The short answer is no. When you clean out your closet you won’t be left with nothing. You won’t be wandering the sidewalks naked. I’ve never worked with someone who had no gems left in their closet.

The more nuanced answer is: you won’t be left with nothing, but / and also, it might feel that way for a little while. 

When you do a thorough closet clean out, you get rid of a lot of stuff! For such small spaces in our homes, our closets manage to hold far more than they seem capable of. In that way closets are kind of like tardi (tardises? tardious?) they’re smaller on the outside. 

In comparison, what’s left feels like nothing. But that’s only in comparison. 

When you look at your newly spacious closet without the comparison to your overstuffed & overflowing closet, the reality is you have clothes for weeks! 

When you clean out your closet you’re getting rid of things you didn’t wear anyway. You just looked at them every day. 

Just like when you get rid of the clutter on the dining room table (in my case, accumulations of mail) the table looks surprisingly empty. When they’re gone it looks like something is missing because you grew accustomed to seeing the piles of mail.

When you clean out your closet it can look empty instead of spacious – at least for a little while, until your standards readjust. 

If you’re having “post closet clean out, nothing to wear” stress…

When you clean out your closet and it feels like you have nothing to wear, start thinking of it as getting straight to the good stuff without having to sift through clutter. 

This worry about having fewer options to wear, is a common worry when it comes to cleaning out your closet. Even if you intellectually know they were false options because you never wore them anyway and probably were never going to. 

It’s one of the unconscious thoughts that derails you halfway through the process. 

Remind yourself the next time you’re cleaning out your closet and are worried you’ll have nothing left:

  1. You have gems already hanging in your closet that absolutely delight you. 
  2. You will not be walking the streets naked. 
  3. It may feel like you have nothing to wear compared to before. But really, you just got rid of false choices. 

And finally, cleaning out your closet is just one of the steps to leveling up your style, to being you as hard as you can, and to building and keeping the wardrobe you love. 

Don’t stop partway through the process, here are the rest of the steps, in case you want a reminder. 

You have gems, you have options, you don’t need empty closet calories.