How Cleaning Out Your Closet Can Help You Define Your Personal Style

Posted On Monday, January 18th, 2016
Filed Under: Style Guide

How to Define Your Personal Style By Cleaning Out Your Closet
I know, that title sounds a bit counter intuitive, right? Cleaning out your closet can teach you something and even benefit your style? Absolutely! Last year I donated a fourth of my wardrobe. It was a weekend long project, but it was totally worth it.
It’s not just about cleaning out your closet so you free up space to buy more stuff, but cleaning out your closet can actually give you a snapshot into your personal style.
If you’re trying to define your style, read on to see exactly how a closet purge can do just that!

First, need tips to clean out your closet? I have a few posts just for you: 5 Tips to Effortlessly Clean Out Your Closet and The Laundry Hack that Makes Cleaning Out Your Closet Easy. Trust me, I know the thought of cleaning out your closet can seem daunting, but it’s a manageable task.

Also, defining your personal style is so important because it helps give you better direction when you go shopping. You need to know what pieces work best for your lifestyle and body type.


Ok, lets get back to the closet…So now once your closet is all cleaned out, take a minute to step back and you might notice common themes with the stuff you no longer want/need and with what’s left in your closet.

What You Donated
Take a look at the clothes and accessories you decided to get rid of. Do they have anything in common?

For me, I got rid of a ton of duplicates in my closet. I had about eight denim shirts and most of them looked the same! Also, I donated a bunch of sparkly dresses and uncomfortable shoes I swore I’d get around to wearing.

The common theme for me was buying stuff I thought was so cute and fun, but I never actually got around to wearing them, either because they’re uncomfortable or impractical.

And you might notice some common themes about the clothes you’re getting rid of. Maybe you buy a lot of stuff you never wear because it was on sale but you didn’t really love the piece. Do you purchase clothes that don’t exactly fit your lifestyle? Have you had to ditch a ton of gear because your body has changed drastically? Are you getting rid of 5 pairs of black skinny jeans because you already have 8 pairs of them?

Take all of this into account, as this can be your guide as to what NOT to purchase in the future.

Want to define your personal style? Clean out your closet. Here's how! Click To Tweet

So moving on to what remains in your closet…

How Cleaning Out Your Closet Can Help You Define Your Personal Style

What’s Left Behind
Seeing what’s left in your closet is the perfect opportunity for you to get a snapshot of your personal style.

For me, I have a lot of jeans, button downs, chunky sweaters, girly dresses and the occasional glittery, sparkly number. I always thought my style was casual chic and my cleaned out closet confirms that. But I don’t have some basic wardrobe staples every woman needs.

If you define your style as casual, but you’re left with a ton of dressy clothes, then you might want to rethink how your closet truly reflects your style. Maybe you need to define your style differently or you need to add items to your closet that truly reflect the look you’re going for.

Clean out your closet to define your style, learn what to buy & avoid in the future. Click To Tweet


Again, I know cleaning out your closet is a time consuming task that no one looks forward to, but it really, truly is necessary. Especially if you want to revamp your style or feel you buy a lot of stuff you never really wear, this is a great solution to rectify that!

Have you done a closet purge recently? What tips do you have to clean out your closet? Have you noticed anything interesting or eye opening about your personal style since cleaning out your closet?

photo: 1, 3

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7 thoughts on “How Cleaning Out Your Closet Can Help You Define Your Personal Style

    • Awesome!
      And yes, sometimes we just need that little push and it’s totally ok that it’s a gradual process.

  1. This is great advice. I am thinking about my buy/purge routine over the last few years and I absolutely buy things that I really don’t use for two reasons: 1 – They are sparkly or blingy or whatever you want to call it (I am a bit of a magpie) and they are uncomfortable or too over the top … or 2 – They remind me of something from the past. A piece that either I couldn’t have when I was growing up or a piece that has fabric or a cut that reminds me of my Mom or my Grandma. And again, uncomfortable or too much pattern. The “donate” piles reveal that pattern again and again. I am overcoming this with two methods. The first is, if I want bling, I buy sparkly jewelry, shoes or bags, not clothes. I wear basic cuts, mostly black. I can bling that up with sparkly pieces that can be used for years. Plus, jewelry, bags and shoes always fit! Second, if I find some fantastic vintage piece that I want, I take a picture of it and I can enjoy looking at it without owning it. Thanks again for the great advice! Liz

    • Thanks for the comment Liz.

      And yes, the donate pile always reveals a common theme. I’m a fellow sparkly/blingy lover, so I get where you’re coming from.

      That’s a great suggestion that if you want/need a little sparkle, go for accessories!

  2. I sooooooooo needed help with this! Thank you! I cleaned out my closet last year and although I’m working with less, it’s so much easier to get dressed now. However, I’m still passing over certain items in my closet and I’m slowly accepting some more things will have to go. I’m just not sure how to define my personal style because most of what I have doesn’t quite fit what I want. I find I’m attracted to both classic and seemingly one of a kind items (a bit like Tracee Ellis Ross & Gabrielle Union) but for some reason I have a hard time adding these pieces to my wardrobe. My current wardrobe is a confused mess. What can I do?

    • Thanks for your comment Larissa.

      Since you like the timeless pieces and the one of a kind pieces, try to go for a mix. Maybe 60 or 70 percent classic and then the rest with the edgier, fancier items, starting first with accessories, which lets you ease your way in.

      And stay tuned to the blog as I’ll be doing even more posts about pairing your wardrobe down and defining your style.

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