Spring-cleaning your closet is a vital seasonal task for every fashion lover and serial shopper. When your closet gets too cluttered and full, you lose sight of half your wardrobe and finding the pieces you’re looking for to put together an outfit can seem like an impossibility. Plus, staring into the abyss of a disorganized closet stuffed to the brim makes for a stressful start to any morning.
Cleaning out your closet can even save you money. Spring-cleaning your wardrobe forces you to take stock of the pieces you already have. Chances are, you probably own several items that you love but have completely forgotten about. Getting rid of unnecessary clothing lets you rediscover those pieces that have gotten buried under piles of clothes you never wear. Spring-cleaning your closet doesn’t have to be a huge chore. There are many ways to easily purge and organize your clothing collection and finally get your wardrobe back in your control.
1. Take it to the Cleaner–Now
Don’t get rid of clothing just because it needs to be mended or professionally cleaned, but don’t let these pieces hang unworn in your closet for months on end either. Stop putting off a trip to the dry cleaner or tailor. Pull damaged or dirty clothes from their hiding place in your closet and place them in plain view. It’s harder to push dry-cleaning and mending errands further down your to-do list when these pieces are staring you in the face every day.
On the other hand, think about why you’ve put off getting a certain piece mended or cleaned for so long. If you’ve been cursing your procrastination every time you reach for your favorite sweater and remember the coffee stain on one sleeve, head to the dry cleaner right away. However, if you’ve avoided refurbishing an unwearable piece because you just don’t care that much about it, that’s a good sign that it’s time to toss that piece into your trash pile.
2. Ignore Nostalgia
If you’re like most women, you probably have at least a few pieces in your closet that you keep around because you associate them with positive memories of the past.
When you’re cleaning out your closet, remember that clothes are not keepsakes. Unless it’s a wedding dress or some other article with real significance behind it, clothing doesn’t deserve a place in your closet for memory’s sake. If you really can’t bear to part with the ratty T-shirt you wore to your first concert, at least get it out of your closet. Find storage for keepsake clothing elsewhere, like in your attic or a memory box.
3. Think in the Present
Over the years, your style has probably changed somewhat. This is completely normal. It is rare for a woman’s style to stay exactly the same forever; your style naturally evolves with your lifestyle and ever-changing trends. Your current style is the only style that matters when it comes to spring-cleaning your closet.
It’s hard to throw away a blouse that used to be your board meeting go-to, even if you can’t remember the last time you wore it. If you’re having trouble letting go of old favorites, ask yourself how long it’s been since you wore each piece in your closet. When your answer for a certain piece is “more than a year”, it’s time to say goodbye and make room for new pieces that match the style you have now.
5. Start Sorting by Season
It’s hard to keep your closet well-organized when it’s filled with a smorgasbord of clothing for every season. There is no need to keep every piece of clothing you own in your closet at all times. During the heat of summer, your pea coats and parkas don’t do you any good. They just waste space and crowd out your relevant warm-weather clothes.
Organizing your clothing storage by season can help you clear up valuable space for the clothes you wear on a regular basis during a certain time of year. When spring approaches, pack up your winter clothes in a box. Store the box under your bed or in a hall closet where they’re accessible but not in your way. Once the weather gets colder again, pull the box out again. Rotate your cloths between the box and your closet every season. That way, the pieces you actually need are always right at your fingertips.
Once you clear unwanted clothes from your closet, you want them to stop taking up unnecessary space on your bedroom floor ASAP. That being said, trashing your old clothes should always be your last resort.
Instead of heading straight to the trash can, sort the clothes you want to part with into piles. The only clothes that should go in your trash pile are clothes that are torn, stained, or otherwise unwearable. Put the rest of your discards into a donation pile. This pile should include any pieces that are clean and still in wearable condition. Always donate whenever possible. Just because you don’t like a piece of clothing anymore doesn’t mean that someone else won’t love it.
7. Don’t Be Too Hasty
When you’ve decided which pieces you’re willing to part with, it can be tempting to sweep them all up in a garbage bag and head to the nearest dumpster. Immediately throwing away the clothes you’ve purged can feel cathartic and refreshing in the moment. However, it’s wise to exercise a little more caution before you make your decision permanent.
Put all the clothes in your ‘no’ pile into a box. Pack the box away somewhere where it will be out of sight and out of your way. Wait a while to see if you miss any of the pieces you packed away. After a couple of weeks, go through the box again. Donate or throw away any clothes you haven’t noticed were gone. Knowing you won’t have to send your rejected clothes away for good right away will also help you get rid of pieces you really don’t wear but would have been hesitant to part with if you knew you wouldn’t have a second chance to get them back.
Make spring-cleaning your closet an annual habit. Get rid of the pieces you don’t wear and organize the ones you do to keep your clothing inventory relevant to your current style, destress your morning routine, and add excitement to your wardrobe without spending a cent.