Beverly Hills stylist Karen Lazar shares her tips on how to organize your closet so you can shop more effectively.

karenlazarpicQ: My closet is a mess. Where do I start?
A: I always start with a rolling rack and start pulling out the pieces I haven’t worn in a long time. I then try the pieces on one by one and decide if it fits. If it doesn’t fit I put it in a pile to give away, alter or sell if it’s a designer label that is worth selling. I then take out the pieces I know I wear and organize by category such as blouses, pants, skirts, tops and jackets. I put them back in the closet by category from light to dark or light weight to heavier weight.I put pants from narrow to wide within the color so I know if I’m in a hurry I can grab the right pant with the right shoe height.
If you don’t have a rolling rack you can lie the clothes on the bed and then transfer your piles in large garbage bags or shopping bags.

Q: Where can I donate my clothes and where can I sell my name brand clothing?
A: I like to donate to women’s charity based on working women, foster moms, or to your local Temple or Church. Some Charities will pick up, others have donation drop off centers.I give my better condition or designer clothing to one of the people that sell online and have a “store” on ebay where you get checks in the mail when they sell your clothes. There are several resale stores in town but the ebay stores are open 24 hours and sell all over the world, not just to the clients that would have to visit the neighborhood resale shop so there is a better chance of your clothes being sold. I also give things to friends. What’s old to you may be new to someone else.

Q: Once I get rid of what I don’t want, how do I shop for what I need?
A: I always make a list of what I feel is missing, I like to have the basics such as a black belt, brown belt, black boots, black flats,skinny jeans, wide leg jeans, t-shirts, cotton blouses and silk blouses, dressier pants for work or meetings or whatever your lifestyle is. I like to shop for basics online or at stores like the Gap and J Crew and for better or novelty clothes at the Department Stores which offer specials or great return policies like Bloomindales or Nordstrom. I also buy my designer clothes on final markdown at Saks Fifth Avenue who offers great sales at the end of the season.

Q: I want to looks stylish and hip without spending a fortune. How can I achieve the celebrity look?
A: I look in magazines and tear out looks I like, then take the pages to stores like Zara or H and M and find great looks at better prices. If you don’t have magazines, you can look online at Neiman Marcus or any department store and see what they are showing as well. I even look at People magazine and US at the doctors offices or hair salon to get great ideas!

Q: Once I have created a workable closet, how often should I clean it out so I don’t create clutter again?
A: I like to edit once a year or once a season which is really twice a year grouping Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. If I’m not sure I put something in a storage closet or bin so I don’t have to look at it all the time and can revisit it the following season. If I still don’t want to wear it after a year I usually give it away or sell it.

You can reach Karen Lazar for a consultation at karenlazar@aol.com