It’s always hard to say goodbye, though sometimes it is entirely necessary for your physical and emotional well-being. I’m not talking about dumping your boyfriend; I’m talking about cleaning out your closet. When was the last time you really, I mean really, cleaned out your closet? Summer is winding down so before you start your fall shopping, why not try to actually make some room this time?
I know, I know, easier said than done, right? You may not consider yourself a hoarder, or even sentimental, but there’s something about hanging on to those “skinny” jeans, or your favorite sweater from 1986 that’s just hard to let go! So how do you decide what needs to go and what can stay? Here are a few tips:
1. Anything that doesn’t fit (by more than a size).
If you’ve been a size 8 for several years, throw out anything that’s a size 2 or a size 12. It’s time to move on.
2. Anything you haven’t worn in a few years.
Try the hanger trick. Hang items in your closet with the hanger backwards. As you wear an item, turn the hanger to the right side. Check occasionally- the items you didn’t move should be removed after a year or so. This includes new items you haven’t worn.
3. Anything that is really out of style.
While some trends do make comebacks, your pink 80s style blazer with the shoulder pads shouldn’t be worn for more than a costume. Consider giving these items to your local theater department.
4. Items that are “worn”
Shirts that pill, pants with hems that are frayed, etc. While some items can be repaired, those that cannot need to go. These items should not be given to charities unless that organization can recycle old clothing.
5. Anything you don’t love!
Why wear things that you don’t feel good in? Life is too short!
Exceptions: anything that holds strong sentimental value. Keep the shoes you wore the night you got engaged, the favorite bag you carried while you backpacked through Europe, and the dress you wore when you brought your babies home from the hospital. These items shouldn’t remain in your closet, but wrapped in tissue and stored for safe keeping.
Sort your discarded items into 3 piles:
- Friends – do any items fit a friend’s sense of style? Make a separate clothing pile for clothing you think someone you know might like. Make sure to consider size and age appropriateness.
- Charity Organizations – Items that are in good condition but might be a little out of style or the wrong size. Clothing should be clean and wearable.
- Consignment Shops – Anything you invested money in that you would like to try to recover some of the cost.
Once you’ve made some room in your closet, consider some better organization. I find that organizing by type of clothing and then by color works for me. I keep shirts together, pants together, dresses together, etc. I also organize by color (I use the rainbow order – ROYGBIV) just so things are easier to find. It helps a lot when you are running late!
Here’s a little video too just in case you’re a visual learner. :)