Spring Clean Your Closet
The main reasons so many women face the proverbial “closet full of clothes and nothing to wear” dilemma is their closets are a jumbled mess. Sifting through tightly jammed hangers, overstuffed shelves and complete disorganization can be incredibly frustrating and overwhelming, leaving you feeling like you have nothing to wear.
Spring cleaning your closest isn’t only practical, it’s economical and can help you save (and even make) money. To help you get the most out of your wardrobe–and save time, money, and stress on a daily basis–Leslie Christen, closet organizing pro and founder of Styling company Leslie Christen | LifeStyling, is sharing her top closet cleaning tips. Here are five good ways to tackle all that clutter!
1. Edit your wardrobe
The first step when diving into spring-cleaning your closet is deciding what stays and what goes. Then, go through every item in your wardrobe — yes, this includes shoes, jewelry and accessories — and sort each garment into one of the three piles. Leave what your keeping in the closet and make a space for all things to be donated and everything else that’s a lost cause and needs to tossed. Here is are few criteria to help narrow your decision making.
What to Donate…
• Any garments in a size you haven’t been—bigger or smaller—in five years
• Any garments you haven’t worn in the past two years
• Items of marginal sentimental value—is it really worth holding onto an ugly, ill-fitting top just because you wore it to your first summer music festival? No.
• Extra winter outerwear like hats, gloves, scarves, and coats—these things are always in demand at homeless shelters
• Garments that are in generally good condition, although out of style
What to Toss…
• Sweaters with moth damage
• Denim with large holes, especially in the inner thigh area
• Swimsuits that are stretched, faded, or stained
• Any clothes that are in generally poor condition
• Any clothes with stains that cannot be removed
• Any clothes with rips on the fabric itself, or in a conspicuous place
• Any broken-down fast-fashion items, since the cost of fixing them is often more than they cost to buy new
2. Decide what to Store
Not everyone has the space to leave all seasons of clothes out all year round. Small closets or even no closet space, tiny apartments or a large wardrobe hinders the ability to keep your winter clothing constantly accessible. Properly storing winter clothing or summer clothing during the off season not only frees up space in your bedroom and closet, but also gives you a clean and fresh start to dressing when the change of weather hits. Remember that the cleaner and more organized you pack your winter clothing, the easier and more pleasant experience you will have pulling it back out in the fall.
3. Organize hanging garments by style and color.
This is a pretty basic organization tip, but it’s proven to work well, especially in tight spaces. To keep things orderly, just group like pieces together: long dresses, skirts, trousers, cropped jackets and blazers, blouses, t-shirts, etc. This makes it much easier to pull an outfit together quickly and prevents the whole ‘throwing everything on the bed’ routine when you’re looking for a specific piece.
4. Choose the right hanger
For some reason, having a gaggle of mismatched hangers in your closet really throws your clarity off. Choose one hanger you like and commit to it. I like the slim-line hangers because they take up the least amount of space, however, they do break more often, which is a bummer. Regardless, choose one style of hanger and stick to it…it’ll just make your closet look cleaner and more organized (even if it’s not).
5. To Hang or to Fold
Fabric is key when it comes to knowing what to fold and what to hang. Knitwear folds well, so keep sweaters, sweater-vests, knitted dresses and the like folded on shelves. Evening gowns should also be folded, especially if they’re beaded. The fabric can distort from being hung up. If you need to free up hangers, jeans, khakis and cords fold well. These pants can be folded over hangers or folded into quarters and stored on a shelf.