in that direction. What I do is kinda like What Not To Wear. But most of my clients are not wearing overalls daily. Thank goodness.
Is it hard to get people to part with items? How do you talk them off the ledge?
Some people, yes, but a lot of people, no. The good thing is that when they call me, they are often mentally prepared (which is good) that there are going to be pieces that need to go. I have had a few folks that need some coaxing. (I just let them down wine first.) If they have not purged in nine years, I know that holding on to their clothes, shoes, and jewelry is a comfort to them. I am very honest with people, and I do keep what we can and rework it in a different way. There have been a few clients that were going to part with some amazing vintage pieces. Instead, I paired those pieces with new items in their closet, and they looked amazing.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
Helping my clients feel good about themselves and their wardrobes. I don’t want them to feel bored with what they have and they shouldn’t be frustrated or mad every time they get dressed. If you start your day irritated, you are most likely not going to have a good day. I want their closets to feel Zen-like. I love taking pieces that have been passed down to someone and figure out how those things can work. A client’s mom passed away, and I took some of the inherited pieces and paired them with some of her existing pieces. She loved that she was able to have a piece of her mom with her in what she was wearing. Her mom had great items to add!
What are three items everyone should have in his/her closet?
Jeans that fit, tissue tees for layering, and at least a few great jewelry pieces. One more: Spanx to smooth it all out.
What are three items that need to go right this instant?
Jorts, faded out pieces, and sweater sets.