You may have dreaded it or loved it, but closet cleaning is as much a necessary and helpful practice to de-clutter, organize, and rearrange your wardrobe and perhaps even your life. I recently did a deep closet cleaning. Despite the time it took and the mindful excuses that kept pleading to keep just about everything, I felt so much lighter by the end physically and figuratively.
I find that the biggest joy and motivator for me is being able to relinquished my old and unworn clothes and donating bagfuls to non-profit organizations. It enables me to be service others who are less fortunate. This time around, I actually felt guilty and disgusting for having so many things that I've kept just for the sake of keeping them. Some were worn once or not even at all. Others were purchased on an impulse, for the thrill of snagging a great deal, or resulting in a lack of careful thought processes in my purchasing habits only to be left by the wayside and forgotten. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about!
As the practice of downsizing and "less is more" lifestyle grows, it influences our wardrobe choices (see Steph's post), I highly encourage you to clean out your closet with these guidelines that I've found to be helpful in my own purge.
1. Look through a drawer or rack of clothes at a time as we usually tend to group similar items together. It's overwhelming to start when you're staring at your closet aimlessly.
2. Have two areas in your room to distinguish the keep vs. don't want pile. It may help to do this in a quick manner so your excuses don't start growing on you. These quick questions can help:
- Q #1: Have I worn this in the past 6 months? Have I worn this in the past year (if it's a seasonal item)? Imagine the possibilities it could have in someone's else wardrobe rather than your own. Share the love and shed the possibility of it collecting dust!
- Q #2: Can I still fit this well? Is this item too small for me? If it doesn't fit it should go, but unfortunately our diet frame of mind work always pleas for a second chance. Unless you are actively making progress to fit this item again, it has got to go!
- Q #3: Does this item suit my current style? Seriously, will I wear this again? Our fashion sense changes from time to time, so there's no point keeping it if it's just for sentimental value. If you liked it enough, you would've had a photo of you in it by now. Yes, fashion trends come and go, but if it doesn't appeal to you, the chances of you wearing it again is slim even if they happen to be bell bottoms that are bound to come back... Oh right! They're already back!
3. Once you've sorted all your clothing, shoes and even accessories, bag them in their respective categories and choose what you want to do with your clothing. Below are some suggestions:
- Contact an organization or non-profit you want to support to see if they have a pick up service scheduled in your area. If not, there are definitely donation centres and bins around the city for you to drop off at.
- If you are a collector of brand names or perhaps have clothing that is in quality condition, consider putting them in a local consignment store where you can earn some money back (generally 40% of the sale price).
- DIY projects! If you are hands-on and an avid creator, there are so many sewing and non-sewing ideas out there to turn your pre-loved clothing into something different.
- Host a clothing swap party after having convinced your friends to do a closet cleanse as well. Your clothing will find a new home, and you might even gain some treasures for yourself too!
4. I promise you will feel on top of the world by now. What's great is that your wardrobe has down sized a bit (or a lot in my case) and it will feel effortless wearing what you like to wear most accessibly. You can also do a closet inventory and make note of what items you already have, what you need to replace (ex. staple items that have worn out), and how much to invest into trends each season. It's possible to keep your closet balanced, wallet under control, and mind happy!
If you need a little more persuasion, check out the following sites below for further inspiration:
The Every Girl: 7 Questions to Ask When Cleaning Out Your Closet
Style Book App: Spring Cleaning
Who What Wear: Spring Closet Cleaning Tips 2014