Does the sudden arrival of crocus and the green shoots of daffodils get you in the mood for new summer dresses, T-shirts, and flip-flops? Spring is a time of renewal and a chance to reassess and decide if items deserve the space we give them. This is true for closet space in particular. In fact, as the starting point for our day, the closet should reflect positivity and optimism. Simply growing your closet will not eliminate those items that don’t add value. On the contrary, it will contribute to clutter, and to negative energy—not ideal to start the day. So, before you rush to the stores, give your closet some love.

An unsorted closet with items still in boxes.

 

Use our springtime tips for the closet you deserve:

Leave no stone unturned. First, as Marie Kondo suggests, you should review your whole house for like items to know how many you have as you decide what to keep and what to release. As you transition from winter to spring, gather sweaters, coats, and other garments belonging to the closet you are organizing.

Create piles. While you review what you have, instead of returning items to the closet, place them into piled categories. For example, create a “maybe” pile for things you are not sure about. Here are our other favorite piles: “Try on,” “Donate,” “Keep for six months and if not worn, donate,” “Dry Clean,” “Mend,” “Iron,” and “Consign.” Then, review the piles to rightsize a final time before placing belongings back in the closet. If they require action, do it immediately! Take the dry cleaning directly to your car, for instance.

Ask yourself the following questions as you review each item:

  • Does it fit?
  • Does it make me feel good?
  • Does it fulfill its function and purpose?
  • Do I like the feel of the fabric?
  • Have I worn this in the last year?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then move it along! Or at least put it in a “maybe” pile to decide at the end of your cleanout.

Keep one of each staple item. Once you choose a staple item for your closet, allow yourself to remove any duplicates. You will always wear your favorite denim jacket, LBD (Little Black Dress), flannel shirt, etc., so why keep extras? Paring down your wardrobe offers positive benefits. Many successful people, including Steve Jobs and former president Barack Obama, create a uniform to increase their productivity and make fewer decisions. As a result, we save time and mental energy. By avoiding decision fatigue, we can channel this saved energy into positive personal growth in other areas of our lives. Curious about how to create a “capsule wardrobe?” Read more here.

Use the 80/20 rule in your closet. Many of us wear 20% of what we have 80% of the time. Does this apply to you? Take stock of that 20% of your wardrobe that you wear most often, and record some notes about your style and preferences. Then, keep it in your wallet to remind you of what not to buy when you feel tempted by that floral onesie.

Do not underestimate how good it will feel to rightsize. When a regular client recently organized her closet, she let go of more than she ever had before. She realized that she had been keeping items not because she still loves or wears them, but because she had become used to their presence. Once she recognized that they would continue to take up space and cause stress rather than bliss, she gave herself permission to let them go. Afterward, she couldn’t stop exclaiming about how good it felt.

Resist the urge to shop. Before you grab your credit card and hop online (or in your car), review what you already have. This is particularly important if you store summer items away once yearly and haven’t seen those garments for six months or longer. Even as professional organizers, our instinctive solution is to go shopping. A quick fix, Band-Aid answer to our “we have nothing to wear” woes. However, as organizers, we also know that this instinct is not going to solve the problem or bring permanent happiness. This comes easier after you have done the work and realize the volume of what you have. All of a sudden, it’s much easier to say no. On the other hand, organizing your closet also allows you to see where the holes (literal or figurative) are in your wardrobe. If you are missing a key item, go for it!

Consider Consignment. A great way to clean out your closet and treat yourself to some shopping time is to consign your items. Keep in mind that stores usually take clothing from the current or upcoming season, so you may have to put off-season items aside to consign later. Review nearby consignment stores and try to pick one that carries a similar style and labels to your own. Many consignment stores will donate unsold items to a local shelter or charity. Check out our blog for more resources!

Host a Clothing Swap. Clothing swaps are a fun way to unload your old items and get some new ones in return. Of course, it’s also a great opportunity to connect with friends!

Going Forward

To really feel good about your closet, or any area of your home, in fact, it is important to contribute the time and energy needed for future rewards. So, jump in and give yourself something you really deserve: a stress-free morning and an organized wardrobe you can feel proud of. If you’d like assistance, please reach out to us. We’re here to help!

Happy Organizing!