The Simplest Way to Spring Clean Your Closet
Though it may be cold still in New Jersey, it is officially SPRING CLEANING time! I'm not a big fan of cleaning (you can ask Nick and he'll definitely be honest) but I believe there is a time and a place for cleaning.
One of my favorite times to get down and get clean is at the change of seasons. I am no Marie Kondo; I am not advocating getting rid of everything. I know hard that can be. But what is important is weeding out items that no longer work with your current style. Getting some closet clarity helps you feel fresh for a whole new season.
Start by dumping everything out.
As a person who hates cleaning but also hates mess, the all-or-nothing approach of dumping out all my drawers and clearing the shelves is the only way to guarantee a deep clean. By taking everything out, you're forced to pick up each piece and make a decision. For your closet, taking everything off the bar and laying it on your bed will help you to sort through hanging items.
Categorize your clothes into three to four sections.
Most of your clothes fall in 3 or 4 sections: work, weekend, only at home, and special occasion. Of course, this all depends on your lifestyle. Your work and weekend clothes might blend together more if you work from home or have a more casual job. You might have some weekend clothes that double as your "only at home" (a.k.a your most comfy clothes like sweatpants and tees) and vice versa.
Determining sections of your closet will help you stay focused as you sort and evaluate your style. If you find that you have a lot in your "only at home" section and not enough in your work section but your job requires business casual, then you're going to need to par down your casual clothes and make a plan to find more work clothes.
Don't even think about keeping anything ratty, hole-y, or stained.
I am the most sentimental clothes hoarder. Like, I still have my high school field hockey skirt stashed away in our attic. But even I have to draw the line somewhere. Even when you love something to literal pieces, you have to let go. So grab a trash bag and throw away anything that has a hole, rip, or stain.
Bonus tip: have a sentimental piece that's totally worn out but you can't bear to part with it? Depending on the item, you may be able to re-purpose it. Old t-shirts can be made into a quilt and knit sweaters make perfect pillow covers.
Take your time and organize as you put it all back.
Once you've gone through and determined what's going to stay and what's going to go, it's time to put it all back. Take your time to fold, hang, and care for the clothes you're going to keep. Also, organize your clothes in a way that works the best for you. Personally, my closet is organized by type: skirts, summer tops, summer dresses, winter dresses, button down tops, cardigans, etc. You could organize your closet by season (though I find my budget wardrobe spans seasons) or you could do it by color or by the categories you used before.
Now to find a home for all those clothes you're getting rid of.
There are three big options post-spring cleaning: donate, consign, or sell. I'm a big fan of donating and consigning. There are items in my closet that are in decent condition but aren't really high-end; think Forever 21, American Eagle, and Old Navy.
My favorite lazy way to make a little money off my old clothes is using a "consignment" website like Thredup. I'm not really sure if consignment is the right word because technically they pay me upfront for clothes I send but basically I'm not selling the clothes myself.
I know tons of people who LOVE Poshmark and similar sites to sell clothes but again, I'm lazy. Thredup works by sending you a giant green polka dotted bag. You fill it up with like new or never worn items from popular brands (check their website for what they take) and then mail it back. It's all prepaid and, while you don't make a ton, it's not a bad option. I really like that if they don't want to resell something you sent, you have the option of Thredup donating for you. A win-win in my opinion.
There is nothing quite as cleansing as a deep closet clean. It's not a necessity every season but whenever you have the time or inclination to get some "closet clarity", DO IT. It will make getting dressed easier, makes room for your style to evolve, and just feels good.