how to clean out your clothes closet

How to Clean Out Your Clothes Closet – It’s As Easy As 1-2-3!!!

It can be fun…seriously!!! 

OK, so before you start calling the shrink, let me just clarify: I’m not claiming that cleaning and organizing your closet will cause you to burst into uncontrollable laughter and break out into song and dance like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers…but hey, if that’s your thing, go for it!

No, what I’m merely suggesting is that getting your closet in order can be a fun and very therapeutic process.  All that’s needed is to plan accordingly, and don’t overexert yourself by giving yourself a realistic time-frame to complete the task.

My guess is that the word “fun” may not have been the first word that came to mind – troubling, stressful, painful, not fun – but I’m here to tell you, it really can be fun, all jokes aside. Whether you have the luxury of twirling, dancing and spinning about in your walk-in closet, while sipping the best wine and nibbling on finest cheese (I wish) or your closet is so small, you can see all of its contents faster than you can say “Closet be clean!”  you’ve come to the right place.

Sounds interesting?  Read further, on tips you can take, immediately, that will give you some direction on how to clean out your clothes closet, and maintain your sanity, in just three easy steps. Who knows, you may even decide to do a little tap dance while nibbling on a tasty treat.

In the words of Maria from The Sound of Music…”Let’s start at the very beginning…”

The initial steps of organizing and cleaning out your clothes closet really start long before you “dive in” to tackle the mess and start cleaning.  You really need to do an assessment of what you should keep, what really needs to be discarded, and those items that you may need to “rethink” their use. This is something we’ll explore again, but for now, let’s just go over a few basics and (hopefully) painless questions:

1.)   What style really works for you?

Over the years, I’ve found that I have three “looks” that seem to work for me: classic, ethnic-inspired, and retro.  I may wear these separately, or mix-n-match, but I usually wear some variation of the three.

I’m a lover of all things creative, and since I worked in the fashion industry in New York City for many years, I’m very much aware of fashion trends, but I’ll only buy a few trendy pieces.  The point is, I know what works for me, and what doesn’t.  Knowing and embracing your style will be a tremendous help you when you’re shopping.

If you know what looks best on your frame and what colors make you glow, you’ll be less inclined to buy those pieces that you feel you just HAVE to buy.  And just think of the money you’ll save!  This, in turn, will lead you to buy less, which leads to fewer clothes in your closet, which can diminish the possibility of clutter, etc, etc.  This will require you to review your whole wardrobe – clothes, shoes, accessories – everything!

For some, this may be a tedious process; no one said that this would be completed overnight, so take your time.  Look at your wardrobe objectively, but if you don’t trust yourself, bring a friend.  If the trendy look is not really your thing, no problem!

But if the majority of your wardrobe looks like a photo shoot from InStyle magazine, just hold onto a few pieces, and give the others to your dear friend or a noteworthy charity of your choice.

2.)   What colors really make you glow and which colors make you look drained?

Do you seem to shine more in warmer colors (yellow, orange, red) or do cooler colors (green, violet, blue) more reflect your personality? Just like you need to diversity you stock options, you should have an array of colors in your wardrobe.  However, there’s no need to have 10 cardigans, in the exact same shade of green.

I used to despise wearing the color pink…..correction, I NEVER wore the color pink! Several years ago, I had a friend who was having a dinner celebration and wanted everyone to wear some shade of pink. UGH!!!  I grumbled about it, but I complied. Interestingly enough, my face seemed to glow in pink!

Now, I didn’t rush out the next day and buy 20 shades of pink items, but I did add a few pink tops that season.  Feel free to add “new” colors to your wardrobe, but there’s no need to look like a rainbow…..unless you’re you’re going to a costume party or you’re five years old!

I used to despise wearing the color pink…..correction, I NEVER wore the color pink! Several years ago, I had a friend who was having a dinner celebration and wanted everyone to wear some shade of pink. UGH!!!  I grumbled about it, but I complied. Interestingly enough, my face seemed to glow in pink!  Now, I didn’t rush out the next day and buy 20 shades of pink items, but I did add a few pink tops that season.  Feel free to add “new” colors to your wardrobe, but there’s no need to look like a rainbow…..unless you’re you’re going to a costume party or you’re five years old!

3.)   Does it still fit? how to clean out your clothes closethow to clean out your clothes closet

If you’re like me, you may have a few “I’ll wear this again” pieces in your wardrobe.  You know what I’m talking about…those pieces that you haven’t worn in a million years, but you refuse to give them away…waiting for that magical day when heads will turn as you sashay down the street…

The image to the right is a jacket I bought for under $20 at a thrift store, well over 10 years ago…..OK, let me be honest, it’s closer to over 20 years ago!  I know, shameful!  Granted, I may only be able to fit one arm into the jacket now, but it’s just too beautiful to give up!  I tend to hold on to vintage pieces much longer, simply because they tend to be one-of-a-kind.

But I do go through my closet periodically, to give away those pieces that I haven’t worn in years, that I know, deep down in my gut, that I’ll never wear again.  Call the Fashion Police if you will, but I REFUSE to let this jacket go!

Some of us may need a team of people to help us with this one.  There are different ways to go about this: you can just go full throttle, and remove all items you haven’t worn in the last 5 years; pick a number 1- 20, depending on how much stuff you need to get rid of, then decide to remove that number of pieces, every few months; pick a certain time frame (1-2 yrs, 2-3 yrs, 3-4 yrs., etc.) if you haven’t worn those items in the time frame you selected, it’s time to say goodbye!

Yes, this may hurt some more than others, but if we look at the bigger picture – a cleaner and more organized life – the tasks will be easier, and before you know it, you may just feel something creep over you: a smile.

Feel free to leave some comments below if you’ve used any of the tips, or you have others that you’ve used over the years.

I would love to hear from you, feel free to leave your comments below.

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