It can be frustrating and downright discouraging to turn to your closet only to find that you have nothing to wear.

Regardless of how many outfits, accessories or shoes you have hanging or stuffed away, a closet that holds every outfit you have ever owned or a wardrobe that is outdated, does not fit your body or does not fit into your lifestyle is going to lead to frustration each time you try to find something to wear.

While it may be fun to go on a shopping spree to remedy the situation, for most of us, it’s simply not an option. Thankfully, regardless of your situation, resources or fashion know-how, there are a few steps anyone can take to freshen up a closet and breathe a breath of fresh air back into your look.

If You Don’t Use It, Lose It

Take stock of what you have in your closet. Anything that you haven’t worn in the past year should be carefully considered before leaving it on the hanger. Create three piles for your discards: donate, sell and toss.

If an item is more than one size too small or too big, it goes on one of those piles. Except for one or two pieces that you simply can’t bear to part with for sentimental reasons, say goodbye to those jeans from college and that dress you haven’t worn since you were dating.

Know When to Ask for Help

If hiring a company to redesign your closet or enlisting the help of a personal shopper or fashion consultant is out of the question, turn to family and friends for help. Many big box hardware, home improvement and department stores sell do-it-yourself closet kits.

Do your research online before shopping and find a design that will work well for your space and needs. Recruit your friends to help you go through your closet. Ask for – and be prepared for – honesty when trying on outfits from your existing stock or potential wardrobe additions.

Organize, Organize and Organize

Group your clothes by season, size, function, length or color; whatever works best for you. Keep your accessories visible, because if you can’t see them, you won’t use them. A pegboard or clear plastic drawers are great for this purpose.

When storing shoes, try facing out the toe on right shoes and the heel of left shoes so that you’ll know exactly what your options are when considering what works best with your outfit.

Be Practical

Before heading out to buy new things to fill the space you now have in your closet, be honest with yourself about your lifestyle. Focus on finding items that will freshen up your current “brand.”

If you spend much of your day caring for an infant or chasing a toddler, opt for outfits that can stand up to a little spit-up and shoes that won’t slow you down or trip you up at the playground. If you are re-entering the workplace, on the other hand, you’ll want to dress for the part.

Again, being honest with yourself is important, and what worked for you five or 10 years ago won’t always work now. Enlisting the help of a friend can truly be a blessing – and a wise, preemptive move to ensure a wardrobe you’ll be happy with.

Dress for Success

Life is full of ups and downs, especially when it comes to clothing sizes. Even if you are working off that extra baby weight or trying to lose those holiday pounds, it’s important to like who you see when you look in the mirror. The right cut, neckline or waistline can mean all the difference in how you look in any outfit, so make sure to try things on with comfort, fit and a pleasing silhouette in mind, rather than the number on a tag.

Strength and dignity are her clothing. She laughs at the time to come. —Proverbs 31:25

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