8 Things I Learned From Cleaning 9 Bags of Clothes Out of My Closet

Cleaning out my closet is a scary task. I tend to hold on to things much longer than I should; allow my drawers and racks turn into a chaotic mess that no, mom, I am not too proud of; and inevitably end up going down memory lane, which takes up time I do not have. Despite getting the jitters every time I cleanse a piece of clothing from my life, I also experience an extreme high once the cleansing actually starts. I get everything must go! energy, and the next thing you know, I have no pants. It's a slippery slope, my friends, and clearly I cannot be trusted to clean out my closet all on my own. That's where Tradesy comes in.

Tradesy is a peer-to-peer marketplace (meaning you can both buy and sell) for women's luxury fashion, but it also has a new concierge service that, when I first heard about, felt like it was concocted for me and my obstructive organizational ways. This service is essentially your one-stop shop for expert assistance while purging, organizing, and selling or donating your clothing. How it works is this: Two concierge stylists come to your home and help you with the aforementioned tasks. Two strangers in my apartment going through my hell hole of a closet? No, thank you. But also, by all means, have at it. I signed up and haven't been happier about a decision in a long time.

Professional Closet OrganizationTips



In an effort to avoid as much embarrassment as possible, I naturally pre-cleaned as much of my closet. When the two (adorable and extremely friendly, might I add) stylists came over for my service, they laughed at me as I walked them through my piles of T-shirts, denim, dresses, outerwear, and knitwear, as I essentially just did a large portion of what they came over to do for them. Or at least, I thought I had. It wasn't until they pulled out their own clothing rack, took all (yes, all) of my clothes out of my closet, rehung every item, and made me go through everything section by section that I realized the work here had only just begun.

A little background knowledge on these Tradesy concierge stylists: "The Tradesy Closet Concierge Stylists are a group of highly vetted professionals from design schools, fashion houses, and beyond. Items collected by stylists for resale will be sold on Tradesy. This program offers not only a high-touch, personalized service, but it also offers women the opportunity to make the most out of the items they resell. The tiered commission structure is the lowest in the industry, enabling women to make up to twice as much as with other resellers."

Oh, yeah, and they take everything away and sell it for you. No there's no catch, as these girls really do all the nitty-gritty for you, but they teach you invaluable closet organizational skills along the way. Long story short, after this experience, I was left 9 huge bags of clothes lighter, a pristine-looking closet, and closet organization tips that will stay with me forever.

Read on below as my stylists, Jacquelyn Beaulieu and Maggie Boynton, in addition to Kamini Rangappan Lane, chief marketing officer of Tradesy, spill their expert tips and tricks for ensuring you clean out your closet to the best of your ability every time. Some of them you might already practice, but I can promise you that most of these tips rocked my world, and I hope they rock yours too.

If you haven't worn it in the past two years, it's time for it to go.

"A rule we try and live by is if you haven't worn it in the past two years, it's time for it to go." — Jacquelyn Beaulieu "The goal is to have a closet full of pieces that you love. If there are pieces that don't excite you, let's make room for pieces that will." — Maggie Boynton

Hang on to pieces you can style in multiple ways.

"We recommend hanging on to pieces that are versatile and can be styled in multiple ways. We find, especially in New York City, keeping the versatile pieces creates a more functional day-to-day wardrobe." — Beaulieu

Professional Closet OrganizationTips



Physically remove everything from your closet.

"One of the most important tricks we like to share is the actual removal of every piece of clothing from its current home. Seeing everything on a rack like we use [during the personal concierge service] or even on your bed will give you a completely new view of the clothes that you already own. This also helps with seeing your volume of clothes and accessories—do you really wear all 10 of these light-washed distressed jeans?" — Beaulieu

"Taking out every piece is also the best and easiest way to rediscover forgotten treasures!" — Boynton

Evaluate your personal style.

"Evaluating your personal style before you start your edit will help you decide the pieces that no longer fit your lifestyle. This will make your editing experience much less overwhelming." — Boynton

Professional Closet OrganizationTips



Keep items you always pull for.

"Out of those 10 pairs of similar jeans, which ones fit best, which do you pull for the most, and which are you always glancing over? These questions should help you decide which are the best pairs to keep." — Boynton

Velvet nonslip hangers save the most space.

"Velvet nonslip hangers are the most aesthetically pleasing and save space to allow for the most functional closet possible. A streamlined look in your closet helps you see exactly what is in there without messy distraction." — Beaulieu

Merchandise your closet.

"We love merchandising our clothes in color and sleeve length order, i.e., light to dark and sleeveless to long sleeve. This helps us know exactly where to go when looking for something in our closet." — Boynton

"Color coordinate! Color coordinating will not only look amazing, but it will also help you see all of your clothes in the same category, which sparks more creativity when you get dressed. Your closet will be a fun and inviting place for you to come and create great looks that allow you to feel your best!" — Kamini Rangappan Lane

Flip the hanger.

"If you're hesitant to do a big clear out of your closet, a great trick to try first is to look through your closet and turn the hanger the opposite way if you haven't worn the piece at all the year before. In six months, for the hangers that are still flipped, it's time for those pieces to go. That will give you the chance to clear out some pieces, making room for new ones!" — Rangappan Lane

Shop pieces I'm adding to my made-over closet