New Year, New Closet: How to Clean Your Closet
It’s time for a serious makeover – for your closet. There is no better way to cleanse your mental AND physical space than by giving your closet the much-needed detox it’s been craving…and one you’ve probably been neglecting, no matter what time of year it is. If you’re a self-proclaimed fashion guru like myself, you probably have way more clothes than you do closet space. Some of us simply don’t live in luxury suites with our own boudoirs the size of other people’s apartments like the Montevega twins do…at least not yet we don’t (but I am totally affirming this into existence as we speak). And perhaps you’re hoarding that super cute top (or three…okay, ten) that you’ve been wearing since high school! Well, as harsh as this might sound, it’s time to grow up.
As Style Matures, So Should Your closet
Like we do ourselves, our style matures with age – and I’m not talking about outgrowing trends deemed by society as being “out” because I simply don’t believe in following trends (“we are rule breakers, betch!” as Madisyn would say). Style can change or mature simply based off the career you have or the climate you move to.
Oftentimes, our body shape or size fluctuates over the years as well. If you’re one of those people that happens to be the exact weight and size you were in middle school, then great for you. I, on the other hand, have found that I’m just not the same little twig I was ten years ago – despite continuous exercise and being in the best shape of my life mid-pandemic – and I’ve had to learn (as a girl who in a former life wanted to be a 110-pound Victoria’s Secret model) that my weight has nothing to do with how healthy and beautiful I am as long as I’m living a balanced lifestyle. Whatever your reason is for doing so, I promise that giving your closet special attention will change your life for the better.
Where to Start
How do you start such a daunting task like cleaning out your closet? Get rid of the old stuff by taking a night, grabbing a glass of wine (if that’s your thing, of course – cheers to my sober girlfriends out there), and throwing on your favorite playlist. Then try on everything in your closet. And yes, I mean everything. And yes, I am telling you to do your own version of a rom-com montage where the girls are trying on clothes and making silly poses in the mirror while dancing! It’s a lot more fun in real life than it is watching them do it in the movies. I kinda hate those scenes anyway because they’re always extremely drawn out with the worst music… (*cough cough Sex and the City the movie and director Michael Patrick King, I am totally calling you out right now), but I digress.
Here are some important things to look for while you’re trying on your clothes.
Make Sure you can actually fit your clothes
I said it before, and I’ll say it again, toss those pants you’ve been hoarding but can no longer fit into because you’re “waiting until you lose the weight.” Trust me, this isn’t going to remind you or motivate you to stay on track for your so-called 3-week weight-loss/fat-flush scam (they don’t work anyway). Instead, holding onto clothes like this is going to make you feel WORSE. Plus, it’ll keep your closet cluttered. Toss ‘em. Just do it.
Only keep clothes and shoes that you will actually wear
Maybe you have that top that is absolutely hideous but your best friend’s aunt gifted it to you for Christmas five years ago and you just feel so guilty about getting rid of it in case she asks about it. Toss the damn thing (and if she does ask about it, pretend you don’t remember what happened to it). If you haven’t worn something ever within its entire appropriate season (meaning a sweater you haven’t worn all fall or winter), toss it. Don’t make excuses. Don’t say you were just saving it for a “special occasion” if you in fact just don’t care for it. I get it; sometimes, it can be hard to get rid of clothes or shoes we don’t really hate but just aren’t sure about, but here’s something to chew on.
Fun fact: You should LOVE every article of clothing and pair of shoes in your closet!!! If you don’t, toss it.
And when it comes to shoes ladies, if you have heels that fit but literally hurt too much to ever wear out in public OR they’re too tall for you to ever feel comfortable wearing without breaking an ankle (you know the 6-inch heels I’m referring to), GET RID OF THEM. There are better options to having cute heels than saving ones that literally make you suffer (read my blog on “Learn to Love Your Kitten Heels: AKA ‘Everyday High Heels’” for more on this).
Additional benefits to consider
Make $$ by taking your clothes to a consignment store
You should absolutely NEVER throw old clothes and shoes into the garbage. If you’re wondering how you can clean your closet in a way that makes you feel good while reaping a little reward, consider this: Donating clothes to places like Goodwill is always a philanthropical option, but also, if you’re like me and spend a lot on clothes and shoes and could benefit from some additional mullah, take your old things to a local consignment store such as Plato’s Closet!
I actually ended up using a boutique called Ashley’s Room in my town (I was a little biased because of the name LOL). The great thing about places like these are that you can make money either up-front or once the items sell in their stores. Plato’s Closet is great about giving money up-front for items they accept but be sure to learn more about the process if you use a different store.
Don’t just think you can show up to one of these stores and dump a laundry basket of old clothes onto their counters and ask for a check. Typically, stores like these require you to wash, iron and hang your clothes before bringing them in so they’re easier to sort through and quicker to place on their racks. And keep in mind that oftentimes these stores won’t accept everything you bring in (they typically go by what’s in season and in style). Whatever you don’t sell to a consignment store, donate the rest!
cleaning out your closet help you mentally – hello, zen
I honestly felt SO relieved after tossing my old clothes and shoes because I found that it actually made it ten times easier to put together outfits when I got rid of items I could no longer fit or didn’t wear anymore. Also, your partner will thank you for doing this if they share part of your closet space…(mine did at least!)
Less of the old stuff means more of the new stuff
This point is pretty clear as written because who doesn’t love rewarding themselves with new clothes? I will just add though that buying new clothes – if done in moderation and within budget – can be extremely beneficial. If you’re starting a new chapter in life, such as a new career, getting clothes that make you feel confident in that role is a must. And if you move to a different climate than what you’re used to, getting appropriate clothes for those conditions is critical. And sometimes, we’ve just had our old clothes for too long and need something new that will make us feel good and renewed – this is another great reason to budget in a shopping spree and change up your style!
If you’re low on closet space still, the best option is to invest in a storage unit to keep clothes that are out of season. I only keep clothes appropriate for the current season in our apartment closets and trust me, that fills up ALL the spaces we have. Being in Seattle though, I typically separate my clothes into two seasons (warmer and anything cooler than warm haha), and that’s because the temperatures can be quite moderate here all-year round. If you’re in a place that gets all four seasons consistently, then you should organize your storage and closet space based off that to optimize your space.
Now that you know how to clean your closet and why you’re going to love your new space and the benefits of tossing out old clothes, go forth and prosper, girlfriend!