shutterstock_153051167What’s living in your nest?

Different species of birds use different materials to build their nests. Some use twigs, sticks, weeds, spider webs, lichens, insect cocoons, feathers, moss and even dryer lint! Might this sound like your closets?

Both you and your house have earned the chance to breath a little now that there is newfound space sans the backpacks, smelly cleats and the boom-boom music. So, let’s play Monopoly and reclaim your property!

Speaking of breathing – your weary wardrobe has potentially been living in dark, cramped quarters for 18 years now. Who knows what the hell is even in there? Pretty sure as you dig deeper you will uncover decades of fashion faux pas, items too small or too big (just think I’ll save that maternity shirt as a comfy hang around – did you really say that? Are those not milk stains on the front?) Get a grip!

As you are reading now, are you already second-guessing yourself? ‘If I show up at the grocery store tomorrow having showered, wearing something other than my Lulu’s, and sporting lipstick, will they think I am having an affair, a breakdown or mourning the college bound geeks?’

Who the hell cares what they think – this is your time, sister, and well deserved. You will clean your closets and will personally take over every square inch of vacated space! Perhaps it is a bit pre-mature to turn their bedroom into a full blown yoga studio, but you can push all the unsecured crap to one side, set up your mats, buy your own boom-boom box, light some sage candles and hang a do-not-disturb sign on the door.

Once you emerge from your zen-zone, you can get started taking over the following:

Snack cabinets – move out Frito Lay, the kids are gone! Use this new space for wool scarves, gloves, boots & umbrellas – all things you don just before walking out the door.

Linen closets – what the hell, they cleaned you out of mattress pads, pillows, sheets and towels anyway. This can become your fabulous shoe closet – proof in the pudding below.

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Downstairs hall closets – seriously – do you see how much room there is now without the name-any-school embroidered fleece category in there? You might even be able to move Grandma Moses’ raccoon coat in there (for another few decades of non-wearing storage). Again – seriously, move on!

The actual vacated teen’s bedroom closet – here’s a newsflash honey, anything a teen leaves behind is dead to them. Ever heard Mr. Wonderful on the Shark Tank use that term? Your missing-males will NEVER miss those NFL sweatshirts or cargo shorts – mostly because that is all they will buy in the future anyway. Your gone-gals wouldn’t be caught dead in something that is over one, yes I said “one”, season old. That is why they buy that crap at Forever 21 – because it will forever only be worth 21 cents. And Heaven forbid they would show up on Facebook twice with the same outfit on. It is called disposable clothing for a reason; they left it behind, now dispose of it!

What to do with this lovely new space of yours? Well if it is a closet with a long hanging rod, the decision is obvious – that becomes your dress closet. Line those soldiers up left to right- casual to dressy. And yes, take the stupid yellowed (now a verb) plastic bags off and assess those babies with a stern eye. If you are invited to a black tie tomorrow night, are you going to wear the red sequined Gatsby dress? Probably not – DONATE that. Notice I did not say consign – seriously what consignment shop wants to hold a red Gatsby dress in stock for five years waiting for Daisy Buchanan to walk in?

Is there an empty set of dresser drawers? I can hear your bras rejoicing now. No more cups folded in half like a double serving ice cream cone! Your Wonder Bras are going to happily spread out full frontal!  Check out the condition of those bras – make sure they are current (within 2 years), they fit (no over or under allowed) and that they flatter! See the tips on boobs, baubles and back fat!


Second drawer down – your underwear – however that is defined for you. Thongs (aka hair scrunchies), bikinis, thigh highs, boy shorts, and big girl panties – the list is endless. However the quantity should have a limit. If you have the same undies that you wore after birthing those gone-geekers, throw them away!

DIY tip – You can make a completely customizable set of drawer dividers with just scissors and shoe boxes so you can keep those items together by category and then be able to shop with purpose in your own newly created lingerie department.

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One more drawer? Lets talk hosiery, socks and stockings. Purge…fat socks that your mom bought you to be warm but could never-ever fit into an actual shoe. Dump those – wear slippers. As for the pre-lycra pantyhose or L’eggs Egg era stockings, get them the heck out of Dodge. Only keep what you actually wear – remember my 3 F’s – it must fit, flatter and function!

Well lordy lordy. Your old closet is breathing – I can hear it from down the hall! Let’s head on down and make that a happy place.

It’s most likely double hung so we’ll chat about that scenario. First hang the tops on the top and the bottoms on the bottom. What a concept – approaching your wardrobe in the same manner as your physical being! It is so much easier to visualize an outfit coming together when your closet is set up in an intuitive way. Next – invest in the soft grip skinny velvet hangers – once and done ladies! Pitch the plastic tube crap, the Target giveaway junk and the one-inch thick wooden man hangers – even your heaviest jackets do not need those! You will fit three times more product in the same space.


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Check out a few before / after closet makeovers!

Lastly reintroduce your garments to your closet in an intuitive fashion, left to right. Sleeveless, short sleeve, long sleeve silkies, long sleeve wovens, lightweight sweaters (they love the soft grip hangers and then are not a wrinkled mess when you go to wear them), and then jackets. All clothing should run white to black within each category. Bottom bar will house pants running left to right – jeans, casual pants, dress pants (again white to black within those parameters). Then skirts – same theory!

Now add some lavender sachets and a fluorescent light if you do not have one. You need to be able to see what you are shopping for; after all if the nest is empty, you ARE a bit older!

Sound like too much work for you? Let me navigate this for you, once and done. I will determine what size you should be wearing, shopping for, and what tailoring measurements you should be targeting. Want it done the right way so you can actually enjoy shopping again while wasting less time and money?

Book a complimentary Boost Your Image Breakthrough Session with me. We’ll chat about building and budgeting your wardrobe. Then we’ll move on to your closet, your image and whatever else comes up! I look forward to ‘meeting’ you on the phone!

Doreen Dove empowers women to use style as a tool to take strategic control of their image. She is an image consultant, personal stylist and professional speaker. Her extensive background in all aspects of retail has uniquely qualified her to work with women of all ages and professions, coaching them to personal style success.


My Empty Nest Is A Mess! was last modified: by

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