Saturday, September 10, 2016

So, You Want a Cleaner Closet?

"This clean."

The Fabulous Zelda Rubinstein

No, my closet wasn't previously haunted by spirits unable to find peace, but it was full of clothes, shoes & accessories that I just didn't need anymore.

About once or twice a year I like to plan a clothing exchange for my friends to bring their unwanted clothing to swap. You can read about a past clothing exchange here if you want to see what it's like! Now, this isn't an entirely selfless endeavor. You know your girl loves her some secondhand clothes & I can alway use an excuse to clean out my closets! Because I am an avid thrift shopper, my clothing stash can get overflowing pretty quickly if left unchecked. I've heard about the Marie Kondo method & capsule wardrobes, but the truth is, I like my system & it works pretty well for me! That may not be the case for you, so I encourage you to try different methods of organization to find the best one that works for you!

I'm ready for a clothing exchange! 

Here are just a few of my tips for clearing out your closets, whether you're heading to a clothing exchange or just want a clean slate as we head into the new season!

1. Don't Be Overly Sentimental-

Now, don't throw out your wedding dress or anything you would really be devastated to lose, but don't agonize over every piece of clothing in your collection. There's no need to keep everything just because it holds some sort of memory for you. For example, I just got rid of a hoodie that I've had since high school. It was stained, tattered & stretched out. There was no reason to hang onto it, so I finally cut it loose. If you really feel like you have a ton of t-shirts or jeans you just can't part with, consider making something useful out of them. Check out this awesome t-shirt quilt & these craft ideas for denim! Any of these would be better than having old clothes sitting in your closet or drawers! 

2. Go Through All the Clothes & Accessories in Your House-

Don't just go through your closet. Go through your seasonal clothes. Go through coats, shoes, hats & scarfs. Go through your jewelry. Check any place you might have clothes or accessories hiding. Make sure all your laundry is done before you start so you don't miss anything. Trust me, you'll feel much better knowing everything that can be sorted through has been. It will save you a ton of time and work in the long run! 

A lot of junk tends to hide in my coat closet.  
I sorted through all our shoes & my purse crate. All of them have a cubby or can fit neatly in their place. It will be so much easier to find what we're looking for now! 

3. Create a Safe Guard System- 

If you've been burned by over purging in the past & have regretted getting rid of something that you wanted later, try this. If you have a few items that you're not sure about (maybe you're in the process of losing weight & want to keep a pair of pants that might fit in another three months), put it in a basket on the bottom of your closet. Out of sight, out of mind. If by the time your next clean-out rolls around it still doesn't fit or you haven't missed it being in your wardrobe rotation, get rid of it. 

4. How to Know if You Should Get Rid of an Item-

Ask yourself these simple questions: 
  • Does it fit? (This is important. Be honest with yourself. Don't keep clothing that makes you feel bad about yourself! When you lose weight, you can pick out some new items. Have a wardrobe that makes you feel like a million bucks right now. Don't worry; this can be accomplished on any budget!)
  • Do I like the way I look/feel in it? 
  • Have I worn it in the six months/last year(only if it's a seasonal piece)?
  •  If I saw this in the store today, would I buy it? 
  • Is it permanently stained, broken or damaged? 
  • If it can be cleaned or repaired, am I prepared to fix it right away? 

If the answer to any of these questions is no, get rid of the item in question. 

5. Think About Outfits- 

This takes some time, but try building outfits with everything in your closet. If a piece doesn't work with most of your basic wardrobe staples, ask yourself if it really fits into your style? If it doesn't, why are you keeping it? It shouldn't take you any longer than ten minutes to get dressed in the morning. That time limit is going to be a LOT easier to hit if everything in your wardrobe can be used to easily build an outfit. 

Bonus Tip- 

As you're going through your wardrobe & putting outfits together. Make an actual physical list (Seriously. Write it down with a pen & paper or make a list on your phone. Just make sure you keep track of it) of pieces you would like to add to your closet in the next year. Then, when you head to the thrift store, clothing exchanges or if someone asks you what you might like as a gift, you can refer to your list! This is the best way I know of building a thoughtful wardrobe that lines up with who you are AND saves you money in the long run. 

If you're still unsure about some of your items, check out this great closet detox quiz from Into Mind. I hope these tips have helped or encouraged you to revamp your closet! What are some of your tips for a cleaner, more organized space? I would love to hear them! 

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