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Spring cleaning is my most dreaded part of Spring, well that an allergies, but I digress. One of the most daunting or tasks is the closet clean out. It’s a necessary evil but one that I normally put off until a rainy or gross day when I don’t have anything else to do because it’s a huge project. Here are my closet makeover tips to help you organize and update your closet.
First, be ready for all the necessary tools. For me that includes two hanging shoe holders, my hamper, hangers (no wire, thank you), and six canvas baskets from Target. With these tools in place I was ready to tackle the walk in closet that had become a “catch all” for all my crap over the last 10 years.
My first tip is a hard one, one that goes again the idea of “cleaning” and it is: get messy. That’s right, the first step is to take EVERYTHING out of your closet. Once you remove everything you can make sure that nothing enters that closet again unless it belongs in there. Every last article of clothing, every heel and flip flop, every belt and scarf…all of it.
The next part should be relatively easy for you but if you haven’t done a closet clean out in a while it could be taxing. You have to sort your clothes into a keep, purge, and donate pile. For me this usually means trying on clothes I’d forgotten about, gazing at myself in the mirror for far too long, and debating longer than necessary. I could do a whole other article on sorting clothes but when it comes down to it-you know what to do. If you haven’t worn it in forever you never will. If it hasn’t fit you since you graduated college-it’s time to get rid of it.
The criteria are simple:
Keep whatever you wear often, love, and is in good condition.
Purge whatever is stained, worn out, or looking sad.
Donate whatever doesn’t fit, you didn’t wear the last season it was wearable, or you hate.
Exceptions are allowed to be made for one sentimental item (I have an old worn out sweatshirt I just can’t get rid of) and one pair of “WILL fit into these jeans again” jeans but that is it.
Map It Out
Before ANYTHING goes back into your closet you should have a plan for what goes where. Are you storing by season, color, how often you wear it, or a different crazy reason? Hang up your shoe racks, store your baskets, and know how everything will lay out before you start throwing things in there. You’ll be glad you took a moment to plan it out, trust me.
I hang my dresses together, skirts together, hang my “going out” tops together, my tanks together, jackets and sweaters are together, and my pants together. You get the idea, right? Then in one hanging shoe rack I have my heels while in the other I have sandals, slip-ons and flip-flops. My boots and sneakers get their own place underneath those hanging racks. My belts hang on hangers my by jackets and so do my scarves.
That’s how I reach for things, not by color or season, but by type of clothing. However works for you is what you should do. Give it a little thought. Do you reach for colors, for full outfits all together, or for mix and match separates?
The key here is to dive in, dig out, and make sure nothing goes back that won’t be worn or serves a purpose. A closet makeover is cleansing, there is no point to holding on to items of clothing that takes up space and won’t be worn. Cut emotional ties to clothing, forget the money you spent on it (it’s wasted money anyway if you aren’t wearing it) and donate or sell what you can. Trust me, you’ll feel great once you’ve cleared out the clutter. Plus, once you’ve finished your closet makeover you’ll know better what you need and you can shop guilt free for some new pieces.
Want to organize your life? You’ll need to read our organizational piece in our special print edition.