What I’m Purging and Keeping During Spring Cleaning

As y’all probably know, I have London on my mind. My hope is that I can get over these few final hurdles over the next few weeks so that I can apply for my visa by mid-to-late March. Even though that’s quite a few weeks away from now, I feel like I really need to start preparing purging NOW. While I realize there’s always a chance that my visa could get denied, I do feel it would be smart to get ahead of the long list of to-do’s that an international move will warrant. I’ve been doing this slowly throughout my house but putting my closet on the back burner … until recently! Plus, it’s almost Spring so why not get a head start on Spring cleaning, ya know what I mean?

As I start to purge my home [which is honestly needed, in general], I thought it’d be fun to share things that I’m keeping and highlight the things that I’ll be purging. I thought it might be helpful as we are entering into the season of de-cluttering! To start, I’ll be covering solely clothing items, and it’s important to note that I’m doing this with London in mind. While I’m focusing on purging items that no longer serve me or have seen better days, I’m also honing in on items that will be necessary in London – and ones that won’t be. Obviously the climate and terrain of the city are very different from my little beach town in Florida, so while certain favorites will stick around, I’m condensing the number of items that won’t be essential. Obviously, everyone’s circumstances are going to influence how they declutter but, generally speaking, I took away some great tips that I shared in THIS YouTube video for you guys so, be sure to check it out!

If after this post you guys would like to see a similar post based on beauty products, please let me know in the comments below. I’m more than happy to share the beauty products that will be my saving grace in London and which ones I’ll be parting ways with. But, for now, though, let’s talk clothes!


If you’ve seen my current closet situation [seen HERE], you know that I need to purge. But, keeping and wearing items that I already own, has become just as important to me as purging is . After all, the last thing I want to do is to buy more than I already have. The first order of business is pulling out items I know I’ll get wear out of in London and on my future travels, which include…

COATS: One of the most important aspects of a wardrobe in England. I’d say the three crucial types are as follows: wool, raincoat, trench. I’ll be wearing these year round so, if you need help in this area, you know who to call! Ha!

NICE BLOUSES + BLAZERS: Seeing that London is such a major city, and fashion hub, I’m looking forward to meeting with more brands and attending more events. This might be shocking to us as Americans but … athleisure, leggings, and the like are not really a strong trend there. Everyone ‘dresses up’ a lot more [which is called dressing ‘smart’] so I need to really up my ‘smart’ dress game! It’s definitely going to take some time to strengthen that area of my wardrobe but I think it’s one of the things I’m really looking forward to about this [potential] new venture. It’s my kind of challenge, you know? Ha!

COMFORTABLE, BUT NICE, FOOTWEAR: Walking in any kind of heel, even booties, is so hard on your feet in London; nice shoes that are flat and still stylish will be what my wardrobe really needs in order to keep my love for the city alive.

CASHMERE: You know I’m happy to keep this on my list because it’s only my favorite material ever. I’m excited my cashmere items will finally get a lot of use outside of my travels and more ‘everyday’ looks in the winter.

‘SMART’ BOTTOMS: Now that I’ve clued you in on some ‘London lingo’, I’ll definitely need to keep some of my favorite ‘smart’ bottoms like THIS new midi skirt, THESE pink silky pants [from THIS post], my favorite white culottes, and my favorite J.Crew pants.


This doesn’t mean I’m getting rid of ALL of these products from my wardrobe but there will definitely not be as strong of a need for these items in London so I will be significantly downsizing. I’m honestly excited for this part even more so because I think it’ll feel VERY good.

DENIM SHORTS: I just don’t think I’ll get enough wear out of them to have a large selection so I’ll have to be very, very picky and seriously purge a LARGE majority of the shorts I have. Could London and Florida literally be more different? Ha!

FLAT SANDALS: I weirdly don’t like walking around London in flat, open-toed shoes and, generally speaking, it’s not hot enough for long enough to need more than two pairs of flat sandals [my Tory Burch Miller sandals will obviously be one that comes but … stay tuned to see what other pairs I have chosen]. Ugh, that’s going to be tough especially as I’m being tempted by SO many cute sandals being that we’re on the bring of Spring.

HATS: They’re not really something you see people wearing often walking around London unless it’s really really cold. I do think my baker boy hats will be appropriate so one or two will come and my basic straw hat that I’ve had for, like, 3 years now, will be joining me for days I want to be dressed down or while traveling.

BATHING SUITS: Even as a Floridian, I admittedly have way too many bikinis, especially considering I live 2 minutes from the beach and NEVER go … but, serious question … what do I do with the ones I can’t take? Donate? Is that gross? I need some suggestions in the comments below if you have any!

JEANS: It’s embarrassing how many jeans I have [see the closet clean-out video] … it’s wayyyyy way too many for one person. I think it’s just because I know it’s going to take me actually trying them all on to figure out which ones I want to keep and which ones I want to purge. But, truthfully, I will still have quite a variety of jean options because I am so comfortable in jeans [def need two pairs of white jeans considering how often I wear white jeans, a pair of dark denim non-distressed denim, a pair of mom jeans, and a pair of black jeans, and black faux leather pants – seriously … I wear ALL of those ALL. THE. TIME lol]. But the reason jeans made this list is because I think my style in London is going to be a bit more elevated than it is in Florida. I live in a beach town so getting dressed up to go to my local coffee shop would be very strange to a lot of people. A lot of my friends who work around here don’t have to dress up. It’s super, super casual. So, it may seem like London changed my style but … really … it’s just London challenging me to tap into the style that I have that I don’t really get to express living here in Florida, if that makes sense. So, I’ll be keeping my essential pairs for the weekends and casual day outings with John but, I do think it’ll be interesting to see which jeans stand the test of time during my first year in London.

LEGGINGS: As mentioned above, athleisure isn’t really a thing in the UK. Since it’s such a big part of my wardrobe here, though, I’ll need to edit accordingly. I have way too many leggings but doesn’t it feel like leggings are one of those things you just never get rid of? They kind of last forever and the styles don’t change too often, so I’ve somewhat hoarded them. Time to adjust!

Okay, I’ll stop there, though you can see a lot more of the purging situation in action in this video. I am exhausted after cleaning things out but dang, it feels AMAZING! I’m excited to keep this up throughout the rest of my house. Don’t forget to holler if y’all would like to see a similar post focusing on beauty products [lord knows I have too many of those, too!]. xo.


Editor's Notes



  1. Katie wrote:

    I would love to see a beauty clean out! Honestly, all the clean outs are interesting to me!

    In other news, I can’t wait to see more of the ‘smart’ dressing. I work in a corporate setting so there is only so much athleisure that appeals to me if I can only wear it on nights/weekends.

    I know you have done posts on travel shoes before, but I cant wait to comfy/stylish flat shoes!

    Great post!

    Published 2.14.20 · Reply
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      Ah, I’m so happy to hear you’re excited for more smart outfit ideas! 🙂 xo.

      Published 2.15.20 ·
  2. Brittany H wrote:

    Maybe you need to bring the athleisure trend to the UK because it’s blissful ;). I just KonMori-ed the crap out of my condo because donations for my Junior League rummage sales are this weekend. It’s pretty cathartic, huh?

    Published 2.14.20 · Reply
  3. Ashley Baca wrote:

    Send me (an underpaid teacher) some of the shorts you get rid of 🙂

    Published 2.14.20 · Reply
  4. Heather wrote:

    I’d probably take a swimsuit from a close friend or family member.

    Also, I lived in Jax and I dressed up for my jobs. I loved skirts though lol.

    Published 2.14.20 · Reply
  5. Karla Smith wrote:

    This is awesome and I LOVED your video! It definitely inspired me to be a bit more selective.

    Cannot wait to see the rest!

    Published 2.14.20 · Reply
  6. Hani wrote:

    Loved the video! Would you mind considering increasing the text size of the tips that you include on some of the shots? Was hard to read for me and I have 20/20 vision. Many thanks!

    Published 2.14.20 · Reply
    • Hani wrote:

      Or maybe my vision is getting poor…also not sure you need the third royal blue dress. I really like your work attire skirts that you have posted in the past and think they have that elevated look that you like for London. I would think those would be just as appropriate alternatives for meetings instead of the third royal blue dress??

      Published 2.14.20 ·
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      I think I just made it a medium size because the tips had a few sentences that I needed to fit. I figured you could pause it if you needed more time to read it. I can also keep it on the screen for a little longer, as well. And, that’s a good point re: the royal blue dress!

      Published 2.15.20 ·
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      Thanks for the feedback! I’ll definitely work on that!

      Published 2.15.20 ·
  7. Amanda wrote:

    Beauty clean-out, please!

    Published 2.15.20 · Reply
  8. Marie wrote:

    Wow. Moving to London is going to be a lot of fun. I was there only once and it was a lot of fun but expensive. I recently did my yearly closet purge and gave away a few items that were either too large or I just didn’t care for. London is a very fashionable place. When I was there I wore dresses and heels the whole time. I dont wear flat sandals or flats in gerenal too much. I live in Virginia Beach and I go to the beach/pool enough during Summer. Best of luck in getting your visa.

    Published 2.15.20 · Reply
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      Thank you, Marie! xo.

      Published 2.15.20 ·
  9. MaryAnne wrote:

    The basket you keep your Bathing Suits in, where is it from?

    Published 2.15.20 · Reply
  10. Natasha wrote:

    Loved these tips in your blog post. I’m excited to see how you dress over in the UK. Traveling to Germany this year opened my eyes on how everyone dressed so posh there and I loved it. Everyone looked so chic and pulled together, it really felt elevated! I can’t wait to see more posts on the coats and smart dressing!

    Published 2.15.20 · Reply
  11. Leanndra wrote:

    I need to know where you got those bin on the top shelves! They would be perfect for my closet!

    Published 2.17.20 · Reply
  12. I absolutely loved watching this video & reading your article along with it. Thank you so much for sharing a fun and in depth guide on how to approach cleaning out a closet. I loved the practicality and wisdom you shared. I am motivated to shop smarter and clear out my closet with better intentions! Thank you for taking us along! Excited to see then next video on how you continue to tailor your wardrobe for London. I absolutely adored that bow top your selling and only wish I lived closer to grab it during the sale.
    Thank you again for making and taking time to share all these lovely insights.


    Published 2.18.20 · Reply
  13. I can’t wait to see your new London look one day soon when you move! I also agree that Florida and London could not be more different!! I feel like you’ll need to get rid of most of your denim shorts for sure. Keeping your coats is 100% the best move. I always love seeing how you wear your signature camel coats from J.Crew — gotta keep those with ya!

    Best of luck with your purge and thanks for inspiring me to do my own this weekend.

    XO Amanda || Affordable by Amanda

    Published 2.19.20 · Reply
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      Hey Amanda! I’m honestly so pumped for it, as well! Finger crossed I can make the move soon! xo.

      Published 2.19.20 ·