Spring (or anytime) is the perfect time to spring clean your wardrobe and declutter your closet.
General rules to declutter your closet.
- If you haven’t worn it a year, get rid of it. A year is a good rule of thumb because it covers all of the seasons.
- Multiples. How many of the same or similar items do you need? Two pairs of blacks pants is ok if you wear them all the time. The same shirt in two different colors is also cool. What’s not cool is five black blazers. Two of any item is a good rule of thumb.
- Toss any item that is faded, worn out, holey (in a bad way, not talking about ripped jeans, those are cool) and any accessory that is broken or has turned colors.
- Keep your favorite things to wear. The things you love.
- To quote Johnny Cochran, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit”. Throw it out. Real talk, work with the body you have now, excluding any significant situation like pregnancy. If you're dropping pounds consistently while on a fitness plan, don’t buy any new clothes until your weight stabilizes. Consider getting your current clothing altered where appropriate while in transition.
- Remove anything you don’t like. It’s amazing how much fugly stuff we keep in the back of our closets.
- Keep classic pieces. They are timeless and will help you build your capsule wardrobe.
- Make three piles. Toss, keep, I don’t know. Separate the "i don't know" items into a box or different part of your closet. Monitor if you wear any of them over the next few months. If not, toss them.
- This is purely an aesthetic item, but I like to have all the same hangers. At one point, I had all wooden hangers from Ikea in my closet. When I move, I would really like to purchase those slim black ones because even though I love the wood ones, they're a little bulky. Anyways, if you have a lot of hangers that are all different colors and materials, choose one type or color of hanger to hang the items you’re keeping and toss the rest.
The same rules still apply mostly, but here are some additional things to consider when deciding what to toss and keep.
- Shoes. I’m separating them from accessories. You need shoes that are casual, dressy, work and seasonally appropriate. You do not have to sacrifice style, comfort or quality.
- Outerwear- You need a sturdy winter jacket (where appropriate), and a jacket or two for spring and fall. A thin sweater or cardigan for chilly summer nights and air conditioned spaces. A blazer can complement your work wardrobe and dress up anything.
- Intimates- How many underthings you need will depend on how often you wash your clothes. One to two weeks worth of underthings will be sufficient in most cases. This includes bras, underwear, socks, and tanks.
- Accessories and makeup. How many stud earrings or lipsticks do you need? Choose the ones that are your favorite, most versatile, and flatter your skin tone. Things like diamond studs or a pearl necklace are classic. Keep items like this if they are your style. Also, keeping old makeup is nasty. Do you know how many germs are on it? Throw it out and buy a new one if you love the color or it’s an essential item.
Tips for making your clothes last longer.
- Wash them on the gentle/delicate or short cycle and hang or lay flat to dry. The lint your dryer accumulates is your clothes’ fibers. Also, air drying uses less electricity and drying racks are inexpensive.
- You don’t need to wash your jeans or pants as often as other types of clothing. Wash them when/if they have visible dirt, stains or smell.
- Get the heels, tips, soles of your shoes replaced by a cobbler periodically.
- Invest in conditioning and weather resistant products for leather and suede items.
- Find a dry cleaner or tailor to make alterations and repairs.
- Learn how to mend small holes and sew on buttons.
- Items in storage. This shouldn’t be an issue since you’re decluttering your closet and can fit everything into one closet, but should the need arise, make sure your clothes are placed in a properly sealed, temperate location with covers.
- Pay attention to the way your items are stored in your room. Whether they are hanging in the closet, sitting on a table or open shelf, or folded in a drawer, do so with care.
Watch me declutter my closet.
Learn how to create a capsule wardrobe.