Spring Clean Your Wardrobe
Steps to evaluating, exfoliating and updating your closet
Three cheers for warmer temps! We all know it probably won't last and we may still have to deal with a random snowfall at the end of March, but there's no denying Spring and Summer are on the horizon. With every new season, I think it's important to assess your closet, edit out unnecessary pieces and add what is missing.
Here's a step by step guide to getting your closet and wardrobe ready!
1. Take It All Out
This may seem extreme, but it's important to get a view of the whole picture. So for some people, that means taking everything out of their closet and putting on the bed or floor. Look at *everything* you have. Take inventory, touch and feel fabrics. Try things on. Do they still fit? Are they itchy? Are there holes? You can't weed out the pieces that aren't working for you anymore if you don't even know what those are. It's time to get up close and personal with your clothes.
2. Figure Out Your Personal Style
What look do you want to portray? You can't know what pieces to toss or purchase if you don't know what your personal style is. Take this opportunity to curate a wardrobe that reflect you or who you want to be. What items and colors and patterns are you drawn to? What's your current lifestyle? A student's wardrobe will look much different to a woman who is retired. That's not to say that you can't dress for the part or life that you want. In fact, I highly recommend that! You don't have to be defined by your job or role in life, but it will play a part in your daily wardrobe. So take stock of your activities and figure out your look. What pieces make you feel the most confident and the most like your true self. Do not think about current trends or what's hot this season, only think about yourself and what you like. If you don't have a clue what your personal style is, first start by looking at the 5 or so pieces that you wear and reach for the most. Are these an accurate reflection of how you feel and want to look? Also, look through magazines, blogs and Pinterest -- what outfits do you love the most? They will give you a good idea of your style. If you still need help, contact me….I offer affordable services for helping you find your personal style.
3. The Four Piles
Ok, back to your wardrobe that's sitting on your bed. Go through piece by piece -- I promise this investment of time will be worth it. Create four piles either on the bed or in buckets -- one each to keep, to donate, to toss and to fix. As you go through every article in your closet assign it to one of these 4 piles. Be ruthless: nothing gets left behind. Try to make a decision on each piece within 30 seconds. Allow yourself a few maybe items, but don't let that pile get too out of hand. In this step, don't forget to include shoes, purses and jewelry!
4. The One Year Rule
This is very straightforward: if you have not worn it in the past year -- out it goes! There's no need to hang on to the zebra print shirt you wore in high school in hopes that it'll come back into style or one day fit again. We all have impulse purchases we regret, you don't need to keep a daily reminder staring you in the face every morning. I'll go so far as to say that even some sentimental pieces should be discarded. Obviously, I'm not advocating that you throw away your grandmother's fur, but there's also a value in starting fresh and letting go of things that are mentally and physically holding you back. Remember, we're trying to edit your closet to create a beautiful collection. Imagine you're an art curator and your clothes are the art pieces. Your closet is a museum that deserves to have nothing but the best items in it. You can do it!
If you're not sure what pieces you've worn or what you wear the most: try this fun trick for a month. Every time you wear a piece of clothing, return it to your closet with the hanger turned backwards. At the end of the month, you'll have a visual picture of what you're actually wearing.
5. Make A Shopping List
After you've sorted, you will have a great idea of what pieces are actually missing in your wardrobe. You might have thought you had 3 or 4 basic black shirts but as you went through you came to realize that 2 didn't fit, 1 was faded and 1 had a hole. So, write basic black shirt on your list. Be cautious to add only pieces you will actually wear and use as well as fun, interesting items that you really want.
6. Invest Time & Money In Your Closet Space
Are those slimline fuzzy hangers that cost an arm and leg really worth it? YES! Invest in matching, pretty hangers. They really do save space and hold onto your clothes without leaving ugly dents. And more importantly, when your closet is pretty and organized, it'll be a joy to get dressed in the morning. There are tons of other ways to get an organized space. You can find closet organizers ranging from super affordable to extravagantly expensive, but there's something for everyone and every budget. Find what works for you, and invest in it. We can't all have dressing rooms and lovely large closets, but we can make the absolute best out of what we have. Make sure you organize by color and by style. For example, hang up all short sleeve shirts first from lightest to darkest then the colors, next hang up all long sleeves shirts in the same color pattern. Also, make sure that you group like with like. That's helpful when trying to decide what to reach for in the mornings.
Other important things to remember:
A fun, creative way to add clothes is to organize a clothing swap with friends! Everyone brings items from their donate pile and you all get to go through each other's clothes. Enjoy some appetizers and hopefully leave with a few new pieces.
If you're short on space in your closet, then search your home for large pieces that go unused -- most likely suitcases! They can be a great way to store clothing that is out of season. Throw in a few pieces of chalk to absorb moisture as they are stored. Also, don't forget about smaller spaces like under your bed. Many stores sell bins for organizing items that will fit right under your bed. There are several other space-saving organizing items such as space bags that literally suck the air out of your items. Take a look through the aisles of Bed, Bath & Beyond or similar stores to see what else is available.
The most important tip is to be true to yourself and honest! I know it's hard to let go of things. I know you want to loose 10 pounds to fit into those pants again. But be grateful for all the memories and for where you are now. There's such a relief in being authentic and living in the present. Your closet should reflect that as well.
I'd love to see before and after pictures of your closet, as you spring clean! Send me a picture via Twitter or tag me on Instagram @maebad.
Images: Pinterest, Design & Splendours, Regaling Retail, Babble