This Is the One Simple (and Free!) Way to Cure Your “I Have Nothing to Wear” Syndrome

No, the answer is not to borrow clothes from someone else. Professional organizer Jamie Novak has a better idea.

Maridav/ShutterstockIf you open the door to your clothes closet only to feel paralyzed with indecision, you may be suffering from “I have nothing to wear syndrome.” And though it’s easy to think the cause is owning too few clothes, it’s actually the opposite—owning too many clothes.

This misconception is why many people will buy even more clothes to try to solve the problem. But when there are too many clothes crammed into a space, it is practically impossible to coordinate an outfit. Plus, articles of clothing get wrinkled or are simply forgotten about. (Which means you probably should consider implementing a capsule wardrobe to cut down on unnecessary clothing and make your life easier every day.)

The best solution is to coordinate complete outfits in advance. Simply shop your closet and pull together a handful of ready-to-wear outfits. (Use these stylist-approved strategies to shop your closet.)

It is much easier to set aside a little time to assemble outfits for a week (or more) than it is to stress every morning about what to wear that day. No more trying on jeans, hating them, then tossing them on the floor. No more putting a skirt on only to realize it needs a button replaced. No more rushing to steam a shirt that’s too wrinkled to wear.

Simply take a few minutes and become your own personal shopper. Sort through your clothes and lay out complete outfits. Complete outfits include the shoes and the accessories like a scarf, necklace, or belt. To keep your accessories and outfit together, place accessories in a zip top bag; then hang the bag over the head of the hanger. Take photos of the complete outfits so it will be a cinch to re-create them in the future.

I know what you’re thinking: How can you be expected to know what the weather forecast will be 10 or 12 days from now? No problem—set up a few options, like a cardigan or sweatshirt, so you’ll be prepared for all scenarios.

Look everything over and make sure it’s truly ready-to-wear. Ready-to-wear means you’re sure it fits, it’s not stained or in need of mending, tailoring, or ironing.

Bonus tip: Check your calendar now for upcoming special outfit occasions (these are the tricks highly organized people use on their smart phones). Do you have a wedding, business dinner, or vacation scheduled? If so, choose specialty outfits for these events in advance. Prepping your outfits now ensures you’ll have everything you need the day of the event.

Next time you open your closet, you’ll find lots of ready-to-wear outfits you love.

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Jamie Novak
Jamie Novak is a globally recognized professional organizer who regularly contributes to She has more than 20 years of experience covering the home-organizing industry. Novak wrote Keep This Toss That: the practical guide to tidying up, a top selling book for Reader's Digest. She’s been seen on HGTV, QVC, and national morning talk shows. Her work has appeared in magazines from Better Homes and Gardens to Real Simple. Connect with Novak at, @JamieNovak, or using the hashtag #KeepThisTossThat