People often think that spring cleaning is the perfect time to go through your closet, but with the weather in such a state of transition it can be difficult to really determine what you need and what you don’t. So, I like to do my decluttering in the summertime.
Now that we are out of the winter’s chill, I can look at my wardrobe with fresh eyes. But before I start my closet cleanse, I just want to take a moment to acknowledge that we all have attachments to our attire. As necessary as the roof over our heads, these pieces clothe us in more than warmth, they are filled with memories and moments we want to, and need to, hold on to. Knowing that can help as you sift through styles from years past and look forward to a clutter-free future.
Here are some tips that I use to get organized and go through my closet to get ready for summer break.
Let it All Out. Take everything out so you can really look at it. First, tackle the dresser, going drawer by drawer, then move on to the closet. Don’t be tempted to pull out only what you “think” you don’t need because you will end up keeping a lot more than you want to—and that isn’t the point, right?
Start Sorting. Once everything is ready, get three laundry bins or boxes and label them: Keep, Store and Donate/Sell. This is where it gets real and you need to make some tough decisions. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself as you work:
Do I actually wear it or is it something I “think” I will wear someday?
How do I feel when I wear this?
Is the upkeep for this piece annoying?
Does it have significance to me or my family?
Could someone else benefit from it?
Keep What You Really Love. As you get ready to put your Keep clothes back in your drawers and closet, there is a little trick I use to make sure I really love these items. Put everything away inside out. Fold each piece neatly and hang them on a hanger orderly, but yes, inside out. After you wear your clothes, put them back right side out, then after a certain period of time you can go back through and see what you are really and truly wearing. This allow you to make a more informed decision about whether or not you should keep them.
Decide on the Rest. Now that what you want to wear is neatly put away, it’s time to go through the other two bins. Save family heirlooms and those kids clothes you can’t bear to give away in collapsible space bags or plastic tubs, then stash them in the attic, basement or even a storage unit for safe keeping. Then bag your donation items to drop them off at a local organization. If you have any items left over, try selling them at a consignment store, online or post them to a social swap group.
That’s it, you did it! Now pour yourself a cool drink, put your feet up and enjoy this incredible accomplishment.
Photo by Heather Schwartz