If you’ve avoided cleaning out your closet because the task just seemed too daunting, help is on the way! In this article, you’ll learn how to break down the chore of cleaning out your closet into smaller, more manageable steps, starting with some tips on how to decide which items belong in your closet – and when it’s time for an item to go.
Make a fresh start. Begin by taking absolutely everything out of the closet, and then breaking out the cleaning supplies. Once you’re dealing with a clean space, it’ll be easier to put everything back.
Learn when to let go. Throwing out an old sweater is far more difficult than parting with a tube of expired lipstick – there are a lot of memories associated with clothing items, and sometimes we hoard these items in our closets for years. Start your project by creating three piles: clothing to keep, clothing to get rid of and, in the middle, items you’re not sure about. Ask yourself the following questions about each item:
- When was the last time I wore this? If you can’t remember, that’s probably a sign it doesn’t belong in your wardrobe. Sometimes we end up keeping clothing items that look and fit great, but simply don’t match with anything else in our wardrobe. If you can’t find a way to wear that bright orange skirt, maybe it wasn’t meant to be.
- Is it in good condition? Even if it was once your very favorite blouse, retire any item that’s stretched, faded or just doesn’t look crisp and clean. This includes accessories! Good Housekeeping suggests: “Go though your clothes, shoes, purses, belts, and scarves to see if any need to be repaired or fixed, and move them to one section of the closet. Others that are hopeless need to go. No excuses!”
- Does it fit well? Have you been keeping your favorite skinny jeans even though you haven’t worn them for over a decade? Treat yourself to a new pair of pants that fits and flatters your figure now, exactly how it is! Also, look for items in your wardrobe that almost fit and take them to a tailor, who can help you achieve that perfect fit.
Keep the classics. Some items may be 20 years old, but as long as they’re flattering and in decent condition, they’re keepers. The following classic pieces should always have a home in your closet:
- A “little black dress.” If it fits well, that evening staple outlasts time and of-the-moment trends. And this goes for virtually any simple evening dress, even if it’s not black!
- Trench coat. According to the magazine Health, a trench coat is ideal for day or night; it may just need a little TLC. “Don’t worry if you lost a button – it’s worth the repair to keep this in your closet,” the magazine suggests.
Give each item a home. “Storing your clothes well means they'll always look their best. And if you organize your closets and drawers, you'll find you wear more of your clothes more often,” Martha Stewart says. Do you have a spot designated in your closet for smaller items, like belts and scarves? What about shoes?
Storage options are endless; look to pretty boxes to store sweaters and accessories, a shoe rack or over-the-door shoe hanger, hooks for belts and scarves and drawer dividers for lingerie and socks.
Invest in fashion staples. No matter what the latest fashion trends are, some wardrobe items are practically essential for any well-dressed woman. Here are a few spring pieces that’ll go with anything:
- Tanks and camisoles. Black, white and ivory colored tanks are ideal for layering under sweaters, blouses or sheer shirts. For a bolder look this spring, try a colorful camisole in one of spring’s bright shades, like teal or coral.
- The cardigan sweater. The classic camisole and cardigan look is ideal whether you’re headed to a lunch date or an office meeting. Spice up the look by trying a cropped cardigan, or a “boyfriend” cardigan – a more relaxed fit in a longer length.
Treat yourself! Whether it’s a new spring skirt or a colorful scarf, reward your cleaning efforts with something fun. You can also spice up some of last year’s spring pieces by incorporating makeup items in this spring’s trendy shades. Look for girly pastels, or bold neons. Try:
Spring is a great time to clear out room in your closet for some of the fun new fashions you’d like to try, and an organized closet will be a breath of fresh air this season. Take some time to clear the clutter and give yourself some peace of mind.
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