Cleaning out your closet is one of the easiest and most fulfilling ways to make your life simpler. AND the perfect time to do it is when you’re switching out your wardrobe in the fall or spring!
So where to start? Sort your clothes into seasons; summer vs. winter. Pack the summer clothes away *sigh* and sort winter clothes into no more than 7 categories (for me, it’s short sleeve/tank tops, skirts, dresses, pants/slacks, and long sleeve tops). As I do this sorting activity, I handle each item in my wardrobe. This gives me an opportunity to assess whether I still enjoy and fit into each item. (Admittedly, trying on clothing does slow this process down, so plan appropriately.)
What to do with items leaving your care: Be sure to ask yourself, “Is this something I still enjoy wearing (and does it still fit?)” Personally, I was lucky to never gain the freshman 15, but my sizes have been fluctuating some in my 30s. Letting go of items that no longer fit is frustrating! They’re still in good shape, and I still enjoy them, they just don’t fit! I’ve gotten over a lot of this frustration by inviting my girlfriends of a similar size over for a clothing swap party. Alternatively, you could consign your clothing (if it’s in GREAT condition and not outdated) or donate to organizations like Dress for Success, that gives items to folks in need (i.e. folks in poverty going in for an interview, or refugees in need of a hand up).
Another question I ask myself is, “Do I have matching accessories/tops/bottoms to use this in an outfit?” This is a major question for me because, even if I love a piece of clothing, if I don’t have a plan for how to wear it with other pieces, I know I won’t take the time and energy to make that happen as I’m trying to get out the door in the morning.
Once your sorting is done, consider whether you need any additional items to keep you organized. I use an over-the-door shoe organizer for my T-shirts and other accessories like belts, and have even seen closets with magnetic jewelry containers attached to an installed steel plate on the wall. Purchase any storage containers you’ll need to make your closet function better for you, just make sure that you’re buying items you’ll USE, not just because you think you should. Give your closet a quick clean and then place your items back. Try to make everything for the upcoming season accessible, and make a mental note of how you’re choosing to organize your items. Lastly, step back and congratulate yourself on your work! Share your before and after pictures at https://www.facebook.com/TLCclearingSpace/ so I can celebrate with you!