Happy Memorial Day! Cleaning out my closet has been on my to-do list since I first returned home due to quarantine, and I know I’m not the only one doing a little spring (or summer?) cleaning at this time. So per request, I’m sharing my best tips and tricks today on how to go about purging your closet… because it’s definitely a daunting task.
But first, I want to briefly talk about this outfit. How cute is this elephant and floral tank?! I chose to make it a little edgier this time, compared to the girly pattern-mixing outfit I wore last year. I paired the top with neutral shorts and accessories so as to let the bright colors in the tank really stand out. I also went with the “layered necklace look” to keep the outfit modern and add that lil’ bit of edge. What do you think?
Now onto my closet-cleaning tips. I usually go through my closet at least once a year, and these are always the rules I follow while doing so. Be sure to share any of your own tried-and-true tips in the comments section at the end of this post!
- Always dedicate an entire day to purging your closet. The process almost always takes longer than you think it will, and allowing yourself plenty of time grants you the opportunity to take breaks and mull items over when you get stuck on whether you should keep them.
- Plan your closet clean-out for the day after you do all your laundry! I can’t stress this enough. You don’t want cleaning your closet to become a long, drawn-out process, so make sure you have as many of your clothes clean and in one place as possible once you start purging.
- Start by making a pile of clothing items you absolutely love. It’s easiest to separate what you know you want to keep, and you can use this pile as guidance in deciding what else you should save. For example… “Does this piece go with anything in my Keep pile?” Or… “Do I feel the same way about this piece as I do the items in my Keep pile?” These are important questions to ask yourself when you’re deciding what to do with an item.
- Don’t forget, if you haven’t worn a piece of clothing within the last month, always try it on before deciding to donate it! You want to make sure everything in your closet fits as best as possible and that you’re making informed decisions.
- I’m definitely a clothing hoarder, but part of the reason I have such a hard time letting go of clothes is because of their sentimentality. If you’re the same way and end up keeping clothing that no longer fits just because it’s special to you, I recommend taking photos of these items. The sentimentality rests in the memory, not in the garment itself. Keeping a photo allows you to reflect on those fun memories whenever you look at the pic, rather than holding onto the actual clothing item, which takes up a lot of space in your closet. This tip has been so helpful to me as a super sentimental person!
- A lot of people recommend the whole “If you haven’t worn it in three months, get rid of it” thing, but I’ve never understood that way of thinking… After all, we have seasons, so if it’s summer, of course you haven’t worn your parka jacket in three months! I prefer a different methodology: If you can’t remember the last time you wore an item, give it away. This suggests that it’s been a very long time since you last wore the piece, which either means you don’t love it or you never know how to style it (both are grounds for adding the item to the giveaway pile).
- Something else to consider, which often gets forgotten, is laundry. Do you notice certain pieces are always sitting at the bottom of your dirty clothes hamper, just because they’re dry-clean only or require hand-washing? Consider donating these items if the hassle of washing them isn’t worth your time.
- A tip that I find very useful is determining if I can style a piece in three different outfits. I’m all about versatility, and if I can only think of one way to wear a piece, then the item usually doesn’t make the cut. (The exception to this rule is dresses, since they’re often a one-and-done item anyways.)
- The hardest part of cleaning out your closet are those “I don’t know” pieces, that you think you might love but ultimately can’t decide if you should keep. For these items, I recommend hiding them for a month… under your bed, or in your laundry room, or in the back of a drawer. If you don’t miss or think about these pieces during that month, then you know you can live without them!
Ultimately, cleaning out your closet is about maximizing your space for items you absolutely love. If you aren’t crazy for a piece or if it doesn’t make you feel extremely confident when standing in front of a mirror, then it’s not worth keeping!
I hope you found this blog post super helpful, and if you have any questions (even ones about specific items you don’t know if you should keep), please reach out to me! I’d be happy to help. You can also read this very similar blog post from 2018 about breaking up with your clothes. And lastly, I want to know: Would you be interested in a blog post documenting my own closet clean-out? Which items I decided to giveaway and whatnot? Shoot me a comment below if you’d like to see a post like that.
Have a wonderful Memorial Day, and thanks so much for stopping by!
Miles of smiles,