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December 28, 2014
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Spring clean your closet

Success! Organization complete and it feels good. Now it’s time to reward yourself, perhaps a shopping spree?
TRR photos by Isabel Braverman


Spring is the season of renewal and birth. It is a time when we get a fresh start in our lives, and the ever-popular phrase “spring cleaning” enters our vernacular (and hopefully our activity). If you’re anything like me, you often throw things into your closet without really paying any attention; it’s the ideal throw-stuff-in-and-shut-the-door kind of space. You might find yourself looking at your closet and shaking your head or averting your eyes from the horror. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, it’s time to tackle that project and spring clean your closet. If I can do it, you can do it too! Below are tips and tricks that I gathered from my research and also from doing it myself.
I hope this serves as inspiration.

Set aside time
This is possibly the most important step, and definitely the one that should be done first. While you might find yourself getting a burst of motivation one day and begin to dig into the mess, you never know what obstacle you might encounter: you have to run to the grocery store, or go to that appointment. Look at your calendar and allot a time when you know you won’t have anything else going on for about two hours, and give yourself time to go through your entire wardrobe. Also, while this might seem like an arduous task, and certainly one that you may have been avoiding, I dare you to try and make it fun. Play some music and get inspired.

Make piles
As you go through your closet, take each item off the hanger and divide clothes into “yes,” “giveaway,” and “throwaway” piles. I cannot tell you how helpful making piles will be.

Make a shopping list as you go along
Plan ahead and make a spring shopping list as you go through your closet (then pat yourself on the back for thinking ahead). Ask yourself these questions: What do I have too much of and not enough of? Do I have a color palette for spring? Or a particular style in mind? Are there any spring trends that I want to try out? Do I find I have too many work clothes and not enough dress clothes (or vice versa)? Be specific when you write your list, for example: mid-length black dress, or lavender button-down shirt.

Follow the “two year rule”

If you haven’t worn it in two years, into the giveaway pile it goes. If it has sentimental value, like a wedding dress or college sweatshirt, but you never wear it, don’t keep it in your closet. Make sure it’s clean and store it properly in a box.

Be honest, ask the tough questions
Ask these questions about the clothes you’re on the fence about: Will I really wear this? What would I wear it with? Is it flattering and does it fit properly? Is it the image I want to project? If you answer “no” to these questions, put it in the giveaway pile.

Say goodbye to your stuff
Once you have a giveaway pile, sort the clothes, deciding how you will pass them on. If you don’t think you can make any money by re-selling an item, give it to local thrift stores or give it to a friend. One of my favorite ways to get rid of clothing is to organize a clothing swap. Gather some friends and ask them to bring their giveaways. Throw the clothes into a giant pile and “shop” till you drop. If you have designer or luxury items, consider selling online; check out the websites eBay, Bib and Tuck, Copious, Klury, Poshmark, Threadflip, Tradesy, Shop Hers and The Real Real. If an item is too stained or worn out, then throw it out, turn it into cleaning rags, or donate to fabric drives. It may be hard to get rid of something that was a gift or still has the price tag on it, but if you’ve never worn something it’s time to toss it. If you feel guilty about having splurged on something you’ve never worn, consider that you can make some money back on it, or give it to a friend who loves it. For example, many times when I do a closet haul, I give the castoffs to the girls at my dance studio. When I think of something I feel bad about parting with, I just think of their excited and happy faces when they see I’ve brought in a bag of hand-me-downs.

Organize

Now it’s time to put the stuff you’re keeping back in the closet. The best way to keep an organized closet, where you can easily find what you’re looking for, is to organize by color or type (for example, sweaters, dresses, professional, casual, etc.) Also, think about adding closet accessories and invest in shoe racks, boxes, and nice hangers. These will give your closet a put-together look and keep your shoes and clothing in good condition.