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My Minimalist Inspired Tiny Washington, DC Closet Clear

Oh my! Us stylists can have closet issues too.

Below is my closet before. Quite the mess. This year, I spent so much of my free time helping clients with their wardrobes that I had little time left for my own.

One thing about living in Washington, DC – generally, closet space is minimal. To add to the clutter problem, my closets doubled as storage space too.


Then one day over the summer, I was at The Container Store picking up velvet hangers for a client.

The shopping bag challenged me, as I left the store.

“Contain Yourself!”


I headed back inside.

Two hours later, armed with all the organizational tools necessary to contain myself, I headed home to my incredibly disorganized closets.

The Purge

I created my piles; keep, toss, maybe and alterations. After all was said and done – there were still more clothes than room. Realistically, my tiny DC closets could not to hold much.

Obviously this was a problem.

Faced with reality, I considered the hanging space I actually had – without crowding. Forty hangers fit comfortably between my two closets. I show one of the closets in this post, so you get the idea of what I was faced with.

I placed my hanger rations in the closet. Took a deep breath. And purged some more.

Embracing Minimalism

It’s hard to pare down to simply the essentials. At that moment, Marie Kondo’s  minimalist philosophy, which I discovered in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up  last year made perfect sense to me. 

The thing about purging that deeply is it impacted my psyche beyond simply evaluating the necessity of each item in my wardrobe. What did I want most in my life? What no longer served me, but I clung to simply for security – afraid to let go?

For example, I loved my orange leather jacket, but how often did I wear it? I loved the color, but not so much the style. I was hanging onto what I wished the jacket to be. And it was taking up precious space. Was nothing better going to come along? Could I not wait for what I really wanted? I hadn’t worn that orange leather jacket for the past three seasons. (My benchmark to toss an item is two) 

Once I embraced the here and now, everything fit beautifully:

Post Clear

As this recent Wall Street journal article Tips For Taming Your Wild Facebook Feed suggests – we need to “Marie Kondo” more than just our closets – we need to pare down our social feeds too.

Multiple feeds, opportunities, and requests compete for attention by the minute. This clutter takes up time and energy, like the extra items taking up precious space in our closets.

Since my closet clear, I have been  paring down my life – taking out activities that are not a reflection of my core talents and ambitions.

Also, focusing on my personal contribution more – material things less.

The image consulting business, Ambitious Attire LLC, launched full time in September as a result. And although the full time business was not my specific goal this year, having an image consulting business was my life’s dream.

Key Takeaway

Embracing minimalism led me to question what is important to me. Having minimal space, like time, compelled me to pare down to the essentials.

The result was a sharpened life focus.



P.S. Do you have a closet clearing success story to share? I’d love to hear it.

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