Saturday, April 13, 2013

Spring-cleaning your Wardrobe

I love the notion of spring cleaning, mostly because it means that I get to put off cleaning for the other three seasons of the year. And let me tell you, the less time I spend on cleaning and the more time I spend playing Solitaire, the happier I am. Still, it's a monumental task when you don't keep up with it year round, and can be overwhelming. For you all I've decided to make a step-by-step list of how to spring clean your wardrobe (from painful experience.)


First, get thee some containers. Cardboard boxes or sturdy trash bags will do, but make sure you have a few of them. To make things easier, label them. My preferred categories are KEEP, GET RID OF, and REPAIR. Next, you're going to need to empty out your closet, bureau, drawers, clothing rack, or whatever you store your clothes in. I put everything in a big pile on my bed just to make things easy to access.

Alright, so what to do with that mountain of clothes I just made you put all over your bed? Strip down to your undies, ladies and gents, because now you're going to try everything on. Everything. Make sure it fits, see if it needs fixing or repairs, look in a mirror to see if it's flattering, think about if you like it and if it fits with what you want your wardrobe to be. If it doesn't fit or you don't like it, toss it in the GET RID OF bin. If the zipper is busted or there's a tear or a stain, relegate it to the REPAIR bin. If everything is fine and dandy, put it in the KEEP bin.

If anything in your KEEP pile needs to be washed, go toss them in the washer. You might have to run a few loads. Then, clean your wardrobe storage. I always forget to do this and it's a bit of a pain. Wipe your hangers with a damp cloth, vacuum your closet, dust your drawers. Make sure everything is clean before you put your clothes away. Once you've got everything cleaned out, assess your storage. How many drawers do you have, or how many hangers? Does everything have a designated space? If not, it's time to give them one. Make sure you're organizing scheme makes sense. If you have more t-shirts than shorts, put the shorts in a smaller drawer. If you reach for skirts before dresses, hang your skirts front and center.

Your repair pile is going to be a little complicated to get through and, I'll be honest, some of the items you put in there probably will make their way to the GET RID OF bin. Even if not, this box will probably stick around the longest. If there are items there that you can repair yourself (i.e. a button fell off, there's a small stain, one of the pockets has a hole in it, etc.) set those aside. If they need professional attendance (i.e. shoes that need new treads or a jacket you LOVE but is big on you) take those to a tailor and let them handle it. The others will probably trickle back into your wardrobe as you complete the projects.

Now, let's look at the GET RID OF bin. With these you have a few options. If you have any Goth-y inclined friends, you can let them paw through and see if anything appeals to them. If not, you might be able to sell them on eBay. So get yourself an account and snap some pictures. Keep the prices reasonable and you might find yourself with some pocket money for further shopping excursions. If the items don't seem to be worth selling, find yourself a nice nearby thrift store and donate them.

(Pro-tip: Get this done ASAP. Keeping items around your home that you know you don't want but haven't had a chance to get rid of yet is a huge pain!)

Once you've purged your closet, you have an opportunity to see what your closet is really missing. What aspects of your ideal wardrobe aren't represented, or are too few for your tastes? Once I'd purged my closet I saw that I really didn't have enough cardigans for my liking, so those are next up on my shopping list. Then, guilt-free shopping! (Okay, maybe not guilt free. Skim-guilt?)

Don't forget to spring clean your accessories and cosmetics! I recently cleaned out my makeup drawer and it was almost appalling how much I had accumulated but never used.

Have you all spring-cleaned your wardrobes yet? What did you toss out!

16 comments:

  1. I just got rid of ancient makeup and clothing I never wear. I usually donate my clothing to charity or give them to friends who can wear them. And I just made a pile of stuff that I need to modify before summer kicks in. (Dying denim black and turning them into shorts, putting patches on vests etc.) Great post!

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. Here's hoping I can get through my DIY pile before it becomes a DIY graveyard!

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  2. Definitely a good post! I especially like the part about rearranging things so that you can see and access them more easily. I have problems getting into the middle section of my closet, and I made myself SO happy when I finally moved my many skirts (hung on tiered clip hangers) to the end of the closet and put my pants (hung on tiered slide hangers) where the skirts had been. Now I can access BOTH easily, instead of having to kill myself trying to reach the skirts!

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    1. Thanks! Organizing my closet was pretty daunting when I lived at home, I tried so many different configurations to make it work for me but I'm soo glad I did!

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  3. It's so daunting to think about clearing out my wardrobe, i've got too much stuff, some of it I haven't actually worn yet but I don't want to throw it "just incase" haha, Great post, and it has made me want to sort through my things and organise more! :)

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    1. Thank you! I know it's really daunting but, hey, it doesn't have to be done all at once. Try tackling just one section first. Slow and steady is better than burnt out and overwhelmed! :)

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  4. Ugggh. I'm doing that right now because summer's here and there's no point in wearing long skirts and long sleeved blouses. I've put them in storage and got rid of other things (like shoes that I love but never use, makeup that seemed like a good idea at the time etc) My mom had a great tip for me: if I haven't seen it in six months, that means I don't need it. This gives me a little more motivation to throw out things before it takes over ME.

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    1. That's some really great advice! I feel like I need more tough love when it comes to getting rid of stuff. Like, I know I haven't used my prom dress in over a year and it's a bit too big for me, but it's just sooooooo pretty! :)

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  5. I do this twice a year T_T
    but it's worth it :)

    This is super handy! I'm bookmarking it for further reference.

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    1. I'm glad you liked it! I wish I had the capacity to do it so often.

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  6. I actually do this sort of thing regularly. Just a few weeks ago I donated a giant bag of clothing to Salvation Army.

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    1. Maybe when I have enough clothes I'll be following in your example! I suppose the more regularly you do it, the less of a daunting task it is!

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  7. I have a closet clearout once every couple of months, trouble is I have more than one style personality, so I wear EVERYTHING that's in there and it's a rare occurrence that I get rid of more than one or two things at a time. I either sell my unwanted things on eBay or donate them...and then purchase more things from ebay and the shops to which I donated :D

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    1. I think it's good to have such a workable closet that you wear everything. It's certainly my ideal!

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  8. I have also cleaned out my closet, drawers, and make-up bag. I'm moving in just over a month. The idea of packing makes me really ponder "Do I *really* need that?"

    This is a handy manual. Can I link to it from my blog?

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