You thought it would never come, but here it is: Spring. And with spring comes warmer weather, and sunlight. Most importantly, spring means it’s time to bring out those cute spring and summer clothes that have been packed away in the back of your closet. No more sweaters, scarves and boots. Spring means sundresses, sandals and soon, shorts and tank tops. Before you know it, you’ll forget about boots and snow.
With the change of weather, you also need a change of wardrobe. What better way to get ready for spring and leave winter behind than to engage in some spring closet cleaning? It’s time to trade those sweaters for a fresher, lighter set of clothing.
Spring cleaning your closet is a great way to welcome the new season, and it’s the perfect opportunity to organize your wardrobe again. If you don’t remember the last time you organized your clothes, the time has come. They call it spring cleaning for a reason, after all.
Put on your favorite pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt, and get ready to prepare your closet for the season. You’ve come to the right place to learn how to spring clean your wardrobe.
Closet Spring Cleaning 101
Spring cleaning is an essential, simple step to declutter your home and welcome the change of seasons. Think about all the salt and snow that comes with walking in winter weather. Heavy curtains and clothing add dirt and bulk to your home. Spring cleaning as the weather changes is an important process to help organize your home and free it from any mess that accumulated during the winter.
The same thing goes for your closet. All that salt is bound to end up there, and wearing heavy sweaters and clothes comes with dust bunnies, dirt and lint. And your closet is ground zero.
As the weather gets warmer, heavy clothes in your closet also get in the way. Don’t let your winter sweaters and boots block your view of your favorite dresses and sandals. This is especially important if you have limited space and time. If you’re more likely to see it, you’re more likely to wear it. If it’s easily accessible, you’re bound to spend less time pondering what to wear in the morning. And if you still see it but avoid wearing it, it’s time to make room for something new that you will love.
The Difference Between Clothes and Style
If you’re a budding fashionista, you know there’s a difference between the clothes you wear and the style you’re seeking. Great style is part of making you feel your best. It also shows friends, family and coworkers that you care about your appearance. If you wouldn’t want to be photographed in it or seen in it by someone you’d want to impress, you shouldn’t wear it.
Purging your closet will give you an idea of what your style says about you, and where you’d like to fill in the gaps. Are you more of a skirt kind of girl? A big fan of skinny jeans? Do you wish you wore more color? Going through your closet and seeing what you have, but more importantly, what you don’t have, will give you an opportunity to develop what kind of style you seek.
Spring cleaning your wardrobe is an opportunity to notice out-of-date clothing and what needs to be replaced. That great skirt with the coffee stain that won’t come out? Time to throw it out and move on. Those shoes with the broken straps? It’s time to part ways. Those winter boots that are starting to leak? Bye, bye baby.
It can be tempting to hold on to pieces that are, “good enough,” or worse, repurpose ripped and torn clothing as night wear. You and your closet deserve better, and scheduling a time to engage in some necessary closet spring cleaning will refresh you – and your wardrobe.
Don’t fall into a fashion slump. Make the commitment and stick to it. You deserve to have a closet full of options that make you break into a smile. Take the time to rotate your closet and get rid of the duds. You’ll feel better – and look better, too.
Closet Cleaning Tips from the Pros
Everyone has their own methods to completing a task, but there are a few no-fail ideas that will help you enjoy an organized wardrobe closet in less time and with minimal fuss. If you’ve ever found yourself starting a big home cleaning project and giving up halfway, consider the following tips before starting:
- Schedule a time. Set aside a few hours for your closet. Make sure you don’t have any deadlines looming and avoid finding convenient distractions. Your closet deserves your full attention. There might be some minor distractions along the way, but give yourself enough time to complete the closet purging process in one shot.
- Make it fun. Put on some music, grab a drink, or invite a friend and play dress up. Keep in mind that the final goal is to clean out your closet for spring, so keep everything in moderation. You don’t want to get too distracted.
- Have a plan. There are certain options to consider when purging your wardrobe. Do you want to throw out clothing that you haven’t worn in a year or two? What definitely must go? What can’t you live without? Also, do you want to give yourself specific time frames? If you have limited space, have you considered alternative storage? Ask yourself these questions. Then make a plan and stick to it.
- Start with a clean work area. Nothing adds to clutter more than a cluttered work space. Before you begin cleaning out your closet and wardrobe, make sure your immediate area is clean and clutter free. It will keep you on task and from feeling like it’s a larger task than it really is.
- Clean everything out and start from scratch. Take everything out of your closet. Then, clean it out and wipe it down, and mop or vacuum the area before putting anything back in. Add items back in one by one. This will give you a rare opportunity to give your closet a deep clean. Once you start putting things back in, you’ll be reminded of the things you haven’t seen in a while. You’ll also instinctively start putting things back in your closet by order of importance.
- Keep sorting bins handy. Everything that doesn’t make it into the closet should have a place to go. This includes the option to donate, give to friends, store, alter or throw away. Keeping these bins handy and sorting as you go along will help you stay organized throughout the process. It will also help avoid leaving a big pile or items behind that may feel overwhelming to sort through. The goal is not only to clean out your closet, but to keep the rejected items from working their way back inside your wardrobe.
- Utilize space savers. Space savers come in different shapes and sizes. They include vacuum seal bags, closet organizers and bins. They’re handy and help you stay organized, but they also help maximize limited space. Consider the unused space savers in your life, like the space under your bed or the top of your closet, and get the tools that will help you use those areas for maximum efficiency.
- When in doubt, try it on. If you haven’t worn it in a while or if you need a second opinion, put it on. Then take a look in the mirror, show a friend or take a picture. You’ll have a better idea what to do from there.
A Few Things to Consider
You may be lacking your own cleaning closet ideas, and the task may feel a little daunting. You may have clothes that have sentimental value, t-shirts from high school or presents that were well meaning but you’ll never wear. It may be difficult to get rid of these items for sentimental reasons, but someone else could be getting use out of them. Don’t let items that you know you’ll never wear sit in your closet and take up space.
If you’re still unclear on what to throw out and what to keep, consider the following guidelines.
Learn What to Keep
- Functional basics. This is anything from cotton socks to plain white t-shirts. If it works as a basic and there’s nothing wrong with it, keep it in your arsenal.
- Your favorite pieces. You’re not expected to part with your favorite band t-shirt or your stiletto heels. Sure, they may be falling apart, but you’re happy to wear them until the final stiches evaporate. If you’d rather go naked than get rid of these items, they get a pass.
- Special occasion garments. Little black dresses, ball gowns and six-inch heels fall into this category. If they’re special items that will come in handy for events like weddings or future vacations, consider keeping them and storing them away until you need them.
- Timeless pieces. Keep fitted power suits for interviews and tweed skirts and jackets. If it’s a classic piece or will be used for something important, keep it.
Learn What to Toss
As you learn what to get rid of, first ask yourself these questions:
- Is it ripped in a way that it can’t be mended?
- Is it stained in a way that it won’t wash out?
- Is it worn through to the point that it’s pilling or threadbare?
- Is it discolored?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, get rid of it. You might be able to dye something that’s discolored or alter or mend something enough to keep it, but if the effort costs more than what the item is worth, consider removing it from your life.
If you haven’t worn it in over a year or two, and it can’t be altered, donate it. Consider giving it to friends who enjoy that type of style, or attend a clothing swap and see what kind of gems you might find.
Exceptions to the Rule
Keep anything that would be devastating to get rid of, such as heirloom items like a wedding dress, your mother’s fur coat or anything you might hand down to the next generation. If you’re not wearing these things anytime soon, consider storing them. This will leave prime closet real estate open to the things you’ll wear daily.
A Few Final Tips
Before you delve into spring cleaning your closet, consider our final tips:
- See the process through. You’ve started a task, so give yourself the opportunity to finish it. See the process through to the end, and be happy with what you’ve achieved. You’ll also find that cleaning out your closet every spring will get easier with time. You may even look forward to it.
- Clean for the body you have. Don’t keep items that no longer fit, or would look great if you only lost ten pounds. Keep the clothes that you’re going to use. It’ll cut down on the time you spend getting ready in the morning and allow you to love the body you have. If you feel you must keep an item to see the changes in your body, limit yourself to one. Don’t clutter yourself with negative reminders. It may take some time, but if you allow yourself, you will find pieces of clothing that will fit the body you have and make you feel great.
- Be honest with yourself. Create more opportunity in your life and wardrobe. Don’t keep things because they’re simply there. If you don’t love it, toss it. It’s much better to keep a handful of well-fitting clothes than to wear things you don’t like and make you feel self-conscious.
- Reward yourself. Once you’re done, take a moment to celebrate a job well done. Go catch a movie, get a facial, or go out to eat with friends and show them all the fabulous clothes you’ve found deep in your closet. And what better way to celebrate your new closet than to go shopping?
You deserve a little treat, and there’s no better opportunity to update your style. Remember to only buy items you love. These items should make you feel great and make you smile. They should reflect a side of you.
If that doesn’t convince you, our early spring arrivals will likely motivate you to spring clean sooner. From April 23–26, 2015, trade-in an old pair of jeans or casual pants at your local VF Outlet location and receive a 20% off coupon for one pair of shorts or capris and a top. All donations benefit a local charity.