As promised, I spent the weekend spring-cleaning my closet. It actually wasn’t super painful, and the satisfaction I feel when I open the door – and see a clean floor, neat stacks of sweaters and jeans and racks of uniform hangers – makes the experience worth it.
Here’s the how-to:
1. Evaluate. Divide everything (and I mean everything, not just your hanging items) into four piles: KEEP, ALTER, RE-SELL, TOSS. My guidelines for each pile:
KEEP – You MUST have worn this garment at least once in the last year. The only exceptions are things that you love but don’t fit, or cocktail/formal dresses that you would DEFINITELY wear again. Please note: bridesmaids dresses and old prom dresses hardly ever qualify.
ALTER – If you really really love something…but it’s too big or too long (too small is another story), you may put it in the ALTER category. Items that qualify include designer jeans, great cocktail dresses, suits…and that’s pretty much it. Get the item/items altered as soon as possible. And honestly, if you don’t feel a sense of urgency to alter the item, it belongs in one of the next two categories.
RE-SELL – Not sure about you, but I had a LOT of stuff that fit into the re-sell category. A striped Tory Burch polo handed down from my mom (never looked right on me), a pair of Tony Lama cowboy boots (great looking, but not nearly as comfy as a pair I carry at Dish – and scooped for myself – last year), a few Juicy Couture dresses that I bought a size larger when I was pregnant but haven’t worn since…you get the idea. TheRealReal is a great luxury consignment site, and Facebook is an awesome way to unload your gently used but-not-designer items. Fact: Those Tony Lamas sold within THREE MINUTES of me posting them on Facebook.
DONATE – 5K t-shirts, impulse buys from Forever 21 that never delivered and well-worn gym clothes all belong in the DONATE category. Sure, Goodwill is great, but ask around (your friends, your church, your civic club). There may be a needy individual or family able to put your goods to use ASAP.
2. Organize. Once you’ve got your KEEP pile sorted out, put everything on matching hangers and re-hang by category, color, or cut. Do whatever works for you. My closet is divided by item (tops, sweaters, dresses, pants), then fabric (all cottons together, all dressy materials together, etc), then color. Honestly, my closet has always been organized this way…but after removing about half of the items, the order makes much more sense. And I can actually thumb through the hangers. I did move my cold-weather items (coats and fur vests) and cocktail dresses to another closet.
A word about hangers: At some point I’m going to invest in those grippy hangers that everyone loves…but until then, clear my plastic hangers will have to do. Whatever hangers you choose, make sure you’re able to get every kind you need in that material. I need shirt hangers, pant/shorts hangers, and that hybrid hanger that works for strapless dresses as well as two-piece suits.
3. Shoes & Bags. I don’t think you have to be as ruthless when it comes to shoes and handbags. Shoes and bags can make or break an outfit, and unless you wear them to DEATH, they should be okay to hang around for five or ten years, or even longer. I have heels I haven’t worn in years but I am still making room for (just be patient, blue suede pumps. your time will come.). At the same time, if the leather on the stiletto is peeling back or the suede on the bag is irreparably dirty (or if they don’t fit your feet or your life – be honest), move them to the RESELL or DONATE category.
4. Corral. Items like scarves, belts and clutches are easily contained in plastic drawer towers. Label the drawers, and finding accessories becomes a breeze. I keep my flashy costume jewelry plus my nicer pieces that I don’t wear everyday in a plastic bin in my closet. My everyday stuff sits out on my dresser in plain view.
5. Prettify. I didn’t get to this step on Sunday, but I will soon. My plans include painting a chandelier and hanging it in my closet. I’m also going to place an unlit scented candle (Voluspa is our fave brand) on one of the shelves.
Have you tackled any spring cleaning projects yet? Tweet or Instagram us at @glitter_blog_xo!