Wow! Thank you so much for the amazing response to last week’s Blog Post. I’m so excited to have you join me on this journey to Sewing with a Plan. In Step 1 of SWAP, we will declutter our wardrobes. I’ve done the work ahead of time in order to guide you through the process. Are you ready? Grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea, a snack, and let’s dive in.



Before we begin decluttering our wardrobes, I want to address an issue that several women brought up in response to the Series. They expressed an interest in discovering their style. I think this is essential in helping us to know what kind of garments we should be sewing for ourselves. However, I believe the topic of personal style is a complicated one on which I have no expertise. Therefore, I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Glenda K. Harrison. In her book, TRUE STYLE—A Look Beyond the Surface, she describes style as: “an integrated life – when all aspects, including wardrobe, are in harmony.” While uncovering the six layers that reveal who we are on the inside, she helps us to understand the difference between style and fashion. I enjoyed reading Glenda’s book when she launched it last year, and walked away with a better understanding about how personal style affects every other area of our lives, including wardrobe. I recommend this quick read if you need to discover your own personal style.


Glenda will be joining us next week to give away a copy of her book. If you’d like to enter for a chance to win True Style—A Look Beyond the Surface, you must be subscribed to this blog, then ENTER DRAWING HERE (Drawing Closed). All entries must be submitted by Friday, November 23rd at 11:59 pm, Pacific Time. The winner will be announced next Wednesday, November 28th. If you can’t wait, and want a copy right away, you may order HERE now.  To learn more about Glenda, you may contact and follow her on these sites: Website / YouTube / Instagram 



Now that we’ve addressed personal style, let’s move into our closets. This is a crucial step in our SWAP. The purpose of decluttering is to make room for garments that create a more functional wardrobe. Let’s begin.


You’re gonna need some boxes and packing tape. Label your boxes as follows:

  1. 1. Donate (Create a generic charity box, or identify specific charities for your donations)
  2. 2. Sale (Yard Sale, Consignment Store, Online Sites, etc.)
  3. 3. Family/Friends (Relatives, Friends, Co-Workers, Classmates)
  4. 4. Your Title (You have total control over where your items will go.)


As you remove items from your closet, put them directly into the boxes, taping them closed as they fill up. I’ve given you 6 Rounds to complete the purge. If you can get it all done in fewer rounds, go for it. Take your time and don’t feel obligated to finish in one day.


A note about Round 4: Notice I said “CONSIDER” removing these sentimental items. I realize that some of us have things in our closets that were given to us by loved ones who are no longer with us, or items that have special meaning for various other reasons. You must use your own judgement as to whether or not it’s time to remove the items.


After going through all six rounds, if you feel the need to continue, by all means, keep going until you have decluttered your closet of all items that are no longer functional. After you’re done, get the boxes out of the house as soon as you can. Don’t allow the temptation to remain in your space. Whatever you do, DO NOT RE-OPEN THOSE BOXES!!!

When your purge is complete, take some time to organize what you have left. Group all like items together, and enjoy your new space. I was able to declutter my closet in one full day and I’m already reaping the benefits because I no longer need to flip through the clutter to find an outfit. Your purge may take more or less time, depending on the current state of your space and time availability.  Once I started, there was no stopping me. I purged the shoes, hats and handbags too. I even decluttered all my drawers. Hahaha!!! This girl was on a role. Exhale! I’m ready to take the next step.


I see at least 4 pairs that have been in the closet for years, and I never wore them. Shaking my head!


Wow! Look at all the beige and white hats. They’re all the same. WOW! Note to self: Check your stash before buying another hat.


I don’t have a large handbag stash, but there are still way more than I use. These were just taking up space.


I can still wear the pieces that are left in my closet. However, once I start sewing again, most of them will be replaced because, while I like them, I’m not in love with every piece. I want to LOVE my wardrobe.


There it is folks! That’s all I have left in my closet. I asked my sons what they thought. One said it looks the same, and the other said it’s still a lot. Who asked them? Boys!!! Hahaha!


Are you ready to work? Talk to me! Tell me what your takeaway is from this post. If you have any tips you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments below. Do you have questions? I’d love to hear your feedback.


After decluttering your closet, you’ll be one step closer to Sewing with a Plan. Next week we will move into the planning stage. I encourage you to complete Step 1 first, before moving ahead. See you here next week!


I would love to see photos of your journey. When posting to social media, please use the tag #anitabydesign. Let’s share our progress along the way.

I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

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This Post Has 76 Comments

    1. Ms. Hunt

      I am extremely excited and thank you for helping decluttering my closet and life. ?

  1. juanita

    Thank you

  2. Sandra

    Hi Anita
    Good to read this. Can you help please? I am a yoyo dieter and my wardrobe goes from a few size 10 up to a few size 20 and a whole lot in between. So although I may not have worn something for a long time, it is quite probable that I will. I have erred before and got rid of items and then regretted it big time. How should I approach this? My wardrobes are about to burst their seams! Thank you x

    1. Agnes Dalton

      Try keeping only keeping what size fits you now. Sew something new if your size changes again. Then maybe look at some dietary help? I do NOT mean weight loss- just a healthier pattern than yo-yo dieting and large weight fluctuations. That’s unhealthy. Get help finding a weight you can settle at. I was like you too- and found having pretty larger size clothes made me too casual about over eating. The smaller clothes would then make me despair-diet strictly until I fitted them again- and continue the whole merry-go-round again. Live for who you are today- not the past smaller or future larger size. It really clears your head.?

  3. Vernita Francis

    Hi Anita……thank you so much for this blog…I so need to do all of this…..I am retired now as of 1/1/19 so let’s see if I can make this work…or some of it anyway….lol…I am not sure I really know my STYLE….but going get the book to see if that will help…Oh and I agree with your sons….you still have a LOT of shoes….lol…..
    Again thank you

  4. MonicaAD

    Loving this Anita!!! FIESTA 🙂

  5. Elizabeth

    Wow, you made so much good progress here! I try and do this periodically, and it’s about time for another round. I need to figure out a way to organize my closet for different seasons. The cold has hit us and it’ll last in some capacity probably off and on until May (we often have what my family and I call “Sprinter–Spring + Winter”).
    Sometimes Sprinter replaces Spring entirely which is always a little dicey because it means your true Spring things need to be available but also the Winter items too for when we have inevitable Spring snows!

    1. Anita Morris

      Oh dear, that Sprinter is funny! I understand the struggle about organizing the closet for the seasons. I suppose that’s something I’ll have to think of in the future too. I’m sure there are great articles we can find to help us I that area. I think it’s great that you purge periodically. I plan to do that also moving forward.

  6. Lynette R. Patrice

    Hi Anita ~ I’m tuned to the Zoom broadcast as I’m reading your post. Since I live in NY, I have seasonal clothes. So when I take down my winter clothes from my attic this weekend and swap (ha-ha) my summer clothes, that is when I will purge. I fortunately work in a building that also has a place called The Closet that helps people in need for clothing, so I look forward to donating to them and I also give clothes to my mother (she loves when I purge). I am definitely looking forward to this task. Thank you so much

    1. Anita Morris

      Great idea, Lynette! I love that you have a place to take your donations on a regular basis. Mom is blessed! Hahaha! Have fun with your seasonal purging.

  7. Keenie28

    GREAT post, Anita–and so timely. . .I REALLY need to do this! I learned an additional tip to use when cleaning out your closet: ask yourself, “if I saw this item in a store today, would I buy it?” If the answer is NO, it leaves the closet. Easier said than done, of course. 😉

    1. Sadelina Dowling

      That’s a great tip! ?
      I’ve bought a few items for sale on FB Marketplace and I’m wowed by the stuff for sale sometimes. So I’ve started asking myself, ‘If this was for sale at Walmart for $_, would I buy it?’ That’s helped me see the stuff for sale as more junk I don’t need! Haha! ?

    2. Anita Morris

      That’s a great tip! Have fun decluttering your wardrobe.

  8. Teresa P

    Thanks lady! With your help I actually got rid of 3 bags of clothes! Hubby is glad but I still have a little ways to go!

    1. Anita Morris

      Yeeesss, Teresa, YES! Congratulations! Doesn’t it feel great! This makes me so happy!

  9. Miranda

    Finished Rounds 1 through 4. Phew. Thanks again for doing this series

    1. Anita Morris

      Phew! Yes, Miranda! So glad you’re getting it done. You’re gonna love it when you’re done. So glad to have you with me on this journey.

  10. Senait Bacon

    I’m glad I finally read this post. I’m on my way to my overstuffed closet right now! I’m just ready for a totally decluttered LIFE!!!

    1. Anita Morris

      Yeeesss, Serait! YES, sister! Get it done! You’re gonna love the feeling you get walking into your closet afterwards. That decluttered LIFE is liberating! I’m living it and loving it.

  11. Anita Morris

    Yes, Darlene! It will work for any size closet. OMGosh! I have way more hats than I need. Believe me when I say that these were just a few. I will probably purge more later, but I never wear these anymore.

  12. Janetta

    I can’t wait to declutter my closets.

    1. Anita Morris

      Janetta, you’re gonna a love the results and how great you feel afterwards.

  13. Natalie

    Something I have found useful is an app where I take a picture of each item of clothing and I can see when I’m shopping for clothes, buying patterns/fabric what I already have. It stops me buying the same black cardigan again (I do have a few still but at least they are different style wise!).

    It also is fantastic for creating capsule wardrobes for travel and a packing list.

    The initial set up was a bit time consuming but now I can just add as I buy/make, even copying the photo from the website if it’s something available online.

    I also use it to create purge lists from time to time.

    1. Anita Morris

      Love, love, love this tip, Natalie! Thank you so much for sharing.

  14. angel

    OOh, Anita! This sounds so good right about now. My personal style icons are Jessye Norman and Whoopie Goldberg. I love to wear turbans, overflowing capes, dramatic coats, and cloches, but I work in the operating room on the night shift! I need just regular clothes for work, and save my kimonos, tunics,for home. I think I need to buy the book. It is going to be hard for me to purge, please hold my hand!

    1. Anita Morris

      Hahaha! I’ve got you, Angel! You can DO THIS! I promise you’ll feel so much better afterwards. Let’s GO!

  15. Michelle Hersilia

    Love what you are doing and I am going to do the same but right now I have to take it easy as I just had surgery a couple of days ago but as soon as I am back on I will be tackling that task. Much love Anita ❤️?❤️

    1. Anita Morris

      Oh Michelle, I wish you a complete recovery from your surgery. Yes, please take your time. The posts will be here for you to follow along whenever you’re ready.

  16. Carol N

    Oh My, I am in!!! I will be performing step 1 this weekend. I have a goal to have a fully me-made wardrobe I LOVE as well and this was the kick I needed to get started. Thank you Anita!

    1. Anita Morris

      Yes, Carol! So glad to have you join me. Have fun decluttering your closet.

  17. Kathy Dickinson

    Thank you for this! I needed a kick up the bum to get motivated and you have done this! My wardrobe is in a disgusting mess, I have soooo many clothes that I haven’t worn in such a long time and I love the way you set out the four boxes. The sentimental things I just couldn’t part with are now pillows, sort of like a memory blanket, so at least that side of things have been dealt with. As it’s almost 9pm here in the UK, I’ll have to make a start tomorrow…but I will be doing just that and making a start. I too am like you, once you start you can’t stop and really get “on a roll” so I am confident I can complete the task TOMORROW!! Thank you again for this post and looking forward to next week. Take care xx

    1. Anita Morris

      Oh Kathy, I totally understand! I absolutely LOVE your idea about making pillows with the sentimental items. OMGosh! That is just so clever. I can do that! Thank you so much for sharing that tip. Have fun decluttering your wardrobe. See you here next week.

  18. Monique

    What a great way to declutter. I’m on it when I return home. Traveling to the in loves for the weekend. I really want to get back to dressing for work. I fell of when the dress code went more casual. Thank you as I’m all in with this one. Great posts on SWAP!!

    1. Anita Morris

      Yes, Monique! Enjoy the rest of your family time. Have fun with your decluttering step.

  19. Alethia

    I am exhausted everytime I open my closet door. This step is a must for me. I started, then I chickened out. I must do this!

    1. Anita Morris

      OMGoodness, Alethia! I promise you that I understand what you’re saying. When I tell you I feel so light going into my closet now, I’m serious. You have me cracking up that you chickened out. LOL! Do it girl! Complete it!

  20. Mirline K

    Hi Anita, I like this series and glad you’ve put it together. And so I’m looking forward to the planning phase. I’m actually already ahead of the game as I like to purge my closet every season. But I do have a few issues; since I hardly shop for store brought clothing, I tend to hold on certain items just Incase I may need to wear it, also I can’t seem to keep my closet organized once it’s been cleared out. And the biggest issue is I have way to many unfinished projects …. please help!!!

    1. Anita Morris

      OooWeee! Mirline, first let me say, “YOU GO GIRL!” So awesome that you purge every season. Girl, I’m following your lead. I love that! Okay, you know I’m laughing about you holding on to items in case you need to wear them. I get it! LOL! Now about those UFO’s! Keep following the Series. We’re gonna talk about it. I’ll see you here next week.

  21. Susan Child

    Great post Anita! I am in the same camp as Latoria, I will replace items as I make them. When I retire in July, I will have a huge space to fill. I also just ordered Glenda’s book. Looking forward to the read to confirm “my style”. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

    1. Anita Morris

      Awesome Susan! Yes, take your time and make it work for your situation. Congratulations on ordering the book.

  22. Rachel Ade Moore

    I have started purging while moving to the new house and this post actually fit into my plan like you said i have to remove sentiments from some clothes and let them go just to create more space. Thanks again and looking forward to the next move..God bless you Big Sist

    1. Anita Morris

      Great Rachel! Purging while moving is a great idea. There have been a couple of great tips in the comments for dealing with sentimental items. Check it out. See you here next week.

  23. Helen Greenwell

    Ooh Sister, I am so ready for this! We moved a year ago and I did some purging but I swear things have multiplied since then! I’ll let you know how it goes!

    1. Anita Morris

      Yeeesss! So glad to have you join me on this step, Helen! WooHoo! It multiplies so quickly!!! Have fun purging and, yes, let me know how it goes.

  24. Angela Y Phillips

    Wow, Anita that’s alot of work. I’m proud of you. My closet has already been cleaned out and organized. But my two storages of clothes and alot of personal items I have to decutter. I have so much stuff, I have hired a decludder/organizer to help me. My storages are over loaded. Soon as I finish my online coirses for this semester. I will be started right away.

    1. Anita Morris

      Oh wow, Angela! That is a lot of stuff. Well good for you for getting help. If it’s too overwhelming, someone else will probably be a great help.

  25. Lola

    Hey Anita! Great idea! I will tackle this over the weekend. I already have a few things in mind that I want to get rid of. I organized my wardrobe a few months ago but another look will do some good especially since it was in the summer. Have a peaceful weekend with your family and friends.

    1. Anita Morris

      Awesome Lola! Have fun purging!

  26. Janine Helligar

    Hi, Anita.

    I’ve always be a minimalist. But with age, my personal style has changed. While I still love the looks of my younger years, they just don’t speak to the woman I am today. So my closet has been rather bare for the last year as I worked on figuring out a new direction.

    Thankfully, I now have a direction.

    As for sentimental items, here’s a tip: Take a picture of the item, and then let the item go on to live another life somewhere else. Think of it as passing it on to someone who may really need that item right NOW and who can really benefit from it. Not to be morbid, but I like to think of this as akin to organ donation.

    But it’s OK to keep one or two things if you just can’t, because one or two things really don’t take up very much space. My mum has a dress my grandmother used to wear. Grandma has been gone 28 years! And do you do that dress still deeply smells of her! That dress stays!

    Anyhoo, thanks for sharing. You actually let go of quite a bit, so you get an A+ in my books!

    1. Anita Morris

      Oh Yaaayyy! Janine, I love how you are so focused. Thank you so much for the tip on dealing with sentimental items. Great tip!

  27. Dawn

    I like your plan for de-cluttering. I have recently done that after a 42 pound weight loss and now my closet looks pretty empty. I just recently started sewing garments again after quite a few years of not doing so and am really excited about making myself some new clothes to suit my current lifestyle.

    1. Anita Morris

      Yes, Dawn! I’m so glad to hear you’ve already done this and are moving forward with a plan.

  28. Rema

    Hi Anita. I recently moved and had to purge my closet(s). I was actually ashamed of all the clothes that I had but not wearing?. I, like many others, want to have more “me made” clothes in my closet. As one of the other ladies mentioned. I too will continue to replace my current wardrobe as “me made” clothes are completed. I’m looking forward to Step #2.

    1. Anita Morris

      Rema, I love it! Yes, I’m replacing everything with me-made too. There were only a few RTW pieces left anyway. I’m so excited to be starting over.

  29. LaToria

    Hi Anita, as I read this blog I thought about the conversation we had about how I feel when I wear my RTW clothes which have been in my closet a very long time.

    My Plan is as I make a garment I will remove a garment from my closet. I want my closet to be at least 80% of what I make (for now). Because I sew for other people I don’t sew for myself as much as I would like to.

    1. Anita Morris

      Yes, LaToria, I remember that conversation. You have to work at your own pace. I understand your sewing time being split between makes for clients and yourself. That’s a challenge in itself. Look forward to seeing you transform your wardrobe too.

  30. Gwendolyn Styles

    Good going Anita, hopefully I can do the same soon. I’ m running back and forth to hospital to visit mom. Hopefully I can join you ladies real soon to get started!

    1. Anita Morris

      Hi Gwendolyn! I’m sorry to hear that your mom is in the hospital. I pray she is well soon. Yes, take your time. The Series will be here when you’re ready. Thanks for reading.

  31. Jc

    Hi Anita! Grest ideas! My problem is I don’t have space to categorize anything. I’ve been back in family home for 4 years. I’m sharing a closet (will share rest later)

    1. Anita Morris

      Oh dear, JC! That’s a situation that I’m sure can be addressed. Purging your wardrobe should really help in that situation because you won’t require as much space. Maybe you can add a clothes rack to your bedroom, if there’s space.

  32. Cynthia Willis

    I saw things in the leaving pile, and I remember when you sewed them, lol! I just recently purged my closet, and am still clearing out more, as I need less and the stuff in there didn’t fit (weight loss, not gain!). I was in a group challenge to sew all my garments for a year, and after 6 months I left the group as I felt that a lot of the sewing would be making garments for only one purpose. I want to love what’s in my closet, too! Good article!

    1. Anita Morris

      OMGosh Cynthia! I KNOOOOW! Yep, those challenges can really throw us off course and add to the problem if we’re not careful. Glad to hear you’ve already purged your closet.

  33. Angie J

    Wow Awesome Anita. I know I need this because I have a closet that I don’t even really go into and that’s because the stuff in there is old. Something I can probably do this 4 day holiday weekend. Thank you again for this series.

    1. Anita Morris

      Hey Angie! Yes, the 4-day weekend is such a perfect time to do this. Have fun decluttering your wardrobe. By the way, I love your avatar.

  34. jodie filogomo

    I absolutely love organizing my closet. And funny, i use that same organizer for my purses. But like yours, it’s starting to sag. I keep thinking I need to find something else that’s stronger…(I know..I could just get rid of some purses too…eeek)

    1. Anita Morris

      Yes, Jodie! I definitely need a new purse organizer. Years of too much weight. Hahaha! I have a stronger one on Cecil’s side of the closet but I’m not ready to remove his things. His is much better quality, so I’ll use it one day.

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