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Video: ‘Nothing to Wear?’ Try cleaning out your closet

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    >>> how many times have we all stood in front of our closets and uttered those five dreaded words, i have nothing to wear? counter intuitive as it might sound, getting ritd of 75% of your wart droeb can drobe can actually g ive you more options. jill martin is here with pam who was brave enough to turn her closet over to jill . good morning to all of you. quick, jill , 75% of your closet , are you crazy?

    >> i know it seems extreme. once you get in there and start to declutter you find things and you're like, what is this doing in my closet ? it's just about -- like weight loss, take that first step.

    >> speaking of, here's jill taking a look at your closet . let's see.

    >> pam , what is this situation here?

    >> i'm a lawyer, so i tend to work crazy hours. when i wake up in the morning i just want whatever i need to wear in the day accessible to me. this is what i end up with.

    >> but i think a lot of women can relate to this. the first step to fixing this is admitting you have a problem.

    >> i have a problem.

    >> the second step is finding a friend to help you sort through. do you have a friend?

    >> i have a friend who cares very much about this.

    >> i think i'm more excited than pam is.

    >> this is a big day for her.

    >> what's her biggest problem?

    >> halloween costumes .

    >> step three, catharsis. we are going to get rid of 75% of the closet . and this is for all women. 75% of your closet does not belong here. are you ready for that?

    >> yes.

    >> high five.

    >> all right.

    >> we're going to make three piles, keep it, donate it, maybe.

    >> this dress. well, this dress has two parts.

    >> i worked my friend's rehearsal dinner in 2007 .

    >> 2007 .

    >> yeah.

    >> does it make you feel great and fabulous?

    >> it does not.

    >> okay.

    >> this is still in the dry-cleaning bag. there's a stain on it. i'm going to make this executive decision . donate. we'll get to the iphone charger box necessary a second. i see shoulder pads. wow! the '80s called and they are looking for one of their tops. oh, i love this. we're getting to the jeans. many women do this. how often do you wear jeans?

    >> almost never.

    >> two pairs you can keep. extra hanger. we love our customers.

    >> they really love me.

    >> because you dry-clean things and you don't know they're there. this has made it into the closet . do you think there's a man out there who would want this? what is this? do you have a child i don't know about? donate. 75% of the shoes are going. they're not perfect, you have to be comfortable.

    >> okay.

    >> oh, wicked witch of the west . i think we need to go to allison for this one.

    >> i can't stop laughing.

    >> dorothy, clicking your heels, and the wicked witch of the west . can we give these away? well, i can barely see you over this pile but you did it. we got rid of 75% of your closet . so now it's time for me to do my work. and you're going to go to lunch. when you come back you're going to have a whole new closet .

    >> i can't wait.

    >> ready?

    >> yes.

    >> get out of here.

    >> brave woman . let's take one last look at pam 's closet before. and then we will reveal the after. and pam , as we look at your new closet , i have to ask you, how does it feel?

    >> i can honestly say at this point that this book and jill and this experience has changed my life.

    >> ally, i know you've been begging pam for years for this.

    >> it was so long overdue. but finally, i think i'm more excited than she is.

    >> jill , how can we assist at home -- this is the reaction. wonderful.

    >> that's my closet ?

    >> how can people achieve this at home?

    >> she's so surprised. this is actually from the container store . you can go in there and design it. we put a chandelier in. i want to show you actually how much we donated.

    >> oh, yes.

    >> 13 bags. this is 75% of her closet .

    >> if people want to know what it looks like, that's it.

    >> that's it.

    >> i want to show you a few ways you can do it at home, inexpensive way. starting at $1.99, bins from the container store . put a quick picture and put your shoes in them. stack it up. huggable hangers will quadruple your room. and then we added a chandelier and pretty.

    >> what is this doing in your closet ?

    >> we didn't have enough light. it's from target. it's pretty and fun. when you get up in the morning you should stand there and say i have something to wear and i feel beautiful. so start your closet cleanse.

    >> stay on the straight and arrow?

    >> yes. i never had so much fun packing and getting dressed and shopping.

    >> i can vouch for that.

    >> jill martin, appreciate it.

    >>> if you need closet cleanout tips, you can subpit your photos and jill may have an intervention for you. we'll

TODAY books
updated 8/16/2011 9:25:55 AM ET 2011-08-16T13:25:55

Is your life marred by an unruly closet? Are you continually unsatisfied with the way your look? In 'I Have Nothing to Wear!,' Jill Martin and Dana Ravich pave the way to path out of that mess to a more fashionable lifestyle. Here's an excerpt.

Admitting You Have a Problem

Is your wardrobe a confusing mess? Do you go through the same grueling process every day when trying to pick an outfit? Do you have too many items in your closet—or all the wrong ones? Do many clothes still have the tags attached even though you didn’t purchase them this week, or even this year? Do you shop just to lift your mood?

Let’s go a step further. Most days do you find yourself in an outfit that is OK, but not great? Do you turn down evening invitations because you’re not happy with the way you look and feel in your outfit, and don’t have time to go home and change after work? Would a stop home help even if you did have time?

Do you lack the confidence to ask for that promotion, or even to speak up in a meeting?

Do you avoid eye contact with the hot guy in your building because you never feel like you look hot enough?

Are you always running late because you can never figure out what to wear? Does everything just spiral downward from there?

Have you, on more occasions than you care to admit, stood in front of an overstuffed closet saying, “I have nothing to wear!”

Well, if you answered “yes” to any or all of the above, the diagnosis is: You have a dysfunctional wardrobe.

Now take a deep breath. Everything’s going to be OK. Don’t feel bad. You are in the vast majority. The good news is there is a cure. So go ahead, admit it! Once you realize that this is a real problem, you’re on the way to fixing it. Yes, fixing it.

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You know how different you feel on days you throw yourself together as opposed to the days you put yourself together. How you feel on the days you wear unflattering clothes because, for whatever reason, they are in your closet and will do, for work anyway, compared with those days you are in a dress that looks like it was made just for you, and you had your hair blown out to boot. Then there are those days that you can’t wait to go home, crawl in bed, and hope for better tomorrow, as opposed to the days you never want to end and feel like you could dance all night.

Are most of your days the thrown-together, crawl-back-in-bed kind of days, rather than the hot-dress, dance-all-night days?

Your closet is disorganized

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Let’s dive into your closet and see what’s going on in there. We’re envisioning shelves holding piles with no rhyme or reason. Pants are mixed with tops, T-shirts with sweaters. The colors are not grouped. Nothing is neatly folded. (You were rushing after you tried everything on in a last-minute panic.)

The rack is overstuffed. You can barely see what’s hanging. Some dresses are mashed behind others. Everything is wrinkled. The pants are not hanging together, nor are the tops, skirts, or dresses. The clothes are all randomly put away, in no particular order, and not arranged by color or any system. Some pieces are even dangling by one end of the hanger. Sound familiar?

Allow us to continue. Your shoes are piled on the floor of your closet. No wonder it sometimes takes twenty minutes just to find the mate to the one you want to wear. And most of them aren’t even comfortable.

Bags are shoved up high on a shelf. You can’t see half of them, let alone reach them. Like your clothes, they are squished and crushed. This is probably not how you planned to treat that bag the day you happily carried it out of the store.

We’re not even going to go into coats and jackets right now. We only hope they are in a separate closet.


Underwear, belts, jewelry. Please tell us these have a proper place. Right now, our best guess is that some belts are still in the pant loops, your jewelry is tangled together in a big pouch, and your underwear is all mixed up.

How can your day possibly start off right if you have to contend with this mess every morning? We’re exhausted just thinking about it!

You have too much stuff

One reason your closet looks like this is that you are afraid to get rid of anything. You think maybe it’ll come back in style. Or you don’t have the time or energy to deal with all that stuff. Or your weight goes up and down. Or you love your college sweatshirts even if they are all XXL.

You spent so much money on those pants. Your sweats are so soft and cozy, even though they have holes and stains. The T-shirts are still sort of white, so you can get away with them. The shoes are only a half-size too small, and you’re not walking very far.

Some people would call this saving for a rainy day. Others would call this hoarding.

However you justify it, rationalize it, or sleep at night with it, having too much clothing is a problem. Don’t worry—help is on the way.

Are you really going to fit into clothes you wore in high school? What if you saved just your favorite college sweatshirt, since it makes you happy? What if you let those expensive pants go, the ones that don’t fit you well? The stained and ripped sweats and the yellowed T-shirts—really!

What if you had a sexy pair of stilettos that actually fit? Instead of all that junk, what if your whole wardrobe reflected the fabulous you of today? Flattered your figure? Made you feel sexy and confident? What if your closet was organized so that finding an outfit was easy and even fun? How would your day be then? Your mood? Your life?

The truth is, the more you collect, keep, and yes, hoard, the less you will value each item. And the less closet space you’ll have! When you keep adding without subtracting, you find yourself in a real closet situation. When you have too much, you can’t possibly see everything you have, can’t keep track of what you have, can’t keep it in perfect condition, and can’t easily find things!

Excerpted from "I Have Nothing to Wear". Copyright @ 2011 by Jill Martin and Dana Ravich. Reprinted by permission of Rodale.

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive


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