DON’T “Kondo” Your Closet

It’s New Year’s Resolution time .. and closet clean-outs are high on many to-do lists.  Despite all the buzz about the Kondo method, it probably isn’t the ideal way to tackle your wardrobe.  I’m certainly not opposed to purging.  But plenty of things that don’t set your heart aflutter with joy can still be valuable parts of your ideal wardrobe.  Let me explain …

Sometimes the most ordinary garments can become a lot more exciting in combination.  My chocolate brown ponte pencil skirt isn’t a heart-fluttery item  on its own.  But playing its part in 12 different outfits (five shown below) earns it some love, don’t you think?  So don’t purge workhorses – the items you can wear over and over without being obviously repetitive – even if they don’t independently spark joy.

Some ho-hum itms just need a fit tweak.  This animal print skirt and velveteen jean jacket initially felt questionable.  But what a diffrence when I had them tailored – tapering the skirt and shaping the jacket in to my curve-y shape. (This is an older photo – I’ve gotten better a smiling in selfies since then, thanks to your dozens of comments.)

So how do these examples inform your closet clean-out ?  I’d suggest pulling everything out of your closet and onto a garment rack.  Then purge:

  • Anything visibly worn, stained, itchy or otherwise uncomfortable.  No joy is every likely to happen with those.
  • Things that are just plain too small.  If your other resolution involves weight-loss,  store them elsewhere “just in case” but get them out of your active closet.
  • Things that are seriously not your color.  Exception: a few basic black pieces IF you can make them more flattering in combinations that include your hair color.  Read more about that HERE.

Try on the remaining items and check for fit.  If they need a tweak, tie a little bow on the hanger as a reminder.

Hang things back into the closet, sorted by garment type and color.  Find hanging tips HERE.

Then start mixing and matching, either on your body or just laid out on the bed.  Slip a paper clip, small plastic ring or other marker onto the hanger each time you use a garment in a new combination. You’ll quickly start to identify which pieces are working hardest for you and which are not.

Added bonuses:

  • You’ll have lots of new outfit ideas.  Cell phone pics are a great way to help remember them all.
  • You’ll easily determine if your fit-tweak pieces are worth the investment.

Here’s to being the best-dressed YOU in 2020.





About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.


  1. Sherry on January 6, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Nancy Nix Rice,
    What a difference the tailoring made ! The formerly boxy jacket and the straight skirt made one visual solid block appearance, but the tailoring made va va voom !

    • Nancy Nix Rice on January 6, 2020 at 5:08 pm

      Indeed! I was super happy with the results for sure. What items in your own closet could benefit from a fit tweak? Especially tpering, shich is so easy and so impactful!

      • Sherry on January 7, 2020 at 1:22 pm

        Nancy Nix Rice,
        Most of my tops and jackets could benefit from alterations . I only have one skirt and no dresses, so that makes me a pants wearer. I am on a weight loss style of eating so that I can finally wear belts again and accent my waistline as my own personal alteration” !

        • Nancy Nix Rice on January 7, 2020 at 4:17 pm

          I always feel there is no more gratifying alterations than those requird after a wanted weight reduction. Congrats on your progress.

  2. Carole Martin on January 6, 2020 at 7:05 pm

    Hello Nancy Nix-Rice,
    Thank you for your endless inspiration. The ‘brown skirt’ story is such a helpful reinforcement. I’ve been able to rethink and repurpose garments thanks to attending your workshops in the past. This story about brown opens up more opportunities. And scarves, yes, yes, yes…what a difference they make in wardrobe embellishments.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on January 6, 2020 at 7:22 pm

      Great to hear about your successes. It really is so easy when you understand the concepts, isn’t it? You go girl!

  3. Cookie on January 10, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    I would love to see how they altered the inside of that jacket. Live your Craftsy videos.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on January 16, 2020 at 6:40 am

      I had to go look inside myself. Happily there is alomst nothing to see. I am lucky to have an incredibly talented alterations guy, because I hate doing them myself – would much prefer to make somethig from scratch. But here’s what he did. The back has a yoke, so he started just below that and tapered the center back seam inward toward the waist and back out at the bottom edge (what looks like a bottom and is really a topstitched deep hem). The sleeves are set in flat, so the side seam extends right into the underarm sleeve seam. He started at the underarm and again tapered the shape inward toward the waist and back out toward the hem. Using perfectly matched thread and even matched stitch size he serged away the excess seam allowances and re-stithed the hem. God Bless Bernardo!

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