Who said it was too late to start spring cleaning? No matter what time of year, it’s always a good idea to look through your belongings and get rid of unnecessary items. Cleaning and sorting possessions are known to boost the mood of your home. When important spaces to us are cluttered, unorganized, and full of junk it often reflects undealt with stress and a lack of productivity. But you don’t have to feel this way when it comes to your wardrobe and the clothes you own! Instead, have your closet reflect your personal style without the hassle of searching for your favorite items to wear. To elevate this key space and give you newfound confidence, here are steps to a productive closet clean out:
- Go in with a goal
- Determine your clothes’ resting places
- Organize as you go
- Treat all items the same
- Edit, edit, edit
- Make a “second chance pile”
- Form final piles
- Reorganize and retouch
Go in with a goal
Before you begin to purge your closet, know exactly what you’re there to do. Your goal doesn’t have to be as harsh as throwing out half of your clothes to buy a whole new wardrobe in the latest trends. Your closet has needs just like any other room, but so do you when it comes to what clothes are a necessity to own.
Perhaps you own a disproportionate amount of work clothes to workout clothes you’d like to balance. Or you’re aware much of what you own is ill-fitting and need to make room for better fitting clothes. Or you’re tired of not seeing the floor and would like to identify the source of the problem. All of these goals have clear, focused objectives that will guide the actions you take in your closet clean out.
Determine your clothes’ resting places
Another guiding factor of your closet clean out is deciding what will happen to the clothes you choose to relocate. Most likely you will keep a majority of clothes to stay in a closet, wardrobe, or set of drawers. If there are clothes you own that are out of style or just hold sentimental value, another option is to keep those clothes and store them away from clothes for regular wear. The next option is to donate clothes still in good condition but that do not match your style or closet needs. The last option is to throw away clothes that can’t be repaired, donated, or meet anyone else’s closet needs. Be mindful of how much you throw away compared to a donation pile to not contribute to the larger textile waste problem that endangers the environment.
Organize as you go
To keep things consistent and prevent from being overwhelmed, keep clothes as orderly as possible through your closet clean out process. To truly evaluate the predicament of a messy closet, everything needs to be brought out and looked at. We get it, it’s intimidating just to see how much you’ve accumulated over the years now sitting on your bedroom floor. That’s why breaking down this eyesore makes the task easier. Sort together formal from casual, tops from bottoms, or winter from summer, or all three depending on your primary goals. Categorizing also allows for breaks if you get exhausted from picking apart your wardrobe.
Treat all items the same
It can be tempting to skip ahead to toss out your old high school shirts or a least favorite pair of pants. The problem with this is you’re working outside the categories and order you set in the previous step. By the time you set aside your obvious picks to get rid of, the process can feel like it’s slipping through your fingers or like you’ve already finished without considering the majority of what you own. As you keep those pieces in mind, make sure to give everything a fair look for the best, thorough results.
Edit, edit, edit
Editing is the core step of an effective closet clean out. It consists of bringing out every piece of clothing, from your pre-determined categories of course, and deciding its outcome. Here are some examples of questions you can ask yourself as you are going through the process:
- Have I worn this in the last six months?
- Does this match my style?
- Is this out of season?
- Is there damage, is it worth fixing?
- Does it fit me correctly?
- How does this make me feel?
Once you have questions compiled, it becomes easy to determine what you actually want. So put on some TV in the background to make cleaning more fun!
Make a “second chance pile”
As you were editing, some conflicted feelings might have arisen when dealing with some particular pieces of clothing. After all, this blouse was your favorite years ago and it still has the promise of being worn out again… except it hasn’t been worn in at least six months. This forgotten blouse is the perfect candidate for a temporary “second chance pile” of clothes you’re unsure of keeping or tossing. To resolve this problem each piece is worth trying on one last time as a last-ditch effort for making a final decision. This can reveal new information you wouldn’t have known otherwise like that blouse being too similar to something else to be worth keeping.
Form final piles
Because the second chance pile is only meant to be temporary after it’s all cleared you, at last, have your final piles gathered. Now that everything has its place and chosen outcome, be reluctant to change anything at the last minute when your gut has already decided what’s right and what’s wrong. It’s also the time to make final plans of how you want to discard clothing. If you’re wanting to give away clothes to a friend or family member, arrange how to get them there. Schedule a trip to a local Goodwill donation center to get unwanted clothes out of the house soon. There’s just one more step before putting away your final keep pile.
Reorganize and retouch
Take advantage of empty drawers and an empty closet to dust and wipe down surfaces before going back to storing clothing. Seeing empty spaces or the piles of clothes you made also might give you ideas of how to store your clothes more productively than before when you had less space. Utilizing baskets, drawer units, and matching hangers are great ways to spruce up your newly elevated storage space. Make sure to keep clothes categorized logically keeping similar things together and orderly. A popular, effective way to store non-hanging clothes is the KonMari method by Marie Kondo which you can follow in the video below:
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