Seeing as how spring is right around the corner (ignoring the sudden blizzard in mid-March) I thought it would be fun to do a spring cleaning series! The first area of spring cleaning I’ll be talking about is your closet. Well, my closet. Hopefully, this will help you clean out your closet too!
// closet //
I purge my closet seasonally, partially because my closets are never big enough to hold more than a season’s worth of clothing at a time, and mainly because co-op has me moving every 4 months anyways. (I’m also wondering if I ever really thought through enrolling in a co-op program because I definitely didn’t fathom the sheer amount of moving I’ve had to do over the last 3.5 years.) The moving really helps with keeping clutter down because moving is already a hassle and who wants to move extra things if they don’t have to?
Here are some of my tips/steps to how I usually go about clearing my closet:
1 / Find the time. Make sure you have at least 2.5 hours to dedicate to this task. You’re going to be going through all your stuff and also you have to put it all back. Find something on Netflix to help you power through.
2 / Find the space. Start with a clean room or at least clear your floor space because you’re about to just tear everything apart and you need to be able to manoeuvre the madness. I make sure I’ve made my bed and swept the floor because my next step gets insane.
3 / Dump all your clothes into piles. No, seriously. Start with one large pile and then categorize. I like to split it by tops/bottoms/dresses, then go through each sub-pile separately and deciding if it’s a keep, storage, maybe, or no.
- Keep – love it, for sure will be wearing it, you can’t make me get rid of this.
- Storage – love it but also it’s the wrong weather outside OR sentimental value but you never wear it.
- Maybe – there’s something off about it that makes you hesitant about keeping it in your closet, maybe there’s a stain that you haven’t had time to remove, or the fit is just a little bit off.
- No – these are the pieces that you will never wear again (probably because you bought it during your weird yellow blouses phase in high school). Dump them.
4 / Develop a look guide. While you start going through your maybe-keep pile, pick out 7 pieces of clothing that you love the most. Try to have a mix of shirts/pants/sweaters/accessories/whatever. Use these as your guideline for style + palette. If you look at mine, I stick to a very basic palette of black + white + camel, with structured and flowy pieces mixed together. I know that I gravitate towards these things and as I go through my clothes to decide what I’m keeping I always try to envision how these clothes would go with my core pieces.
5 / Consider the utility of your duplicates. I had accumulated multiple black tops over the years and to an outsider (read: my mom), they may all seem like they’re basically the same thing. You know your clothes better than anyone else, which is how I can look at all my black tops and know which ones tuck well into pants and which ones I wear for a flowy-er aesthetic.
6 / Just because it was on sale doesn’t mean you have to keep it. Now I’m not saying you need to Marie Kondo all your socks but tastes change and a pretty common effect of our consumeristic society is that you probably picked up some cheap top because even though you didn’t love it, it was only $5 so what the heck. I found myself keeping so much crap in my closet that I barely wear because I’m like “eh, I bought it on sale it’s fine.”
7 / Make sure you can still create at least 2 good outfits with it. We don’t need to go into more detail than that.
8 / Give your maybe pile a chance for redemption.
- Does it have a rip/button missing/stain? Really consider whether or not you can fix the clothing and if it’s worth the cost. If not, then it gets tossed.
- Have you not worn it in a while? Put in the effort to wear it in the near future and if it still didn’t work you can feel better about ditching it.
Hopefully, by now you’ve taken out all the things that you no longer wear and can feel a bit more unburdened. Except, you still need to get it out of your house. The easiest thing would be to bag it all up (after washing it of course) and taking it to a thrift store. If you want to try and recuperate some money from this endeavour you can try and sell it online (Facebook, eBay, apps like Carousell) or take it to a consignment store. My personal favourite is Plato’s Closet because they buy the brands that students tend to own.
I feel like selling online/through buy-and-sell pages would get you the most profit but it’s also the most time-consuming. I found that because it took so long for me to get rid of the clothes that I would get frustrated at how it would still be in my house. Another recommended option would be to see if your friends want to take the clothes off your hands. I have a stack of button-down shirts that are perfect for the office except I no longer wear that style shirt. I would much rather that I save a friend some money rather than just donating it.
Okay and finally, here are some tips for making your life easier between seasonal overhauls:
- If you recognize a gap in your closet, note it down so you can actively keep an eye out for things that can fill it to your standards. I tend to buy crappier alternatives until I find the holy grail of whatever I was looking for. I finally got my hands on a pair of amazingly comfortable dark-wash jeans from 7FAM which made 2 pairs of F21 jeans obsolete.
- Set aside clothes that have stains/can be fixed in a specific pile so you know that you want to do something with them and so you’ll actually get around to putting the button back on that top you like.
- Make your volunteer/club shirts into a blanket so you can get some use out of shirts that – let’s be honest, you never wear out of the house anyways.
This has been such a long post but I hope some of these tips help! What are some of your tips for spring cleaning?