Last week, I introduced a new series of posts that would be coming to the blog as we lead up to the first day of spring. As a preview, I shared three tips to help you transition your style for the season. Today, we’re diving deeper into the first tip:
Out with the old, in with the new! Declutter your closet to make room for incoming spring items.
I know what you’re thinking–decluttering a closet will take forever! Don’t worry, the key to effectively organizing your closet is to have a plan before getting started. Below are the four steps I use to declutter my own closet, which I hope you’ll find helpful.
4 Steps to Decluttering Your Closet
Step One: Empty your closet.
In the past, I would’ve recommended that you take everything out of your closet and take them off the hanger. Through trial and error, I’ve found that it’s less exhausting and more efficient if you keep as much as you can on hangers and lay everything gently on the ground. I realize this step can be intimidating, but I find it extremely necessary to fully empty out your closet. Why? For two reasons:
- It forces you to revisit every single piece of clothing you own. When you try to organize a closet without emptying it and starting from scratch, you tend to overlook the items that haven’t been touched in years. Rather than take this opportunity to get rid of those items, we instead keep them in the closet simply because it’s easier.
- It forces you to finish what you started. Too many times we commit to doing something only to get tired midway through and stop. By emptying out your entire closet, you can’t finish until you’re truly finished.
Step two: Create three piles: Keep, Store, and Donate.
This is a pretty common practice when it comes to decluttering your closet, and for good reason. Trust me when I tell you this method works. I’ve tried a few different ways of deciding what I should and shouldn’t keep in previous closet clean outs over the years, but the three pile method is a favorite.
The ‘keep’ pile
This will likely be the largest pile, but it’s also the one you have to be very mindful of. To avoid dumping everything into this pile, it’s important to remember the goal of this project. The goal of decluttering is to take away what you don’t need, want, or regularly wear.
When picking up each article of clothing, things that should go in the keep pile are items that you do not have to second-guess. You shouldn’t have to spend more than a few seconds deciding whether or not an item adds value to your wardrobe. This pile should hold the no-brainers.
The ‘donate’ pile
The donate pile is usually the smallest pile because we have a hard time with letting things go. For help determining which items should go in the donate pile, ask yourself a few questions.
- Have you worn the item in the past year?
- Do you feel like the item accurately represents your style?
- Does the article of clothing comfortably fit?
If the answer to all of those questions is yes, place the item in the keep pile. If the answer to one or more of those questions is no, it’s time to donate.
The ‘store’ pile
The storage pile helps you declutter your closet at the end of the season. This pile will hold items you want to keep and still will regularly wear, but they just may not be appropriate for the upcoming season. Things like heavy jackets, outerwear, and scarves may end up in this pile.
In the past, I lumped all of these items in the ‘keep’ category and would go through them a second time once the keep and donate piles were clearly separated. I have found that it’s easier to separate the piles from the very beginning. This prevents the double work of having to go back through your keep pile to remove seasonal pieces. Unless you plan to keep seasonal items in your wardrobe year-round, the store pile is a must.
Step three: Donate or sell everything in the donation pile.
This step is something that you want to do you immediately on the same day. If you push donating to a later date, chances are you’ll end up keeping everything. To avoid this regression step, take a break before you get to the last step and donate your items.
Depending on the quality of some of the clothing, you may be able to take pieces to consignment shops so that you can sell them. Drop off what’s left at your local donation station and this step is complete.
Step four: Put away the ‘keep’ and ‘store’ clothing.
Because you’re preparing for the upcoming season, there are three ways you can separate your wardrobe:
- Keep a spring clothing rack separate from your usual wardrobe.
- This is my preferred method because it provides me greater visibility to the items I want to wear within a given season. The goal here is to wear all of the items on your seasonal rack regularly, but also be mindful of how full your rack is getting. If you’re like me and want to minimize your wardrobe size, a seasonal clothing rack will help keep you honest.
- If you choose to organize with this method, sort the clothes in your closet by color and leave the spring essentials hanging on a separate clothing rack.
- Separately store the winter items until the end of the year.
- If you like to keep your clothing contained into a closed space, this may be the better option for you. Rather than displaying spring items on a separate rack, pull out the winter items and store them away in vacuum sealed bags.
- With this method, your stored clothes will not take up space in your closet and will still be available next year.
- Similar to the first option, organize your spring clothing within your closet by color and article type.
- Keep your full wardrobe in one single closet regardless of season and sort by type and/or color.
- If you don’t want to purchase a separate clothing rack or separate storage bags, this last option is for you. This is also a good option for those of you who live in an area where the climate is unpredictable.
- With this sorting option, you’ll have easy access to your full wardrobe year-round.
Once everything is put away, you’re officially finished! With a newly organized closet, you can now make a list of the essential items to purchase for the season.
I hope you found this post helpful as you prepare your wardrobe for spring. I’ve included a few closet storage and clothing rack options at the end of this post to browse through for inspiration!