How to know you're ready to ask for help cleaning out your closet blog graphic

“Do I have to clean up my closet before you help me?” This question is more common than you might think. It’s usually most explicitly asked by clients looking to add a closet clean out to their coaching package. But it comes up in other ways when you’re looking to hire a personal stylist. So, here’s how to know you’re ready to ask for help cleaning out your closet.

It’s a great question, and there are (at least) two parts. 

Part 1 is logistical: how much of a messy closet is too much of a messy closet? 

Part 2 is emotional: how do you get comfortable enough with your closet to let someone help you get totally comfortable with your closet? 

To address the logistical first: 

The truth is as long as your clothes are physically clean, and you aren’t asking to go through clothes straight out of your dirty laundry hamper, you’re probably good to go. I’ve seen overflowing closets, overstuffed closets, overextended closets; closets that live in suitcases and under beds and in storage units. As long as it’s clean, you’re probably good. 

When we’re doing a closet clean out, it helps to have space to sort clothes into categories as we go through them, so a clear bed is helpful. But if that’s not an option, or if you’d rather not lay things on the bed, we can categorize elsewhere. 

If your closet or bedroom happens to be particularly cramped or tucked in an awkward corner of the room, we may bring the clothes somewhere more spacious – like another room, or even a hallway. But remember, I live in NYC and spent many years working in theater and film, so odd workspaces and I are not strangers. 

Bottom line on logistics before we clean out your closet: 

  1. Do your laundry. 
  2. Make your bed. 
  3. We’ll sort out the rest. 

One final note, if you’re really, really worried about your space or the logistics, send me photos before our appointment (or if you’re considering booking but want to double check first), and ask “is this cleaned up enough? Should we use a different spot for sorting?” 

As you can see, getting logistically ready to ask for help cleaning out your closet is straightforward.

Now to address the emotional side of cleaning out your closet: 

Our closets are intimate spaces. Clothes are some of the most intimate items we own. 

I can’t tell you when you’ll be 100% ready to show me your closet. 

What I can give you are two things to keep an eye out for, and two things to remember. 

To know you’re ready to ask for help cleaning out your closet: keep an eye out for… 

  1. When your fear tips into excitement. This is easier said than done, but there’s a point when the line “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom.” starts resonating. It’s a pretty magical moment, so keep an eye out. 


  1. When you’ve gotten bored of your reasons for delaying (again). When you think about filling out the form to work together, and repeat to yourself your tried and true reasons not to. And then another inner voice pops up and says “this reasoning is tired, ‘do or do not, there is no try.’” Keep an eye out for this too. 

Sometimes they happen in conjunction, and sometimes independently. But whichever you spot – run with it. When one of those happens, that’s how you know you’re ready to ask for help cleaning out your closet.

And remember, when we’re working together: 

  1. You decide what stays and what goes. I am here to help you reach your decision.
  2. You can always say “I’m not ready to go through this pile, we’ll save these for a later date.” And we’ll save them for a later date.

Feeling the need to clean your closet before hiring someone to help you clean out your closet can be quite the conundrum. Our clothes play an important part in how we see ourselves and inviting someone to help you change will trigger resistance. 

Just don’t let that resistance stop you forever. 

When you notice fear tip into excitement or you’re bored of your excuses, it’s time to act, so reach out for help. 

And always remember that you won’t be left with “nothing to wear.”